Various Artists, deadmau5 – The Remixes
Exhibiting a sturdy allegiance to a faithfulness of form and big-room functionalism
Deadmau5 has become one of the biggest figures in contemporary electronic dance music with a sound that tends toward thick, gleaming, gloppy tech-house and a sartorial sense that features the most notorious headgear this side of Daft Punk’s robot helmets. Somewhere in those big metal ears of his (big like Mickey Mouse, with some Japanese anime weirdness added for effect) is a gauge for knowing when to pump up or dress down a track built for the dance floor, making Deadmau5 in many ways an ideal remixer. Each of the 18 takes collected here — from a decade’s worth of work for a rangy list of artists including Carl Cox, James Talk, Hybrid and more — exhibits a sturdy allegiance to a certain faithfulness of form and big-room functionalism. These are not wispy or impressionistic reinterpretations in search of the essence of a sound; they’re meticulously engineered machines meant to take a given track and make it bigger, bouncier, and leavened with little bits of bombast.