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Deadmau5’s Nine Inch Nails Remix Is Surprisingly Subtle

Canadian DJ/producer recasts 2007's electro-rock frenzy 'Survivalism' as ominous slow-burner

picture-18576-1373300776Marc Hogan // July 17, 2012

Joel Zimmerman isn’t resting on his piles of OMG-EDM-is-taking-over think pieces. When not going on refreshingly honest rants or picking short-lived pop-star fights, the Candian producer known as Deadmau5 has been stepping beyond expected stereotypes. Take the amniotic dubstep of his Mau5trap imprint’s latest release by Foreign Beggars, for instance.

Deadmau5’s newly surfaced remix of Nine Inch Nails’ “Survivalism,” a manic electro-rocker originally from 2007’s Year Zero, is only Zimmerman’s latest meaningful cross-genre hybrid, following a theatrical team-up with My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way and an, OK, somewhat less surprising guest verse from Cypress Hill. Rather than, say, add a stomping club-pop backing track a la latest video selection “The Veldt,” though, the ‘mau5 actually, well, carves out more space — and more room for foreboding — on the seething NIN track. “I’ve got revisionism,” fumes Trent Reznor, who, like the current crop of North American dance producers, knows how to make geeky electronics sound muscular.