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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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I'm addicted! Two listens and I want to run through it
all over again. Deadmau5 has turned in a cracking set
with '4 x 4 = 12'. Joel Zimmerman is creating some of
the most intelligent and exciting dance music you will
find anywhere on the planet right now. 2009's 'For Lack
Of A Better Name' got me in a bit of a lather too but
this new collection has moved things on a bit. It is as
thought all the best elements of Mr Mau5's output so-far
have been distilled into these eleven exemplary tracks.
The big, bad dark beats; the zooming sub-sonic basslines;
the clever management of rhythmic and melodic shifts;
the judicious use of repetitive vocal motifs.

In essence the elements may be simple but the edgy energy
generated by these beautifully crafted pieces is palpable.

The icy subterranean intro to opening track 'Some Chords'
picks up a four-square beat which, when it bursts out of
the frame in its full glory , hoists you up by the elbows
and hurls you around the room like a fairground waltzer.
It's a dizzy ride which burps and bumps and grinds its way
into our dance genes with ecstatically cocky confidence!

Next up, SOFI lends a hand with the words on the marvellously
tight but squelchy 'Sofi Needs A Ladder'. It's a bit of a brute!
A cracking slice of hypnotic, bone-shaking, turbulent mayhem.

Trust me here, it's all good. Very, very good!
The more measured pace and reflective groove of 'Raise Your
Weapon' is, however, better than good. It is the essential
beating heart of this fine project. Greta Svabo Bech delivers
a splendid vocal performance of the composition's strangely
moving melody and evocative narrative. The arrangement breaks
apart in the middle in the most alarming manner, stuttering
and staggering along like some fiendish war machine.

Final track 'Everything Before' brings the album to a deliciously
funky conclusion. It's totally impossible to keep still to it!

The artwork is suberb but somewhat marred on the inside by the
presence of an advert for Deadmau5 T shirts and Mau5 models,
casting a small shadow on the overall coherence of the project.
A disposable printed insert would have done the trick just as well.

A tiny gripe however. '4 x 4 = 12' is a classy deal from top to tail.

Highly Recommended.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 June 2014
Before Toronto producer Joel Thomas Zimmerman, the man underneath the giant mouse head, I was very "vanilla" when it came to dance/house music. Yes, I would dance to it in a club, but would never imagine having it blasting at home while I work on my various projects. Well, Deadmau5 did not only help to propel dance music back into mainstream, it made dance music thrilling and electrifying and listenable (and all this alongside the fact that my feet literally drum the beat and go to dance all on their own while his creations are playing!).

Anyway, Deadmau5, very driven, opinionated and very talented. Have you seen him playing live? I had, a few times, and it's just euphoric, with amazing video projections and elaborate but so organic sets. The expectations for this follow up to his "For Lack of Better Name" were enormous. And he did not disappoint. He just reinvented himself a bit. Yet again. By reinvention I mean the close collaboration with LA-based singer SOFI, the Greek-German singer who accompanied him live on the tour to promote "4x4=12". And you thought it's just computer generated sound! Mixed as a continuous arrangement, the album is a selection of wonderful compositions, from techno epic to trance pieces, and of course, there is almost mesmerising drumming going on. The album is also quite harsh (there is no "Auguru"), some songs feel quite is a fierce and violent (think almost brutal "One Trick Pony"). And there are no mesmerising trance epics, fit for meditating, such as [I think my all time favourite] finest progressive house "Strobe".

This is a truly dance record, for a fun night out.
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on 8 December 2010
There has been eager anticipation for the new Deadmau5 `4x4=12' album. The astronomical rise of Joel Zimmerman aka Deadmau5 throughout 2010 has been hard to ignore. His Facebook page has attracted over 1 and a half million followers and most of his official YouTube videos push out an average of 1 million views. The release of the new album is a prelude to another hard grind of touring beginning in the UK on the 8th December in Bournemouth (his last tour only a mere 6 months ago).

Zimmerman is not afraid of experimenting with new sounds and delving into different genres. Anybody who has seen pictures of his studio set up will appreciate that he has taken a journey into the production of sound itself. Respectably, he is not signing up with the biggest names in the music biz and bashing out chart toppers (eg. Guetta, Tiesto). For this reason it will not be enjoyed by everyone especially the first time listener. But this is what gives `4x4=12' a distinct sound and a great sound it is too. Unless you are a die hard house (or mau5 as some have called it) fan you may find the production techniques slightly off putting. The opening song `Some Chords' lulls the listener into a false sense of security; we are treated to a few glimpses of what to expect (a dubstep wobble here or there). Then, a siren like sound warns of what is to come. `Sofi Needs a Ladder' slams a deep bass with Sofia Toufa or 'Sofi' providing (almost whiney) lyrics. `Cthulhu Sleeps' has an unmistakable rhythm and a riff that almost sounds like a lumberjack cutting down a tall oak. These songs are polar opposite to any previous song like `I Remember' or `Move for me'. Similarly, `One Trick Pony' is a brutal dubstep onslaught of overdriven synth bass and aggressive lyrical delivery from (a less whiney) Sofi.

