Deadmau5
Stuff I Used To Do


3.5
great

Review

by MercuryToHell CONTRIBUTOR (35 Reviews)
March 6th, 2017 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: (... or Stuff I Want To Do Again?)

Joel Zimmerman is the musical equivalent of the Olympic diver who chooses to absolutely nail the basics rather than risk it all to go for gold or bust. While this may seem like a disparaging way to start a review, allow me to qualify by saying that for me, deadmau5 albums have always been safe but immensely satisfying – when it comes to knowing how to build an EDM track, Zimmerman excels, helped no small amount by his phenomenal attention to detail in regards to production. Those searching for something a bit more exciting, a bit more left-field, however, may not find his releases all that fulfilling. 2014’s while (1 is less than 2) hinted at a little experimentation, from the glitchy atmospheres of ‘Creep’, ‘Rlyeh’s Lament’ and ‘A Moment to Myself’, to the cold, pining piano instrumentals of ‘Gula’, ‘Superbia’ and ‘Invidia’, before seemingly reverting back to form on last year’s rather unheralded W:/2016ALBUM/. However, if you’re expecting more of the same, think again.

Stuff I Used To Do is (as you can probably guess by the title) only a new album of sorts. Compiled of unreleased tracks from 1998-2007, here we see a Zimmerman yet to find his place on the EDM map, not so much wearing his influences on his sleeve as attaching a neon sign to his wrists. Vibrant splashes of The Prodigy, Aphex Twin, The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, The Crystal Method and Boards Of Canada run rampant throughout this release, complete with a sense of ingenuity, innovation, and most importantly, fun – something all too absent from far too much of deadmau5’ recent output. Stuff… is filled to the brim with abrasive bassy leads, quirky, major chord progressions, big beat percussion samples, and while there is very little in the way of solid composition, there is more than enough substance – each track demanding your attention, delivering an unexpected twist from the one that precedes it. This is the sound of experimentation, but the production is at such a high standard that it is difficult to see this as the work of any less than a consummate professional. Every track on here brings a brash energy, and whether one minute or ten in length, each one has a raw potential, a theme of the unfinished, a streak of promise.

This leaves something of a mixed taste on the palette though: is Zimmerman releasing this as a sign of things to come? The concept of the imagination on show here finding its way onto a fully mapped-out, structured album is one that assuredly leaves this reviewer salivating. However, given the somewhat sporadic, schizophrenic nature of deadmau5 releases, and Zimmerman’s famed love-but-mostly-hate relationship with the EDM scene, maybe this is just a one-off. Could it be a stop-gap, an opportunity to throw a collection together of tracks he’s just simply never had the chance to put out? Maybe this is a reminder to himself of the music he previously fell in love with? After all, the decision to release this record just three months after his last full album doesn’t suggest standing by his work. Possibly overanalytical, but there is a very uncertain future left for the listener to ponder – but I truly believe this is the best possible way to show the world that deadmau5 has unfinished business.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Pekke (4)
With the release of "Stuff I used to do", we can read between the lines his need to come back to hi...


Comments:Add a Comment 
MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2017


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just discovered Pekke's fantastic review of this a minute or so after posting mine - really didn't mean to step on anyone's toes here!

SCREAM!
March 6th 2017


14191 Comments


um..

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2017


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yup, posted on the forums about it, I changed my score now it's taken off 2/3rds of my review, and I can't add it back!

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 6th 2017


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And there we are, much better!

FullOfSounds
March 6th 2017


13805 Comments


Class review as always. I may listen to it, since it's stuff from when he was good. His newer material is lame

Digging: Crying - Beyond The Fleeting Gales

FullOfSounds
March 6th 2017


13805 Comments


(he needed to pay more bills)

BlazinBlitzer
March 6th 2017


125 Comments


I absolutely adored deadmau5 about 5 years ago. Imma go through a discography run of his LPs in honor of nostalgia.

Ocean of Noise
March 6th 2017


8478 Comments


Wait, so what is this album? Is it a compilation of old material or new stuff?

Digging: Bjork - Vulnicura

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2017


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They're all old tracks as I said in the review but I think they've been given some updated tweaking on the production, either that or Zimmerman has been an incredible producer for twenty years...

Which isn't impossible, but ya know...!

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 7th 2017


30362 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i jammed this and thought it was pretty sweet

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2017


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It has way more replay value than W:/2016ALBUM/, that's for sure!

SCREAM!
March 7th 2017


14191 Comments


I'll definitely check it out. I haven't completely lost faith in the guy, he's just gotten extremely hit and miss. 4x4 was cool, >atgh< was meh, While(1 2) was really cool and the last one was one of his worst.

By that logic, this one should be decent

SCREAM!
March 7th 2017


14191 Comments


Seems the while (1 is less than 2) album title breaks the site. My comment got cut in half originally and I had to edit that out. Must be what initially happened with this review as well?

MercuryToHell
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2017


1144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Precisely what happened! I was a panicking mess for around an hour last night!

Pekke
March 21st 2017


8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh I forgot to reply, it's ok mercury, probably better to have two reviews about mouseman's angst



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