i_o is the next notch in the long line of dance music prodigies curated by deadmau5 and his mau5trap domain. The smoldering techno producer’s latest EP on the label, entitled House of God, sees the burgeoning young talent perpetuate his driving, tongue-in-cheek niche in the exciting middle ground between fundamental genres.
As an imprint, mau5trap has never conformed to any preconceived standards of dance music. Following the lead of its founder, mau5trap releases live on either side of the line; alternating between everything from deep techno to upbeat house. With this latest EP, i_o proves he can toy with that line as easily as jumping rope.
The release begins with “Possession.” This track has been inflicting damage in clubs and festivals around the world all year long. It’s punchy kicks and deep grooves solidify its techno identity, but its boiler-plate voice work and accented drop make it an easily digestible fit for any crowd with a penchant for preternatural dancefloor activity.
“House of God” leans heavily on i_o’s darker inclinations, with an oscillating arpeggio sweeping across the duration of the track. A stark contrast from “Ghost in the Machine,” which borrows both its name and its inherent funkiness from the distinguished 1981 LP by The Police.
To close is “Come with Me,” i_o’s collaboration with mau5trap labelmate, Raito. This track defines all the best aspects of a techno track. Nothing happens immediately. New melodic and sonic ideas enter gradually, taking listeners on a journey which is fitting considering both producers involved are merely just beginning to embark on elevated aural adventures themselves.
Stream the full EP below
Cover photo by Alexandria Alvarez