Deadmau5 on EDM: ‘The songs sound the same’

Producer says genre has become homogenised and that record company bosses could make the music themselves

Deadmau5 and Richie Hawtin have claimed that electronic dance music is becoming increasingly homogenised and that the ease with which successful sounds can be copied is what has led to the genres growth in recent years.

Speaking in front of a live audience at SXSW in Austin, Texas yesterday (March 13), Deadmau5 appeared under his real name of Joel Zimmerman and said that a lot of the successful electronic musicians in America are not doing anything to further the genre, choosing to keep everything sounding close to what came before it. “The songs sound the same,” said Zimmerman, adding that the music was “cookie-cutter stuff”.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the producer went on to say: “I’m surprised the record companies that sign these people aren’t just going home and making the music themselves. Cut out the middleman.” Hawtin, meanwhile, added: “There’s a manual now. The attraction was doing something different. I had to do my own thing. The double-edged sword is taking a little bit of the life out of it. Maybe that’s why EDM is so big now. It’s homogenised.”

Elsewhere in the talk, Richie Hawtin shared his fear that artists in 2013 do not have the same control over their careers that he did when he first emerged. “My first record came out in 1990,” Hawtin said. “I had to slow burn. I don’t know if it’s as easy for the new artists to stay in control.”

Deadmau5 and Hawtin are among a number of artists speaking at this year’s SXSW. Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl will deliver the keynote speech today (March 14).