March has seen two releases from Deadmau5, which are a step back from the over-the-top sound that was 4×4=12, focusing this time on elements of progressive, almost trance-like, house. The first track, titled HR 8938 Cephei, is as chilled out as its name is random. Supposedly, the name comes from “a magnitude 6 class-A subgiant star” which has the luminosity of 40 suns. That’s quite a name, but how does the actual song stack up?
HR 8938 Cephei reminds me of some of the mau5’s older productions like Clockwork. If you thought Deadmau5 was losing his edge, this will likely be a welcomed breath of fresh air for you. Dark, mysterious chords establish themselves as the base of the song, while being driven by rising and falling melodies of dotted synth. The bassline sounds a bit toned down–something that I think adds to the overall laid back vibe of the whole track. Apparently this release is exciting more people than just me, including Above & Beyond. It was selected as “Record of the Week” on episode 364 of their radio show Trance Around The World, and has also jumped to the upper half of Beatport’s Top 10 chart.
A second release from Deadmau5 has also been floating around the web. It’s called Bleed, and it’s another return to the days of the softer side of Deadmau5. I’m not sure exactly what “genre” this would fall under, so I’m going to leave that on the table for you to decide. What I do know is that the whole song is a steady rise into a gentle euphoria. Soft keyboard chords accompanied by chimes and soft pumps collectively make up the entire song. It would be interesting to see how Deadmau5 would incorporate this into one of his live shows, which tend to be much harder these days.