Deadmau5 sets techno trap at Mullins Center

By Allison Ludtke

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Deadmau5 (aka Joel Zimmerman), an innovative techno music sensation, will hit the stage at the Mullins Center this Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

This concert is one of the many stops on Deadmau5’s highly anticipated North American “Meowingtons Hax” tour. The tour, which launched on Aug. 7 at Lollapalooza in Chicago, will wrap in Zimmerman’s hometown of Toronto on Nov. 5. With over 30 stops on the tour, the high demand for Deadmau5 can be seen with the words “sold out” next to nearly every show on his website.

Joining Deadmau5 on this tour are several artists from his Mau5trap Recordings label, home to many up-and-coming electro-house artists such as Skrillex and Moguai.

More than a DJ, Zimmerman, the man behind the mouse head with oversized ears, is a creator.

Trading in the turntables and CDs for Ableton Live software, a MacBook Pro and a Lemur touch screen, Zimmerman is able to improvise during shows, mixing and re-mixing tracks as he feels inspired. The show itself is an experience, combining a newly developed cube-stage, strobe lights and, of course, technically-stunning electronics.

Zimmerman’s technological approach is indicative of his background. Before playing stages worldwide as Deadmau5, Zimmerman was a Web developer, creating software technology that now makes his music so unique. His technological interests gained him knowledge of new editing techniques, and created a digital approach that has revolutionized house music.

His first mixed album, “Random Album Title,” was released electronically in September 2008, with physical copies becoming available in November of that year. This album featured the songs “Faxing Berlin,” “Not Exactly” and the notable collaboration with Kaskade, “I Remember.”

Following his first release with another mix album titled, “For Lack Of A Better Name,” the best of his single releases from the previous 12 months were featured. The first single to off the album was the highly-acclaimed compilation with Rob Swire titled “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff.”

Deadmau5 has collaborated with several notables, including Tommy Lee, Kaskade, DJ Aero, MC Flipside and Rob Swire of Pendulum. His collaborations with Kaskade on the song “Move for Me” and with Rob Swire on “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” both reached number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay chart.

This innovation gained him the title of “most influential, relevant and forward-thinking person in electronic music over the past twelve months” at the 2010 Beatport Music Awards.

His third studio album, titled “4×4=12” was released in December 2010, featuring hits such as “Some Chords” and “Sofi Needs a Ladder.” These songs gained popularity with Zimmerman’s beats being used in rap music, featuring Sam Adams’ version of “Some Chords,” and presence in films such as “The Hangover II.”

With a slew of awards, including Best American DJ at the 2010 International Dance Music Awards, Deadmau5 has made his mark on the techno world. Bringing house music into the mainstream, he has played venues including the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and the VMA Music Awards. In 2010, Zimmerman’s performance at London’s Earls Court made him the first electronic artist ever to sell out the historic venue.

What can fans expect at the show? According to the “Meowingtons Hax” set list, the show will be set off with a brand new compilation. New songs and favorites by Deadmau5 will be highlighted, as well as contributions from and various Mau5trap Recordings artists. There will be contributions from Feed Me, Tommy Lee & Aero, Excision & Datsik, Zedd, Moguai, Al Bizzare and James Njie.

As the popularity of dubstep, techno and house-music rises, taking over college campuses nationwide, Deadmau5 is certainly an influence. With over 3,600 people marked as “attending” on the event’s Facebook page, the demand for deadmau5 at the University of Massachusetts is high.

Allison Ludtke can be reached at [email protected]