Maybe it’s the sci-fi implications of computer-generated beats or the prevalence of masks in dance-heavy rituals worldwide, but electronic music producers’ deep love of wacky disguises, multiple aliases, and trumped-up backstories is one of the genre’s most consistent affectations. I’m sure there’s a grad school thesis or two out there on the subject. I just wish we could all go the way of the post-disco, bleep-bleep generation—throw on a robot helmet, asked to be called Doctor Rockit every other Tuesday, and let our work speak for itself.
The newest addition to the fanciful world of DJ-identity lore comes cares of Glasgow’s Numbers label and Deejay Deer, whose Natur 12-inch debuted this week. According to Numbers, Mr. Deer lives in the Bavarian wilderness, hides in the woods to protect himself from “all the fake producers in the city,” and is a forest-dwelling animal.
Whether Deejay Deer is a novice or an old pro working under alias (or, sure, Bambi), it’s clear that the past 30 years of dance music hasn’t passed him by. Both the “Natural” and “Unnatural” tracks available for streaming are solid, well-constructed nods to the house and techno classics that came before them. The hi-hats are in place, and the simple, recurring course of “Give Yourself Away” could have just as easily been sung by Sylvester in 1978 or on a Roy Davis Jr. production in 1996.
They’re pretty, straight-ahead dance tracks for pretty, straight-ahead mammals.