Mrotek – Summary
- Genre: Raw Hardstyle (rawstyle)
- Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
- Signed with DWX Anarchy – raw sub-label of Dirty Workz Records
- 2.8k likes on Facebook profile https://www.facebook.com/MrotekDJ/
- 1k followers on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mrotek_media/
- 300~ followers on Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/mrotekdj
- Playing in HTX on December 29th – https://www.facebook.com/events/490263074677492/
Welcome to the first ever edition of On the Radar Artist of the Month! This series will focus on producers with high quality sound and track development that we feel are under-recognized and should be garnering more attention than they currently are.
This month’s artist is a raw hardstyle producer located out of Scottsdale, Arizona who has not only played alongside some of the most recognizable names in hard dance, but is signed to one of the largest labels in the genre. He has even performed at the absolutely insane Basson: Wasteland show that took place in April of this year, which speaks volumes about his quality of work and how much potential he holds.
Mrotek has begun to gain traction in the United States hard dance scene with his original tracks, remixes, and insane live mixing. However, his social media stats don’t fit with the in-person attention he receives at shows and festivals. After reviewing his work, I truly believe it is only a matter of time before his name and music become recognizable by everyone who is a true hard dance fan.
Music Production – Originals and Remixes
Released early in 2017, Mrotek’s original production “Slaves to the Clock” with MC Heretik on Dirty Workz is frantic, sinister, and foreboding. With complex builds, powerful drops, and lyrics that give the listener a general sense of anxiety (as if the future wasn’t already terrifying enough), “Slaves to the Clock” comes full circle to become a future anthem at raw style sets and hard dance festivals. Listen to it on Soundcloud below:
While not an original production, “To Hell” deserves attention and recommendation. Mrotek & Deimos collaborated on the Sub Sonik track to win the WE R Raw remix competition, which is well deserved. Their rendition is simple in its dedication to the raw style sounds, but it is so high energy that it is almost impossible to resist dancing along. The bass line is heavy and voluminous, perfect for any good sound system to carry through a room. Mrotek & Deimos’s remix is noteworthy, and should be considered a highlight of their 2017 works. Check out the winning remix on Soundcloud below:
Mrotek was given the honor of producing the anthem for the Black Magic music festival that took place this past October. Aptly named “Daedra,” released on Dirty Workz, the song is dark and terrifying; exactly what you would expect for a festival taking place on Friday the 13th in October. With ominous mids and energetic synths, Mrotek’s song builds tension alongside eerie vocals. The drops are both heavy and exciting, with enough momentum to keep you moving through each second. Overall the tune is wicked and unrelenting, perfect for a Halloween festival. Check out this killer tune on Soundcloud below:
Asking Mrotek a few questions about his music past, current works, and what we can expect from him in the future, he was an absolute pleasure to speak with. He uses nerdy references, his metal background, and his friends in the scene as inspiration and motivation to continue his warpath in the rawstyle genre.
Do you remember the song you heard or where you were when you first fell in love with hard dance music?
I was at a rave in early 2010 at this venue in Phoenix that had an exceptional sound system compared to other venues back in the day. At the time I was more of a Happy Hardcore kid and was venturing all around the party as ravers tend to do. I went with my good friend who was into Hardstyle. When I found him inside, Samara by Noisecontrollers was playing, and it stopped me in my tracks. I remember hearing the synth and thinking it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard. I was hooked.
If there was one festival in the world that you could play, what would be your dream choice?
Hard Bass. Hands down. My friends and I have a Hard Bass viewing party every year; that event is sacred to us. Plus, the lineup is super exclusive. It would be just about the biggest honor to play, next to Qlimax.
Do you have a particular source of inspiration, like a close friend or artist that you admire?
Each track has a different inspiration, but it’s usually all dark. Either personal experiences, or some sinister fantasy that hit me just right (Skyrim, Star Wars, Mass Effect, LOTR, etc.). Other genres of music can lead to inspiration as well.
As far as people that inspire me, there are 2 peers that I respect and look up to a lot; Digital Mindz & Riiho. We all push each other to improve with every track and talk a lot about production regularly. We are the ultimate nerdy DWXAnarchy trifecta.
As far as bigger artists that inspire me, Delete and Regain are my heroes. They came from a country outside of The Netherlands, learned how to produce and develop a sound the hard way on their own, succeeded and pioneered a successful sound that blew up, and now both are very successful global artists. They have done exactly what I’m trying to do.
What challenges (if any) have you faced as a hard dance producer in the United States?
Honestly, there haven’t been many. A lot of people think that the rest of the world judges U.S. artists harshly because we have had very few decent artists in our history in Hardstyle, but I haven’t found this to be true really. If it’s good music, no one cares where the artist is from.
For sure the biggest challenge has been with shows. There just aren’t enough of them in the States compared to other countries. Plus playing in [The Netherlands] is much more difficult while living here. However, this year I’ve seen more parties of better quality than previous years. Fingers crossed that this trend continues throughout 2018!
Is there one show you have played that really stood out as your best / favorite performance to date?
Oh man, that’s a tough one! One that will forever stand out to me was Phobia 2015 in Mesa, AZ. The Wicked, Arctus, MC Heretik and I did a massive tag set for the prime slot. That was probably the hardest a crowd has ever gone for the entire set for me. That was a special night I’ll never forget.
But for sure my favorite show I’ve ever played was my most recent Basscon party which was the L.A. stop for Radical Redemption’s “Road to Redemption” tour. Everything was incredibly on-point, top notch lighting and sound, sick venue, was UNREAL playing with the guys from MIM all night, but most of all what made that party for me was that every single person in the crowd wanted the heavy shit. This is SUCH a big deal to me, because that means I can play the tracks I love the most and it will do well for the party. No matter the event or lineup, if you’re booking me, you are going to hear some filth. It’s so nice playing for a crowd that actually craves filth. That show was way too much fun!
You have played a number of large shows this year and made some original tracks. With that in mind, how do you feel looking back over all of 2017?
It was really a huge year for me. Signing with Dirty Works, playing on so many amazing shows, releasing a nice bunch of tracks that I’m happy with, the chance to work with some really great artists, and most importantly my fan base has really developed into something that moves me almost every day. It was definitely a success! But from 2017-2027, I hope 2017 will have been my slowest year.
What can audiences expect from you going forward in 2018? Any big plans in the works?
There are some cool looking gig opportunities coming up for early 2018, and we’ll see what comes for later in the year. Sometime in 2018 I plan on releasing another sample pack as well.
As far as tracks go, I have 7 collabs and 3 solo tracks planned to finish before festival season 2018. These solo tracks will be debut a totally new sound for me too, which is quite different. Still dark & heavy; I can’t say much so you’ll have to wait and see. It’s going to be a great year I can tell. But first we have to finish 2017 in style. See you on the 29th Houston!
Overall, Mrotek is lacking in social media attention but has set himself up as a quality producer and artist. With more original tracks and performances in the future, Mrotek will continue to grow as a name in the hard dance genre. As time goes on, it would not be surprising to see him performing at shows across the United States and international.
Author addition: Personally, I cannot wait to see Mrotek at his show in Houston on December 29th, hosted by High Fidelity Entertainment. Since this is technically a free show, but they are accepting donations, there is essentially no reason for the hard dance locals to miss this future star. I look forward to seeing Mrotek and all of those in the hard dance scene in a few weeks.