TESTPILOT: Unveiling the Darker Side of deadmau5

Written by Ted Abeyta | Photo Courtesy of Falcon Publicity

deadmau5, AKA TESTPILOT, AKA Joel Zimmerman, is in a class of his own. If you’re into the electronic music scene, you probably already knew that. If not, well, then maybe you’ve heard of the electronic music artist that wears a giant mouse mask/helmet sometimes. It’s pretty iconic and a beloved symbol world-wide. As deadmau5, Zimmerman is a super star for his take on progressive-house and electronic music as a whole. He’s revolutionized the industry with his unique production style and chart-topping hits. deadmau5 is basically a house-hold name at this point. So who is TESTPILOT then, you’re wondering?

TESTPILOT is Zimmerman’s dark alter ego that he uses to unleash hardcore techno and drum & bass rhythms on festivals and clubs. You can forget the deadmau5 you’re familiar with. TESTPILOT is a completely new experience that rivals the intensity of techno lords Adam Beyer and Eli Brown. Fans can expect to be taken on a mythic journey with an aggressive setlist guaranteed to shock and awe regular deadmau5 listeners. With selections like “Elemental” by Secret Cinema & Egbert, “Push The Throttle” by Hertz, “Homage” by Volatile Cycle, or even the tantalizing possibility of a TESTPILOT remix of a deadmau5 favorite, attendees are in for a rare treat.

Moreover, the production setup for TESTPILOT shows is distinctively different. Instead of the iconic LED mau5head or his amazing cube stage that illuminates deadmau5 performances, TESTPILOT opts for a more stripped-down, no-frills setup, focusing purely on the music and its raw energy. The absence of flashy visuals and elaborate stage setups places the emphasis squarely on the music, reinforcing the immersive experience for all those lucky to be in attendance.

But why the need for an alter ego? This isn’t exactly new for DJs looking to expand their horizons. Mega-stars Dillon Francis and Eric Prydz also perform harder techno sets under the pseudonyms DJ Hanzel and Cerez D, respectively. For Zimmerman, TESTPILOT is not just a side project but a distinct avenue to explore his darker side, stripped from the constraints and expectations often associated with the deadmau5 brand. This alter ego allows him to connect with a different segment of fans and showcase his versatility as an artist beyond his status as deadmau5.

In recent years, TESTPILOT has gained significant traction in the electronic dance world, headlining major festivals and underground events alike, including Coachella, Shambhala, EDC, and most recently this Friday at Sound nightclub in Los Angeles. Zimmerman is also starting to collaborate with other techno-heads under the TESTPILOT project. His performance at Ultra Miami last year was in collaboration with the world-renowned Oliver Heldens, who also maintains his own dark techno outlet, Hi-Lo, to produce his more serious tracks. We can only gush at the thought of who TESTPILOT will work with next. The buzz around this alter ego continues to grow, solidifying Zimmerman’s place not just as deadmau5 but also as one of the top DJs in the world.

While deadmau5 remains a cornerstone in the electronic dance scene, TESTPILOT serves as Zimmerman’s vehicle to explore its darker, more visceral side. It’s a testament to his versatility and commitment to pushing boundaries, ensuring that fans old and new have something unique to experience, regardless of the name he chooses to perform under. TESTPILOT is undeniably a master of his craft and techno fans who hadn’t considered this version of Zimmerman better take note. We can’t wait to see who TESTPILOT collaborates with next and we eagerly look forward to his next club takeover. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss!

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