13 Year Anniversary of 4x4=12
There are albums that define careers and ultimately, define genres. Today we’re celebrating the 13th anniversary of such an album, 4×4=12 by our very own deadmau5.
This was deadmau5’s fifth album in 5 years and it came at a time when he was becoming well established in the electronic scene. He was well known for some breakout tracks as well as his live shows – his trademark mouse helmet becoming an iconic symbol of his brand. In EDM he was a household name, part of a new era of young producers creating fusions from traditional house beats and innovative electronic sounds that have defined the genre ever since.
It was 4×4=12, released in 2010, that truly brought deadmau5 into the mainstream. It was the first of his albums to chart in Billboard’s Top 200, peaking in the Top 50. In the electronic category, it reached the number 2 spot. Both in American and Europe, the album pushed deadmau5 into new realms of success and helped bring electronic to a much wider audience that might not have engaged with the genre before. The album has since been certified Platinum in the US and Canada, and Gold in the UK.
Not only was 4×4=12 deadmau5’s biggest commercial breakthrough at the time, it also earned him his first Grammy Nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album. At a time when the music industry was still largely dominated by the old school, deamau5’s nomination was a sign of things to come, proof that things could be done a bit differently without sacrificing success.
Some Chords, the first single off the album, was a hit, but it was Raise Your Weapons, the final single off the album and co-written by Skrillex, that really blew up. The song debuted at 100 on Billboard’s Top 100 and was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 54th Grammy Awards where deadmau5 performed alongside David Guetta, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne and Foo Fighters.
deadmau5’s releases were also significant in their exclusive release on Beatport, an old friend of seven20. Beatport was properly coming into its own in 2010, having been established in 2004, and the huge demand for deadmau5’s singles brought them to prominence and was a key factor in the platform’s status in the electronic scene today.
13 years later, and 4×4=12 sounds as fresh as ever – a defining album in the electronic genre that gave us some iconic dance anthems. deadmau5 has never conformed to tradition when it comes to his music or how markets himself. This album and its Grammy nomination was a landmark moment and the start of deadmau5’s journey as an independent musician, culminating in his founding of his own label Mau5strap in 2015.
In 2023, with another Grammy nomination under his belt, it’s important to look back at where we came from and celebrate the wins which got us here.
Keep doing what you’ve been doing Joel. <3