For all the in your face sounds that Zimmerman uses he also has an ability to create beautiful melodic breaks and intros. The solo piano intro in `Raise your weapon' creates a real emotion in the lyrics sang by Greta Svabo Bech. The halfway transition into a gritty dubstep beat has the ability to transform the lyrical context from sadness to anger, very impressive. The melodic `Right this second' is also a track that encompasses this transitional structure, utilising `the drop' into a kick drum led synth sound. The fact that Zimmerman uses a room in his house to create all these sounds is a fact that can't be forgotten. If people understood his utilisation of Ableton, VSTs, effects and modular synths, people would be less inclined to say `it all sounds the same'.

Now the problems. Please take note that `4x4=12' is described as a `new mix album' on the deadmau5 website. This is because the release is by no means a `brand new album' as it may be suggested. Four or five of the tracks have been available for some time as singles on beatport and iTunes. `Some Chords' was released in May this year and "I Said" was released even earlier in February! `Sofi needs a ladder' has been around for a considerable time as a non-vocal track `You need a ladder'. In fact most of the tracks have been available as `set rips' (people recording the songs from shows) for at least 6 months. The only songs that have not had much exposure are `Bad Selection' and `Everything Before,' and when you hear them you realise the reason for the underexposure. They are forgettable.

Zimmerman is between a rock and a hard place, he obviously doesn't want to be seen as selling out. He respects his supporters and engages daily with Facebook posts, Twitter feeds and the odd free Ustream gig. In return he has a very loyal fan base (myself included I may add). However, his steady stream of single releases and ustreaming of live DJ sets has meant most people have had this album for almost two months. What incentive do I have to buy it? No doubt there will be pressures from above for Zimmerman to be less open with his music especially if his popularity continues to grow. This is what lets the album down so slightly. The sound is new but the album itself is far from it.
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on 17 December 2015
There's just 3 brilliant Deadmau5 tunes here and the rest isn't worth listening to it'll just bore you to tears.
It starts off so promising with track 1 then that's it except for equally as brilliant in tracks 6 & 8.
Not worth the buy.
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on 12 July 2011
This album is belting, bought it after hearing a few other Deadmau5 bits & was blown away. The tunes melt into a fantastic mash up of big beats & electronic madness that doesn't really relent throughout.

Starting off with the brilliant 'some chords' it powers on through the next few tracks, highlights being 'a city in florida', 'animal rights' & 'i said', before slowing the pace with a couple of dubstep style tunes which although quite good do grate slightly with what has gone before. It picks up again with the awesome finale of 'everything before'.

I am yet to play this to anyone who hasn't loved it, most have gone out & bought it, with this album soundtracking many a good night. If you just want some quality dance music, & don't worry about maths, you should give it a listen. The 2 previous albums, 'for lack of a better name' & 'random album title' are also great but this one is definitely my favourite.
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on 16 April 2016
The sound quality itself is brilliant, with great kicks, bass and simple but smart melodies. Tracks like 'Sofi Needs a Ladder', 'A City In Florida' and 'Bad Selection' help start the album off to a much heavier start. Tracks prior to there are still great but can seem a little too dragged on or light. That's up until you reach 'Raise Your Weapon', to me, the stand out track of this record, starting off with a calm but still hard hitting and beautiful first half, slowly diving into a sudden burst of amazingly produced dubstep, most likely courtesy of fellow co-writtter Sonny Moore (a.k.a 'Skrillex'). The final two tracks after that bring it to a safe and gradual closing. Overall an excellent album by Joel. If you're expecting this album to be all individuals tracks however, I'd order digitally instead as the entire CD is played as a continuous mix. This isn't a problem for full through listenings, but to have for individual tracks on your iPod playlists, it can be a problem with surrounding tracks overlaying intros and/or outros on the beginnings and ends of tracks. Songs like 'Sofi Needs a Ladder' and 'A City In Florida' don't even have intros, they kick straight into the action leaving their intros dragged on over the end of previous tracks. So overall, ideal for the full through listeners, but not for iPod playlists or individual listeners.
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on 7 June 2016
Casually skipping through the reviews, I noticed that whilst most of the tracks are laudably commended and rightly so it is a terrific album, the track that is consistently overlooked is 'I Said'. When I first heard it, I was immediately struck by the impression that it would make a brilliant festival 'stoner' track. For once I was borne out, imagine my joy at hearing this at Deadmau5' Glastonbury set in 2015, the most monstrous of interpretations and my horror at not actually being physically there to see it at the time! For all those who have previously overlooked it, revisit and then watch the definitive 'live' version. You will not be disappointed.
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on 10 July 2012
Originally I'd only heard Some Chords, Cthulu Sleeps and Raise Your Weapon , but I bought the whole album for something to listen to whilst I was away. No regrets; it was one of the things I listened to most; overall quality is high and I found myself listening to it over and over. Definitely recommend it to anyone who's heard a bit of his stuff and liked it.
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on 24 April 2012
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on 24 June 2011
firstly, a quick explaination of the title.

4x4 does equal 12 when the calculation is done in base 14. its also 10000 in binary, but hey.

now the album:
quite excellent overall.
tracks flow together really well (assuming your player of choice can do seamless changes), and the dip into dubstep is a departure for deadmau5, but a good one. SOFI (Some Other Female Interest) adds a certain something to "SOFI needs a ladder" and "one trick pony". the rest is classic deadmau5: good beats, well made, well balanced etc.

overall, classic deadmau5, with a little departure into dubstep (but with a certain deadmau5 style, dead5tep? dubmau5? mau5step?).

and he proves that his maths is better than yours, if you know where to look :)
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