deadmau5 is a progressive genius. I think some of his best work is his slowly building progressive tracks, and I am glad to see him revert to this style with his new release. I was recently reading about the differences between EDM subgenres, and I found a great summary that described progressive as trance minus the anthemic elements. Progressive builds intensity not from drops or aggressive baselines but from layering. The tension and surprise is generated through addition and subtraction of elements from a core theme.
Below is an old deadmau5 favorite of mine that exhibits this layering effect quite nicely.
“Strobe” is also excellent.
While the previous two are great, I think that they veer into other subgenres at times. “Right This Second” becomes quite aggressive and almost trance-like while “Strobe” wanders into ambient territory at times. “October” is one of the best examples of pure progressive.
Speaking of pure progressive, Anjunabeats just released a new track that epitomizes the subgenre. Check it out.
All of these songs require patience and an attentive ear in order to catch the some of the subtleties. Progressive doesn’t always hold people’s attention, and I completely understand that. It isn’t for everyone, and it definitely isn’t meant for loud parties or bad headphones that interfere with one’s ability to detect and savor the musical shifts.
Now for the main attraction. Here is deadmau5’s new single which features a collaborating vocalist, Grabbtiz, that he met on Twitter. As with any good deadmau5 track this is quite the slow burn, but give it a try.
Even more exciting is deadmau5’s upcoming track with Kaskade and Skylar Grey. deadmau5 and Kaskade produced one of the best tracks of all time in “I Remember”. Check out my original post on that track. Their upcoming collaboration is certain to be out of this world, and the painfully short teaser lends strong support to that thought.