And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week Releases

Beef Of The Week #354: Deadmau5 v Calvin Harris

By | Published on Friday 12 May 2017

Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris announced his new album this week. Although you may have missed that Harris himself was involved under the weight of guest vocalists he’s brought in for the project. But, while amassing around 80% of all the big names in pop may seem like an exciting prospect for some, Deadmau5 is not amused.

If this bit of release news passed you by, due for release on 30 Jun, ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1′ is scheduled to feature Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, Kehlani, Future, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean, John Legend, Khalid, Migos, Schooboy Q, Ariana Grande, Yung Thug, DRAM, Nicki Minaj, Lil Yachty, Jessie Reyez, Partynextdoor and Snoop Dogg.

“Anyone ever remember when Calvin Harris was just… Calvin Harris?” tweeted Deadmau5, upon seeing the guestlist. “Who the fuck are all these other people? Like… why?”

Before you answer any of those clearly rhetorical questions, Deadmau5 was back with answers himself, saying: “Fucking hate watching what I love to do get raped by popular culture for the sake of selling stupid shit for stupid people”.

You hear that, Calvin Harris fans? If you came to the party after the first two Calvin Harris-only albums you are a stupid person who likes stupid shit. I assume that’s what Deadmau5 means, because Calvin Harris stopped being “just… Calvin Harris” circa 2012, with the release of his third album ’18 Months’. It was very collab-heavy too – Harris having sworn off being a frontman – and is also by far his most successful album to date. You’d think Deadmau5 might have noticed.

Still, that album only had eleven guests on it. This new one has nineteen, maybe more. It is a bit excessive. Deadmau5 joked that his next project would be “Deadmau5 feat Barry Manilow feat Gloria Gaynor feat Ghostface Killah feat REO Speedwagon feat Garth Brooks feat a potato feat Steve Nash”. Imagine if he could get all those people (and the potato) in a room together though.

Still, I think the point he’s making is that Calvin Harris’s success is these days is largely based on the good names of others, rather than his own talent. “I personally like that I’ve managed to do everything myself”, he continued. “I wouldn’t trade that for a million album sales. Some would. I’m not anti-collab. Works well when it works well. But fuck, some of this shit just reeks of ‘I gotta do this to stay on top’ not ‘art'”.

That’s probably is a valid criticism of Harris’s work in more recent years – it having been largely stripped of the personality he filled those first two albums with. But, hey, we’ve not heard this album yet. Maybe it’s a solid gold work of cohesive art, where each collaboration makes absolute sense. After all, no one’s calling out Damon Albarn enlisting 97 guests on the new Gorillaz album.

Also, the short clip in the teaser video Harris made available this week is a far cry from the fairly run of the mill EDM he’s been putting out in recent years. This could be Calvin’s masterpiece.

Sure, the title, ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1’, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but that’s just the sort of thing Calvin Harris would do to blindside us. And that’s the sort of thing Deadmau5 should approve of, he being fairly keen on half-arsed album titles himself. Come on Harris, don’t let us down.

Deadmau5’s most successful single to date, if you were wondering, is ‘Ghosts N Stuff’, featuring Pendulum’s Rob Swire.