Since launching in 2007, Deadmau5’s label, Mau5trap, has become a leading dance world tastemaker, having helped break artists including Rezz, Attlas and i_0 while dropping music by genre stars such as Skrillex, Dillon Francis, Noisa and, of course, the label boss himself.
On Monday (March 1), Mau5trap is expanding its sound and offerings with the launch of a new house-oriented imprint, which, naturally, they’re calling calling Hau5trap. This subsidiary will service artists within the global house scene and expand serve as a home for fun, dancefloor oriented sounds that don’t quite fit on Mau5trap, which has long dealt in darker, harder sounds.
The first Hau5trap release comes Friday (March 4) with “Hiiigh,” a new single by Australian mainstay Tommy Trash and vocalist Daisy Guttridge. (This single follows their 2019 collaboration “Let Me Go” with mau5trap artist, i_o and serves to honor the producer, who passed away in November at age 30.)
Helping oversee the project is Deadmau5’s longtime manager Dean Wilson, who says Hau5trap releases will come at a slower pace than they do over at Mau5trap, so the team can go further with the A&R and marketing of each release.
“It’s a depth over width mentality,” says Wilson. “The release calendar is developed into the summer, but we’ve left room to find records that feel urgent and immediate.”
Here, Wilson discusses the label launch, and why listeners should anticipate a progressive house renaissance.
Why is this the right moment for a house sub-label, particularly with the house revival having been a phenomenon for years now?
The timing on Hau5trap is really organic. Late last year, one of our artists turned in a track that we absolutely loved — one of the best things they’ve done — but we all agreed that it was outside the Mau5trap sound. Between that, and the increasing amount of house demos we were hearing on a daily basis, we decided a sibling label was the best way to continue and expand the Mau5trap mandate of discovering and developing the next generation of electronic talent.
What kind of house artists is hau5trap looking to work with? What makes someone’s sound right for the label?
The sound we’re aiming at is “fun and uplifting.” Obviously it has to fit into the house world, but there’s no hard edges on the criteria. We’re looking for all sorts — from newcomers all the way to seasoned producers, from all corners of the world. Looking at the line-up for the next few months, there’s not a single North American artist in there.
Obviously there are many styles of house music. Are there a few in particular that hau5trap will lean into?
Despite clubs being closed, we’re leaning towards more playable, dancefloor driven tunes. There’s already lots of great, genre specific labels — we’ll leave it to them to what they do best. We’re looking for timeless grooves, compelling production, and all out great songwriting.
Can you tell us more about what artists will be involved?
Our Aussie friend Tommy Trash is the first release out the gate, and right behind will be British producer Jay Robinson, who smashed it out the park last year with his “Pomegranate” remix. I don’t want to give away too much more just yet, but you can expect both familiar faces and new ones.
Should we expect house-oriented releases from deadmau5 himself?
When it comes to anything Deadmau5, you should always expect the unexpected.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I’d say it’s about time progressive house made a comeback. 2012 was a great year, don’t you think?