Deadmau5 Feat. Chris James – The Veldt
If you only listen to one sci-fi inspired euphoric dance track made by a Canadian man in a massive mouse head mask today, make sure it’s this one. Transporting listeners on an impressive eight-plus minute journey, The Veldt isn’t in any hurry to reach its destination. Thankfully, it’s a trip worth taking.
This isn’t a balls-out club banger, but something far more contemplative. Apparently inspired by the work of recently deceased author Ray Bradbury – the writer behind ‘Fahrenheit 451’ and ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ – the track’s peaks and troughs wash over you like a warm bath. There are no rough edges here, just enveloping waves of fuzzy, sparkly sound. The addition of Chris James’ softly spoken vocals give ‘The Veldt’ a feel that is simultaneously epic and personal.
It’s an undeniably warm record, which may be a little surprising considering the reputation Deadmau5 – Joel Zimmerman when he’s off duty – has built up. He’s known as a prickly interviewee who’s not afraid to speak his mind. He famously called out Madonna for promoting drug use in the wake of her not altogether successful ‘MDNA’ album, recently doubling down by referring to Her Madge as a ‘funky grandma’. He’s also poured scorn on so-called ‘superstar DJs’ who do nothing more than play other artists’ records, something of a bold move considering these are exactly the kind of people who spin his tunes.
“David Guetta has two iPods and a mixer and he just plays tracks – like, ‘Here’s one with Akon, check it out!’,” he tells the new issue of Rolling Stone. “Even Skrillex isn’t doing anything too technical. He has a laptop and a MIDI recorder, and he’s just playing his shit … People are, thank God, smartening up about who does what – but there’s still button-pushers getting paid half a million. And not to say I’m not a button-pusher. I’m just pushing a lot more buttons.”
While also providing a clear visual hook so often missing in dance music, Zimmerman’s choice to hide behind the Deadmau5 moniker and its associated improbable headwear seems like an attempt to maintain his anonymity. With all the people he seems to offend, you can’t help but feel it’s a pretty good idea.