Deadmau5’s latest shows off his artistic intuition

W:/2016ALBUM/ dropped on December 2.

Three and a half stars

Deadmau5 W:/2016ALBUM/

Canadian producer/DJ Deadmau5 is pretty dismissive on Twitter, but few might’ve expected him to dismiss the album he was preparing to release. His eighth studio album W:/2016ALBUM/—named after the computer drive on which he stored his new songs—might occasionally feel “rushed/slapped together,” but it also demonstrates how Deadmau5 continues to expand his sonic palette while his commercial peers spin their wheels in the same EDM muck.

“Deus Ex Machina” recalls Burial dubstep mixed with garden-variety techno, and “Whelk Then” updates midtempo Chemical Brothers, which is to say they’re not very distinctive. But other tracks impress, like “Snowcone,” its ambient laments nicely offset by a breakbeat groove, and “No Problem” and “Imaginary Friends,” two hypnotic tracks that renew the classic Deadmau5 aesthetic with vintage synths. Those instruments lend a throwback air to much of W:/2016ALBUM/, but it’s the different ways his artistic intuition processes them that makes the effort more compelling—and cohesive—than Deadmau5 would credit it.

Photo of Mike Prevatt

Mike Prevatt

Mike started his journalism career at UCLA reviewing CDs and interviewing bands, less because he needed even more homework and ...

Get more Mike Prevatt
  • Recently she’s been singing with longtime Las Vegas lounge favorite Pop Rebels, formerly known as Generation.

  • “I went through 15 cervical spinal surgeries at the height of my music career, and then came back seven years later on American Idol.”

  • “We’re here to support gay, straight, blue, green—it doesn’t matter what color you are. Music is music, people are people.”

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story