It’s been 10 years since Deadmau5 released ‘Faxing Berlin’
On this day ten years ago, a budding producer by the name of Joel Zimmerman released his first official single. The song was Faxing Berlin and the man behind it was, of course, Deadmau5, taking his first steps toward superstardom.
It’s hard to imagine what electronic music would look like today if Faxing Berlin hadn’t been a hit, but back in 2006, the track almost didn’t make it out at all. “I was about one week away from stopping music altogether,” Deadmau5 reflected in a 2009 interview. “Then my now good friend Chris Lake came over to work with me and helped me get my shit together and asked his management if they would help me. And here we are today. It was close.”
“[Zabiela and Fanciulli] said to Pete Tong ‘You got to check this guy out and play his stuff’. So he did. And Faxing Berlin was born” – Deadmau5
As legend has it, Lake passed Faxing Berlin on to Pete Tong, who promptly channelled Radio 1’s massive power behind the track, transforming Joel into an almost-overnight star. But in another 2009 interview – this time with inthemix – Zimmerman said the James Zabiela and Nic Fanciulli deserve as much credit as Chris Lake. “[They] said to Pete Tong ‘You got to check this guy out and play his stuff’. So he did. And Faxing Berlin was born,” Joel said.
As for Faxing Berlin‘s legacy? As well as becoming a worldwide hit, the track also sparked the great FruityLoops controversy of 2008, when a producer used a sample of the riff from Faxing Berlin that came bundled with FL Studio and promptly found himself threatened with legal action. When it was re-released close to a year later, Faxing Berlin also marked the first ever release on mau5trap, a label that was then in its infancy.
In the years after the track came out, inthemix asked Joel if he thought luck had played any role in his success. “None,” he answered. “I would like to think so, anyway. I work very hard and have a great team around me who also work very hard. It’s about building something people can get into and love and feel they are a part of. The fans have been amazing and without them it would have never happened.”
So if you’ve been with Deadmau5 since day one, give yourself a pat on the back and revisit Faxing Berlin below – after all these years, it still sounds just as good.