Deadmau5 in the House at Cream Ibiza


Just over a year ago, the name Deadmau5 (pronounced ‘dead mouse’) would probably have been met with a blank expression if you were to ask Joe Public who he was.

NOW the Canadian DJ and producer, aka Joel Zimmerman, is virtually a household name – in the electronic music scene at least.

In fact, Deadmau5 has become quite the global brand. There’s the assorted trademark, all-flashing, high-tech mouse helmet he intermittently dons on stage, with giant ears and a grinning mouth. There’s the cutting edge production shows with their customised video and lighting systems, one of which was uniquely designed for his mini residency at Ibiza’s Cream this summer – a gig that was highly publicised across the island with his illuminated mouse logo emblazoned across roadside billboards.

This year he played at the MTV Video Music Awards, he did a short stint at London’s O2 Brixton Academy and is near the end of a six-show residency at Amnesia. Seeing Deadmau5 in action last Thursday in the club’s Mixmag Terrace, wearing a Puma t-shirt, guzzling Red Bull and posing with his iPad, he looks like a walking commercial; the product placement is almost distracting.

His residency at Cream this summer was one of the most anticipated in Ibiza. After an initially rocky start, when he was forced to cancel several shows at doctor’s orders due to ‘exhaustion’, he bounced back to rave response. On stage he’s bursting with energy, at times appearing in front of the decks in full mouse guise to stir up the crowd (he actually dances like you’d imagine a mouse would move).

At one point he sits in front of the decks before the audience, bizarrely tapping away on an iPad. The captivating LED visuals alternate behind him with moving graphics, from monochrome Pac Man shapes to colourful stripes, rotating hypnotically. The predominantly energetic set has its occasional mellow moments, and a remix of Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name is thrown into the mix.

It’s an exhausting, pulsating performance, and you can see how the punishing schedule for this workaholic whizz kid – who apparently released an astonishing three full length albums last year – might take a physical toll. This December Deadmau5 will become the first ever electronic artiste to headline London’s legendary Earls Court, so the future looks bright for the dance phenomenon who is now rapidly becoming a globally recognised artist. See what Joe Public says next year.

First published on I Voice, Ibiza, September 2010.
© Abbey Stirling