bpm:tv’s Declan O’Driscoll was at Miami Music Week. Here’s his review of a performance by Canada’s Deadmau5 at the Arkadia nightclub on Saturday March 26.
Deadmau5’s label Mau5trap Records held a small industry night at Arkadia, the new nightclub at the Fountainebleau; we were invited as guests by Moguai, the first producer to be signed by Mau5trap. This party was the highlight of the Miami trip for me.
Deadmau5 is a producer I have a lot of respect for. From day one I’ve really connected with his music — and at the Mau5trap label night, I really learned why. When he DJs he is so focused on the music, every layer of it; the production doesn’t stop. You see him piece it all together as it streams out of the speaker box into the room. There were only a few moments when he wasn’t manipulating the sound. Some DJs I’ve seen spend most of their time rocking out to the music they’re playing, and focusing their energy solely on the mixes — and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. Deadmau5, on the other hand, is a man with focused energy all the way through, and it blew my mind.
His set was most definitely a journey through sound … that is, until Tommy Lee accidentally stopped the music while sorting through cables on his set-up. It was actually a little bit of magic: a fun part of the night that gave that crowd a moment to show their appreciation for both Tommy and Deadmau5. Everyone cheered, we got a little vignette between them as they laughed and blamed each other for the silence. When the music came back on, the bliss continued, “Brazil” took us out to the end, and Tommy Lee took it over from there.
People were freaking out! Loving it! At one point, with Skrillex hanging out on the side stage, Deadmau5 decided to bust out Skrillex’s remix of Benassi’s “Cinema.” Before it happened, I’d spotted Skrillex just chillin’ quietly by himself, enjoying the music. When Deadmau5 saw him there, he moved to his computer, then his mixer, and suddenly we caught hints of “Cinema,” beats here and there. Skrillex heard it and smiled, but continued to quietly listen. Deadmau5 turned and looked at Skrillex, Skrillex looked at him and then: Bam! “Cinema”! Skrillex was quiet no more. As Deadmau5 paid homage, Skrillex was up there beside him, grabbing knobs and twisting it up a bit.
After that Deadmau5 did some crazy shit, mental mixes that obviously surprised himself as well everyone else on stage. Everyone was trippin’ on the mixes — including Mr. Joel Zimmerman himself. Deadmau5 was twisting knobs up and catching up to the beat in ways that he was inventing on the spot.
That’s what I loved the most about the set: it was all being formed as it went. He wasn’t acting like a god up there; he was just being a part of it.