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BSOD, also known as Better Sounding On Drugs, is an American-Canadian electro house duo comprised of Joel Zimmerman and Steve Duda. The group first formed during 2005, who have since released one studio album, three singles, and three extended plays.

History[]

BSOD was formed in 2005, before Duda and Zimmerman met face-to-face. In order to collaborate, Duda relocated from his residence in Los Angeles, California, to Zimmerman's home in Toronto, Ontario. Initially, they intended to form an industrial band. However, this plan was quickly abandoned since both Zimmerman and Duda had prior experience working with industrial bands, Orgy and Nine Inch Nails respectively, and thought it would get boring repeating the same concept.[1] Zimmerman was the one who suggested they should tackle dance music, to which Duda agreed because it seemed easy to make fun of.

The name BSOD (typically computer jargon for Blue Screen of Death) was chosen by the group following the creation of their song "Better Sounding On Drugs", which the pair claim their acronym stands for.

In 2006, the duo wrote their first release "This Is The Hook", considering it a "hilarious parody of the formulaic extreme of dance music". Notably, the song's lyrics guide the listener through the track's progression, using vocals provided by a text-to-speech voice generator. The single was released under Play Records and swiftly climbed to the top of the Beatport Top 100 that year. It later appeared on Zimmerman's 2008 album At Play. Additionally, the single's B-side, "This Is Also The Hook", was featured on 2009's At Play Vol. 2.

They were surprised when the track reached number one on Beatport for a brief period. This success made them both consider pursuing dance music seriously, despite initially seeing it as below their skill level. Originally, both members were into making music inspired by artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Aphex Twin, and Squarepusher. However, Zimmerman was low on money at the time, so he saw continuing with dance music as a smart decision.[2]

By late 2006, the duo had independently released their debut studio album, Play Here To Click. This album, primarily comprising electro house with elements of progressive house, featured the track "Bitches," which was also included on the 2006 deadmau5 album, A Little Oblique. Furthermore, the pair garnered additional recognition in 2006 for their remix of Christina Aguilera's "Hurt."

In 2007, Duda founded Xfer Records and signed BSOD to the label. The label witnessed the release of two EPs: Played Out and Last Life. The following year, the duo released "Milton" as a single, alongside by Duda's solo remix of the track.

In May 2008, Zimmerman and Duda attended the Winter Music Conference wearing custom-made BSOD shirts. It was there they encountered Benny Benassi, who commended their work on "This is the Hook." While they appreciated the compliments, they also realized they had reached a point of no return with their music garnering attention from notable figures such as Benassi, Chris Lake and Pete Tong.

In 2008, Duda's return to Los Angeles led to a hiatus for the group. Duda's inclination to work behind the scenes and develop software for producers instead of pursuing stardom was one of the reasons for the break. Zimmerman, although sharing a similar outlook, stayed committed to releasing music. However, Zimmerman hinted at the possibility of future BSOD projects, stating, "we may do some more BSOD stuff in the future [...] and we’re still working on software together" in a 2009 biography.

Four years later, Duda hinted at the return of the group, stating in a Reddit AMA "there will be more BSOD, we have both unreleased and unfinished tracks".[3] In 2013, the track "Super Breakfast" was released on the mau5trap compilation album, We Are Friends, Vol. 2. On January 4th, 2014, the track "Tilt" was made available to all access members of live.deadmau5.com.

On March 30th, 2020, the deadmau5 Twitter accounted posted a teaser hinting at new BSOD music. After six years of inactivity, the pair released the No Way, Get Real EP on April 10th, 2020.


Discography[]

Albums[]

  1. Pay Here To Click (2006)

EPs[]

  1. Played Out (2007)
  2. Last Life EP (2008)
  3. No Way, Get Real (2020)

Singles[]

  1. "This Is The Hook" (2006)
  2. "Milton" (2008)
  3. "Super Breakfast" (2013)

Other[]

  1. "Tilt" (2014)

Trivia[]

  • Before its proper release, "Tilt" was previously included in the soundtrack of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
    • "Tilt" was also made in 2006, which means it took eight years for it to be released.
  • Play Records had planned to release a BSOD album which has since been renamed Do Not Release. However, they were unable to proceed because Duda discovered the plans and issued takedown notices due to owning 50% of the rights to the music.
    • Songs from this album have been leaked to YouTube.
  • In a 2008 interview with ILikeMusic, Zimmerman mentioned that he hates the track "A Bit Sketchy".[4]

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. "Deadmau5 | SRS #91", YouTube, January 8, 2024.
  2. "Biography", deadmau5.com (via Internet Archive), February 9, 2010.
  3. "I am Steve Duda. AMA about EDM Production.", Reddit, August 24, 2012.
  4. "Deadmau5 chats to ilikemusic", ILikeMusic (via Internet Archive), 2008.
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