Deadmau5 Wiki
Deadmau5 Wiki

Template:Infobox Record Label

Play Records is a Canadian independent record label founded by Melleefresh and her son, DJ Spydabrown[1], in 1996. The label releases music from house, electronic, and other dance genres.

The company consists of Play Deep Studios, a UK-based recording studio, Play Digital for digital music releases, and Play Records Publishing, which handles licensing for commercial, film, and television productions, including compilation deals.


In 2005, Joel Zimmerman joined Play Records after Melleefresh noticed his web design business and invited him to help expand her label. Zimmerman agreed and revamped the label's entire website. However, because Zimmerman was keen on pursuing music, he began to release songs on the label that same year. Zimmerman would then go on to assist Melleefresh in creating the sublabel Play Digital.

Before releasing solo material he started with remixes, with his first being "Americana" (deadmau5 Remix) released on 29 November 2005.[2] He also remixed two songs by Melleefresh, "Beautiful, Rich and Horny" and "The Money". While his remix of "The Money" featured a breakbeat sound in line with Get Scraped[3], the remix of "Beautiful, Rich and Horny" was an electro house track which Zimmerman considered his first good house production. According to Zimmerman in an 2008 interview with the DJ Times, this remix caught the attention of Pete Tong, who later played a role in boosting Zimmerman's popularity.[4]

He began releasing original material in late 2006, with his first single being "Full Bloom." This was quickly followed by collaborations with Melleefresh, Billy Newton-Davis, and his second studio album Vexillology. By 2007, Zimmerman decided that Play Records was no longer beneficial for his growing career. He started networking with the management company 24 Management and also established his own record label, Mau5trap Recordings. At the same time, he kept releasing new songs and collaborations throughout the year.

On 5 April 2008, two deadmau5 songs from the Play Records' catalog were nominated for Juno Awards: "Afterhours" and "All U Ever Want" as Dance Recording of the Year, with the latter winning the award.

In 2008, Zimmerman wanted to officially end his management deal with Melody, so he gave up ownership of productions made between 2006 and 2008, including the single "Faxing Berlin." He also paid an undisclosed amount to the label owner to be released from the contract.

Over the next seven years, Play Records released five DJ mix albums featuring unreleased and/or remixed music by deadmau5. These albums were known as the At Play series.


In October 2015, Zimmerman filed a multi million-dollar lawsuit against Play Records for breach of contract regarding tracks he had previously transferred ownership of. Play Records started releasing unauthorized remixes of his early music and unfinished work, contrary to their contract which required Zimmerman's prior consent for such actions.

By May 2016, Play Records and Zimmerman reached an agreement, allowing the label to retain rights to over 100 early deadmau5 tracks. However, the agreement stated that the label could not create any new remixes or mashups based on these tracks. While the dispute was resolved amicably, Zimmerman still appears to harbor criticisms over the management of Play Records.

The first track to be re-released by Play Records after the dispute was "Desynchronized," which came out on 20 June 2016. This release was not publicized by deadmau5 or mau5trap.


  • To this day, the record label is quite strict when it comes to users re-uploading Zimmerman's old work online.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Play Records does not have ownership of "Jaded" because "Faxing Berlin" was not originally released with the B-side. The licensing issues surrounding the track may be related to the Cinnamon Flava re-release instead.