Deadmau5 is easily one of the most recognizable names in dance music on the planet. How has he done that? Well, crazy awesome use of technology like this certainly help. Like most other heavyweight DJ/producers, he is now in the position to introduce new artists and instantly make them famous by mere association. Moguai is one of the lucky ones to be picked up in exactly this manner, and like many others, we are excited to see what it is that the mau5-god sees in him to bring him aboard the coveted mau5trap label. To add to the anticipation, it turns out that Moguai’s We Ar Lyve is the first non-Deadmau5 artist album to grace the label’s listings. So, does it live up? Let’s dive in.
Let’s get a few things straight from the get-go. Firstly, do not expect this album to be filled completely with dance music tracks. It is an artist album, and as such, will contain several tracks which are meant to both compliment the dancier pieces as well as show off the artist’s versatility and creativity. Secondly, do not start listening to this album anticipating it to be something that sounds very Deadmau5-esque. Let this thing be what it’s going to be and enjoy it for just that. You’ll be happier that way.
Now, we begin our journey with LSD, a melodic, guitar-infused ambient track that lacks any beat whatsoever. Shifting and morphing as new sounds are introduced, this track gently invites you along for the experience in store for you. If I had to make a guess, I would point to Explosions in the Sky as the main influence of the latter half of this track–certainly a sound I’m happy to hear in EDM. This is actually one of my favorites.
I’d also like to draw your attention to a few songs on the album which are each complex and interesting, definitely creating what we will come to know as the Moguai sound. Oyster, the most recent single on the album, is intricate and entrancing, providing your mind with plenty of detail to jump around between. It’s uplifting and deep and never boring, and continuously changes as it explores new territory. Next, Blau (not to be confused with Blau!) is made up of a bunch of unique elements: melodic bits and pieces, nicely layered effects, an Eastern music-inspired pattern, and some rougher synths. Together they make for solid track that I’m sure many will enjoy.
Moguai has assembled a nicely varied album here which includes many different kinds of sounds and songs. My constructive criticism would be for him to edit his tracks a bit to maintain more control over his energy. Builds are sometimes overstretched and often times I’m surprised when I expect a thumpy, pumping drop and instead get the opposite–a transition to a lower-energy segment. The 4:30 mark in Blau is a good example of this situation. The album also tries one very risky experiment. To be fair, many are trying to answer the question of how to fuse rap with EDM. Flex, Rex, Mansion takes a stab at this, but I’m just not sold. That kind of rapper’s voice just doesn’t fit over the beat chosen.
All that said, the ideas in this album truly are excellent and Moguai’s musicality shows quite clearly through his work. I’m very excited to hear what more this artist has in store. So in conclusion: good pick, mau5.