deadmau5 has a keen eye for the dance music aesthetic. Since starting his label mau5trap, he has signed many talented but unknown producers and given them a resource to create and promote their music with. The most recent result of some of these artists is the brand new EP We Are Friends, a compilation of several musicians signed to mau5trap. Representing a broad range of musical styles and moods, We Are Friends is a great example of the diversity and talent that can occur on a single record label.
We Are Friends kicks off with the euphoric beauty of Tom Staar‘s Home, a gorgeous progressive house tune with quite a bit of mid-career deadmau5 influence present in its stuttering melodies and clean kicks. James Nije‘s funky electro-inspired tune Room Modes has a charming breakdown section that highlights its main melody and provides contrast and balance to the track. Tom Neville appears here with Vision Flash, a track that’s all about the build–possibly the most progressive tune on this EP, Vision Flash is a euphoric journey into progressive tech-trance.
Heat Maxwell‘s Uprising features a spooky melodic breakdown segueing into a deadmau5-style electro drop, highlighting the Canadian producer’s knack for creating funky, off-kilter tracks. Born Freak‘s Cocktail Bar could be straight off of Random Album Title: it’s a beautiful trance-esque progressive house tune, not unlike Brazil or Alone With You. River Accorsi‘s MDCCLXXVI is a great example of how dubstep should be done: minimal and tasteful, with an emphasis on deep bass and compositional subtlety rather than screechy samples and obnoxious riffs. Rounding out the album, Buddygirrl‘s Fly will make you want to do just that–an airy trance tune, Fly is light and stunning, gradually drawing the album to an uplifting close.
The influence of deadmau5 is very present on many of these musicians; some of these tracks could easily end up on one of the Canadian superstar’s artist albums–and that’s a huge compliment, considering the high level of quality that deadmau5 delivers consistently. We Are Friends is a great testament to the aesthetic of the mau5trap record label–a label that isn’t afraid to break the rules, but always delivers something great.