Enter We Are Friends Vol. 2, in which many artists contribute tracks that bleed into one another and any song under six minutes is apparently considered a sin against the EDM gods. This is a compilation album from electro maven deadmau5, which features tracks from the artist’s favorite up-and-coming musicians. Despite the backing of one of electronic music’s biggest forces, few of the artists stand out as individuals and even contributions by the mau5 himself fall flat.

We Are Friends Vol. 2

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deadmau5
astralwerks


The album opens with “Suckfest9001,” a new track from deadmau5. The song’s feverish pulsation builds and builds before releasing into two minutes of a light, chilled-out rhythm, presumably the time when all the Molly-ed up teens take a breather from their overactive flailing. The track lacks individuality or any trigger causing it to be associated with deadmau5. It adheres to all the EDM tropes but refuses to exceed them in any capacity.

But maybe that’s the point. This isn’t a strictly deadmau5 album, comprised of new, game-changing material, but a record where he gives lesser known artists their time to shine. Unfortunately, few rise to the occasion.

“Lekture,” a track contributed by mau5-christened newbie, Eekkoo, sounds straight out of the “Suckfest9001” mold. It begins with a heavy beat before stripping down to a simple, repetitive loop, before charging back up again. The never-changing sounds make the track morph into droning noise you forget is playing in the background. However, “Lekture” clocks in below the five-minute mark, which is admirable.

James Njie, an electro artist from London, contributes “In Transit,” a track which offers more variation but still doesn’t completely avoid falling victim to the simple methods plaguing the album. While Njie alternates between uptempo, pounding beats and flowing whimsical breaks much smoother than others on the album, the song’s repetitiveness becomes mundane and exhausting well before it’s over after seven minutes and 22 seconds. Why are these songs so long?

However, some manage to break free of the seemingly predetermined algorithm for the album. Pasadena-based Heat Maxwell’s “FreakShow” features samples and an aggressive beat that further embellish the track. As one of the few tracks that could be identified as its own, refusing to bleed into the song to follow, Heat Maxwell comes off as one of the artists with potential on the record — something that seems disappointingly rare for the album.

For a release marked with the intentions of showing off new EDM talent, We Are Friends Vol. 2 instead gives a lackluster view of electronic music’s future, where all the beats sound the same and the songs never end. Seriously, why are these songs so damn long?

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