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Testpilot is the techno-driven alias of Joel Zimmerman. It was first used in 2014, and has since released two singles and four DJ mixes.


On 13 March 2012, Zimmerman posted three demos to his SoundCloud account, experimenting with minimal techno. In the descriptions of these tracks, he showed an interest in the genre, stating, Yup. It's minimal. Subtle changes over long periods of time. That's pretty much the point. Looking for a "drop"? No, not all my tracks are same, I like to switch it up...  However, these tracks were quickly removed within two days.

One year later, on 12 March 2013, the alias had a soft launch with a back-to-back set alongside Richie Hawtin at SXSW 2013.[1][1] Following their set, the two were interviewed, during which Zimmerman further expressed his interest in playing techno:[2]

I do it all the time, but I don't force it like I have to remove this big stigma of this mouse head and all the hits that got me where I am today. I should be proud of that, and I am, but as a listener I've always aspired to be a little more underground, a little more technical, less big room sound that's eating up all the market with these palatable hits. I listen to techno, to dubby old stuff, and I like it, so I play it. I don't force it. But it's nice to know I can break out of the mouse head and not play 'Ghosts N' Stuff' and maybe take the tiny snippet of that vocal and slip it on dirty drive. I like listening to that. That's what gets me moving, not the puppy mill stuff.

On 31 March 2014, Testpilot made its official debut with the single "Sunspot" (White Space Conflict). At the time, it seemed Zimmerman wanted to keep this identity a secret, as he mentioned to a fan that he had already released several tracks under an alias but wouldn't reveal the name.[3]  This may be further supported by the fact that Testpilot did not recieve any social media accounts until early 2017, and did not become active until 2019.

Despite having a limited discography, the Testpilot alias has been able to headline both major festivals and underground events, including Coachella, Shambhala, EDC, and Sound Nightclub.[4] However, he went a decade without releasing any original music until 12 July 2024, when he released "Wet".



  • "Sunspot (White Space Conflict)" (2014)
  • "Wet" (2024)

Mix Albums[]

  • Richie Hawtin vs. deadmau5 (aka testpilot) - Live @ SXSW 2013 (2014)
  • Live at Electric Forest 2018 (2019)
  • TESTPILOT at Escape: Psycho Circus 2019 (2019)
  • Testpilot at EDC Las Vegas 2021: Neon Garden Stage (2021)


  • Testpilot was meant to be a placeholder name, until Zimmerman started receiving logo designs from his record label.[5]
  • Unlike his deadmau5 persona, Zimmerman plays tracks by other techno artists during Testpilot performances. He also forgoes the iconic mau5head and Cube booth setup, focusing solely on the music.
  • "FALL" was once speculated to be a Testpilot release.
  • In 2021, an EP by Testpilot titled Deligate was hinted at through an NFT teaser shared on SuperRare. [6]



  1. "2013 debuts techno alter-ego TESTPILOT at SXSW with b2b with Richie Hawtin" (
  2. "SXSW 2013: Deadmau5, Richie Hawtin Join Forces As Talking, Performing EDM Voltron" (
  3. "Deadmau5 Releases Track Under Testpilot Alter Ego on Richie Hawtin's Plus 8" (
  4. "TESTPILOT: Unveiling the Darker Side of deadmau5"
  5. "Kat Calls: deadmau5 x Carl Cox -- Interview"
  6. Testpilot - deligate