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Deadmau5's rant about live performance


usagi
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Deadmowfive recently posted this rant

 

"We all hit play"

 

its no secret. when it comes to “live” performance of EDM… that’s about the most it seems you can do anyway. It’s not about performance art, its not about talent either (really its not) In fact, let me do you and the rest of the EDM world button pushers who fuckin hate me for telling you how it is, a favor and let you all know how it is.

 

I think given about 1 hour of instruction, anyone with minimal knowledge of ableton and music tech in general could DO what im doing at a deadmau5 concert. Just like i think ANY DJ in the WORLD who can match a beat can do what “ANYONE else” (not going to mention any names) is doing on their EDM stages too. have a look, then let me explain:

 

403411_10150880955981806_1594782220_n.jpg

 

okay, so heres me, in a big silly mousehead.. twiddlin a knob or somethin… okay so heres how it works…. Somewhere in that mess is a computer, running ableton live… and its spewing out premixed (to a degree) stems of my original producitons, and then a SMPTE feed to front of house (so tell the light / video systems) where im at in the performance… so that all the visuals line up nicely and all the light cues are on and stuff. Now, while thats all goin on… theres a good chunk of Midi data spitting out as well to a handful of synths and crap that are / were used in the actual produciton… which i can tweak *live* and whatnot… but doesnt give me alot of “lookit me im jimi hendrix check out this solo” stuff, because im constrained to work on a set timeline because of the SMPTE. Its a super redundant system, and more importantly its reliable as FUCK! And obviously, ive done the show a couple hundred times easily by now, so the focus over the past few runs with the “cube show” has been more revolved around adding new audio / visual content to keep it current.

 

so thats my “live” show. and thats as “live” as i can comfortably get it (for now anyway) of course itll evolve, and change up, but im sure a few key principles will always remain the same.

 

Im just so sick of hearing the “NO!!! IM NOT JUST DOING THIS, I HAVE 6 TABLES UP THERE AND I DO THIS THIS AND THIS” like… honestly. who gives a fuck? i dont have any shame in admitting that for “unhooked” sets.. i just roll up with a laptop and a midi controller and “select” tracks n hit a spacebar. ableton syncs the shit up for me… so no beatmatching skill required. “beatmatching” isnt even a fucking skill as far as im concered anyway. so what, you can count to 4. cool. i had that skill down when i was 3, so dont give me that argument please.

 

my “skills” and other PRODUCERS skills shine where it needs to shine… in the goddamned studio, and on the fucking releases. thats what counts… because this whole big “edm” is taking over fad, im not going to let it go thinking that people assume theres a guy on a laptop up there producing new original tracks on the fly. becausje none of the “top dj’s in the world” to my knowledge have. myself included.

 

you know what makes the EDM show the crazy amazing show that it is? you guys do, the fans, the people who came to appreciate the music, the lights, all the other people who came, we just facilitate the means and the pretty lights and the draw of more awesome people like you by our studio productions. which is exactly what it is. But to stand up and say youre doing something special outside of a studio environment, when youre not, just plain fuckin annoys me.

Edited by usagi
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Well I must say that I have a lot of respect for Deadmau5 posting this; particularly during the height of the EDM movement (and his own popularity as well). I've read similar 'rants' that he's posted and he does seem to be quite a cynic regarding the arrogance of other EDM producers-turned-performers and their self-adulation from a live performance perspective...

 

I still don't care for his music though.

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Well I must say that I have a lot of respect for Deadmau5 posting this; particularly during the height of the EDM movement (and his own popularity as well). I've read similar 'rants' that he's posted and he does seem to be quite a cynic regarding the arrogance of other EDM producers-turned-performers and their self-adulation from a live performance perspective...

 

I still don't care for his music though.

 

Same. I'm a big fan of the person. I'm not going to go into the music, it is what it is.

 

Anyway, not all electronic music is terrible live.

 

For instance, Mouse on Mars are fucking incredible live. The thing is, to most people... it's just like anything else. If you know music well enough, you realize those guys are largely improvising with what they're doing. They're devoted to at least trying as much as possible to creating on the fly, messing with shit, and creating an experience.

 

Most dudes are full of shit, I mean like 99% of electronic musicians. What are you supposed to do... there are exceptions. As far as I can tell, most of the exceptions have everything set up, and they twist a few knobs along to the prerecording to alter it. Whatever.

 

'improv'

>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv5O38rJIdI

'pressplay'

 

underworld seems to do some innovation

 

 

 

 

and of course

 

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kind of true. but so what? The music is what's important correct? That's why AE do shows in pitch black rooms, right?

But there are some who obviously perform live. Mouse on Mars is a good example. Squarepusher, Jamie Lidell...

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I still think he's a twat though for aggressively accusing everyone else of basically doing the same thing. I mean, you've admitted that all you do is push play, fine. you're being honest. but that doesn't all other electronic producers - especially those outside of this EDM scene, however you define that - do the same.

 

I would imagine most producer/performers in his immediate periphery of wildly popular DJs (Tiesto, Skrillex, Guetta, Avicii, etc) would also ascribe to similar means or play-button performance; if only to placate to the fickle, casual audience that they have managed to thrall through the calculated, commercial aesthetic that permeates their studio productions.

If Deadmowfive were to do what Autechre do at live shows (which is essentially to play material that the fanbase is unfamilar with as per the released discography) he would effectively cut a huge swathe out of his showgoing fanbase of people demanding to hear 'Raise Your Weapon' etc. I would imagine these live shows boiling down to what is essentially a 'Greatest Hits' mix with lights and maybe an unreleased remix he just made for Lady Gaga the night before on the tour bus (which would be casually introduced as such by the performer over the PA "... I just made this last night, hope you dig it...")

 

There's nothing inherently wrong with any of this though; if I were to take issue with anything regarding the EDM scene it would be the largely musically ignorant fanbase. The fact that Deadmau5 is cynical toward other performers (the ones who would have you believe that they are conjuring divinity out of their laptops through some convoluted, opaque process that the layman viewer would never be able to grasp) is understandable. I agree though, he is wrong to make a blanket statement about this applying to all electronic performers; a cursory viewing of any James Blake or aforementioned Mouse On Mars performance would quickly dispel that fallacy.

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kind of true. but so what? The music is what's important correct? That's why AE do shows in pitch black rooms, right?

But there are some who obviously perform live. Mouse on Mars is a good example. Squarepusher, Jamie Lidell...

Yeah, the music is what's important. But I see merit in both deadmau5's rant and Gerald's reply (though the misguided comment about nuking Palestine kinda seems like he assumed deadmau5 was militantly pro-Israel due to his being perceived as Jewish).

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Was there actually any reason for Deadmau5 to 'clear things up' like this? Other than either boredom or just feeling the needy need to teach the kids all how it is. I think he just should've canned it and moved on. Either that or stick to the topic without slapping a name on everyone who makes tunes or 'can count to 4'. That remark actually insulted me a bit.

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