Electroween: A Retrospective of the Mix and Meaning

In Gaming, Music, News

Every year around this time Scott and I make a music mix called Electroween. Thoughout the years this mix has come to mean a lot to me. I want to share the beginnings of Electroween from my perspective.

Humble Beginnings

Scott and I met in college due to our love of music. We started off freshman year by stretching our wings as DJs at St. Norbert College Radio (WSNC at the time). However, our friendship did not truly blossom until sophomore year. It was evening and I was walking down the second-floor hall of my dorm when I heard music bumping from a corner room. It was a young and crazy Scott Werley practicing DJing with his digital turntables. Scott’s music attracted me like mythical sirens. Shortly I was introduced to the cliffs and sharp rocks of Infected Mushroom and Kaskade and my aural ship was wrecked upon a shore I have yet to escape. On that shore, Scott brought me the boon of mixing and DJing. With time we became more involved in WSNC radio. Eventually, we hosted multiple shows and became co-directors of the station.

Enter ELECTROWEEN

Scott started Electroween in 2009 during our senior year. In many ways, Electroween is the connection between our pre and post-collegiate selves. I still remember the last mix before we started our collaboration.

I was living in a small two bedroom apartment with my now ex and a roommate. Scott gave me the zip file of Electroween 2010 via Dropbox which I loaded onto my light blue iPod shuffle. Over the next few weeks, I listened to it while running, driving or dancing in the mirror. Being an unnaturally rainy year in San Diego I fondly remember running in the rain, heart beating fast, with new and explosive music hitting my ears. I knew Scott had spent a lot of time putting together Electroween and I had always wanted to be a part of it. At that time I had been experimenting with Ableton, a music production software, and had slowly been making my own music and mixes with it. Scott floated the idea that the next Electroween we should collaborate on.

Collaboration begins!

The coverart for Electroween 2011 featuring the aforementioned pumpkin heads.

Electroween 2011 was a milestone for me. Skrillex released the Scary Monsters And Nice Spirits EP in fall of the previous year and it was just coming into the popular scene being featured on commercials for Uncharted 3 (a Playstation game). Scott and I based a lot of the 2011 mix around feelings Skrillex conveyed with his music. We used Ableton to mix and Dropbox to send music and mix files back and forth to produce Electroween 2011 in our bedroom “studios”. I visited Scott in Texas where we finished the mix together and worked on the artwork. We did a photoshoot, designing our pumpkin heads from freshly carved pumpkins. Scary and whimsical with a boatload of funk was the idea. I think we were pretty good at pulling it off too. We ended the mix with Skrillex’s song “With You Friends”. This song will remain a symbol of what the mix means to me.

As the years continued Electroween became a snapshot of our lives. In 2012 I was heavy into hip-hop and break dance from which I discovered Netsky. Scott and I dove into Skyrim, a critically acclaimed game, with reckless abandonment. Also, Scott just moved to the Bay area. This led Electroween 2K12 to have an adventurous and heavily funkified aspect to it.

The Future

Lots of growth has happened between then and now which is apparent to me with the direction Electroween has taken over the years. Electroween has always been a passion project. A project that seeks to give the listener an experience, connect them to new music and provide a narrative in musical form. It is also transformative for me, the producer. This year in particular I discovered an entirely new genre of music.

Since I was not originally involved with Electroween I have a unique perspective as a listener and producer. I remember looking forward to each and every one of Scott’s mixes (not just Electroween). If I am able to bring a fraction of the excitement I know Scott brought me, I will be happy. Electroween is a constant connection between Scott and I and I hope that connection leads to an explosive mix. I hope you can enjoy new and past Electroween mixes as much as I had listening to and producing them. I look forward to seeing you back here on Saturday, October 15th when Electroween 2016 is released. Don’t forget the Livestream airing on Twitch and YouTube Saturday, Oct. 15th at 12:00PM PST to celebrate the release of Electroween 2016. I will be playing several games that influenced Electroween as well as livestreaming the megamix (titled: Synthwave Down).

Have an amazing and fun Electroween!

Much love,

~ MK ~