From the stylistic leanings of choice Random Album Title tracks to sharing a stage with Richie Hawtin at South By Southwest, Joel Zimmerman has always had an affinity for techno. Now deadmau5 has taken his flirtation with the genre a step further by sharing Hawtin’s label, releasing his first track as ‘testpilot’ on Plus 8 Records this week.
“It’s been nearly two years since the last Plus 8 record, but it seemed fitting that this record in particular, made by another skinny white kid from Canada, became part of the label’s collection and history,” said Hawtin in a statement accompanying the release.
“Sunspot (White Space Conflict)” is an exceedingly minimal production in line with Hawtin’s subtractive ethos. Finely crafted tom rhythms pulse against a delicate backdrop of haunting synth swells amid crackling percussive hits and a dark vocal that brings back warm and fuzzy memories of mau5’s classic track “Bot.” Fans with keen memories will recall an earlier version of this track on Joel’s Soundcloud page prior to his November purge.
Not that there were any doubts about Joel’s musical versatility, but for all the disaffected hipster hate that the masked mouse sometimes gets from the underground, he’s certainly made a statement by showing he can hang with the techno greats whenever he so pleases.
Will testpilot take off with further standout techno releases? We can only hope.