deadmau5’s breakthrough hit “Faxing Berlin” turns ten years old
If ever there was a track which could define an era in dance music it would be the legendary “Faxing Berlin” from deadmau5. The 2006 single was one of the first released by the Canadian and dropped on Play Records to very little fanfare at the time. An almost 9 minute long progressive house instrumental track, it went very much un-noticed by the world until a year later whn long-time friend of deadmau5, Chris Lake sent the track to the legend Pete Tong who hammered the track consistently on his infamous Radio 1 show and the rest, as they say, is history. The track propelled deadmau5 into the limelight and after a string of Beatport number 1’s he soon developed into the electronic music pioneer he is today.
Today, Faxing Berlin turns ten years old.
If it wasn’t for the intervention of Chris Lake, there’s quite a good chance that many of us wouldn’t know who deadmau5 is never mind have heard “Faxing Berlin”, Joel himself said in a 2009 interview that he was about “one week away from stopping music altogether” before Lake gave the track to Tong. Luckily, the track was a massive global success and the now infamous “deadmau5 pluck” which first appeared in this track was imitated thousands of times by many different artists after the success of this tune as well as others of a similar fashion by the mau5.
Clocking in at just under 9 minutes, the track nails the concept of “less is more” and keeps everything relatively simple for its duration. Involving a nice 4/4 rhythmic pattern and that cowbell sample, the song was easy to groove to, but the real draw of the track was in its chord progression. A relatively simple musical idea which repeats itself over the length of the track, the emotional quality of the chords is unreal and works in a way which doesn’t come across as cheesy. It’s as uplifting as it is melancholic which is why it worked so, so well. The progression in the track itself is also incredibly impressive and shows off Joel’s remarkable skills as a producer and engineer. There are a number of small elements which slowly come and go during the track which can easily go un-noticed, but without them the track may have appeared stale.
The incredible yet simple production and well thought out, emotional and also pleasing chords made this an absolutely massive track. It was hammered by everyone from Tiesto to Mark Knight. It began deadmau5’s journey to the top of electronic music and is well considered by man to be one of his best tracks, if not one of the best tracks ever released during the 00s. It’s a track which worked at almost any time and fit’s any emotion, and that is why it’s one of the best electronic tracks ever: