Behind The Brand: Mauricio Viana & Rene Weffer / Electronic Groove | Soundspace

Behind The Brand: Mauricio Viana & Rene Weffer / Electronic Groove

Behind The Brand: Electronic Groove / Mauricio Viana & Rene Weffer

The team at Electronic Groove have been pushing every aspect of club music through news features, editorial interviews, and one of the world’s best mix series’ for more than 15 years. They’ve been one of the most consistent outlets for all things dance music in that time, pushing both established veterans and emerging newcomers alike.

They’re soon to check the box on the noteworthy milestone of their 1000th mix episode, which will feature an especially impressive run of mixes from episode 990 through 1000, with EG.990 and EG.991 already published, and featuring Michael Mayer and Dubfire, respectively.

We welcome original Electronic Groove founder Mauricio Viana and long-time Director Rene Weffer to our Behind The Brand feature, where we talk about how the project came together in the beginning, what a typical day for them looks like in 2024, and what else they have coming in the near future.

So where did the idea for Electronic Groove come from?

Mauricio: The idea for Electronic Groove actually started back in early 2007 as a humble music podcast. At the time, I had a web agency in Miami Beach, and we were considering offering podcasting services to our clients. Given our shared love for music and my background in radio, it seemed like a natural fit. Plus, my former partner was deeply connected to the DJ and promoter scene, especially with some UK artists who often visited Miami for events like WMC. Those were fun times!

Did you face many struggles in the beginning?

Mauricio: Initially, things were smooth sailing. We were having a blast connecting with artists, conducting interviews over the phone, and curating mixes. But as EG started gaining momentum, the challenges piled up. After a couple of years, I found myself running the show solo until Rene joined the team. Suddenly, we were seeing EG climb the ranks of top music podcasts globally. With that came a surge in demand, and before we knew it, we were expanding into a full-fledged online magazine. It was an exhilarating ride, but definitely not without its tough moments. Balancing EG with our day jobs became nearly impossible, and eventually, we had to take the leap and go all-in on EG.

Rene: As I joined the EG team it was an exciting project for me to jump in to with Mauricio. It was “early” on in the internet days and we shared the same love and passion for electronic music. Slowly things were starting to take shape and ideas started to flow. First the podcast, then the website, and other things that were starting to flourish, like social media. I won’t say struggles but yes we were exploring something new to us.

What does a typical day look like in 2024?

Mauricio: These days, my routine looks a bit different. Being in my late 40s, I’ve learned to appreciate the quiet moments. I start my day early with a workout, followed by breakfast, and diving headfirst into a mountain of emails – usually around a hundred each morning! Since we work with folks all over the globe, my inbox sees a steady stream of messages from Europe in the morning, followed by the East Coast and South America during the day, and finally, the West Coast. Then it’s all about rallying the amazing EG team and charting out our game plan for the day. Organization is key when you’ve got so much on your plate – weekly releases, events, artist showcases – you name it. But seeing the results of our collective effort makes it all worth it. Our numbers keep climbing, and we’re proud to be a platform for showcasing incredible artists who truly embody the essence of the music scene.

Rene: A typical day these days starts very early checking the daily news with the EG team, based in Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, and Miami. So as we wake up our inbox is full of emails from PRs, events, artists, labels, and followers. Also we usually have morning check-ins where we discuss and distribute the day’s agenda. Later in the day we follow up and work on our different activities including writing, editorial development, graphic design, social media, music curation, organising podcasts, and the coming days schedule, which is usually tight.

On the group chats, we usually discuss ideas, points of view, future projects, all based from an electronic music point of view, making these interactions very interesting to keep the day and week busy and inspired.

What’s the worst job you had in the past?

Mauricio: When it comes to past gigs, it’s hard to pick just one as the worst. But if I had to choose, it’d probably be a toss-up between launching a full-scale web promo for Discovery Channel and working on the production team for a music video. Both were incredibly stressful and challenging experiences, to say the least!

Rene: It’s difficult for me to choose my worst job in the past. I would say that all my past experiences in terms of jobs brought me lessons to understand what I like and what I don’t like. These were catalysers for me to make decisions on where I wanted my life to go.

What are your personal goals for this year?

Mauricio: As for personal goals this year, I’m keeping it simple: focus on my health, cherish quality time with friends, and hopefully squeeze in a bit more travel whenever possible.

Rene: My personal goal is to keep riding the coming months with a good attitude and compromise with the things that I like and enjoy to do. Recently, I’ve been through some changes in my life that taught me real lessons, so trying to not over stress and appreciate my daily routine. At the moment I’m enjoying the simple and fun times, maintaining a calm mind, taking care of my body, and of course, focusing on what’s important: family, friends, and Electronic Groove. I’d definitely be glad if some exciting festivals, parties, travels, crypto runs, and music adventures would be part of this year as well.

And for Electronic Groove?

Mauricio: For Electronic Groove, the sky’s the limit. We’ve got some exciting ideas in the works that I can’t spill the beans on just yet. But what I can share is that we’re gearing up for our EG.1000 episode around ADE, and let me tell you, it’s going to be something special. Plus, we’re counting down the last nine episodes of our millennium milestone, and trust me, it’s going to be a wild ride!

Rene: We are constantly bringing new ideas to the team to develop, so we’re in a constant growth process. We have a few big projects in the making which we can’t disclose yet, but as Mauricio commented we are working on the schedule prior to the 1000th podcast episode, this with a group of electronic music legends. It is very special for us to look back to our previous guests wich includes names such as John Digweed, Damian Lazarus, Luciano, Carl Craig, and others, so we always keep the podcast project with high energy and expecting exciting new artists to be featured on the different series. Definitely the 1000th one will be one to remember for us.

What projects do you have running right now?

Mauricio: Right now, we’ve got different projects on the go. For example, EG Records is dropping some seriously amazing tunes, and our EG en Español platform is quickly becoming a go-to hub for central and South American electronic music communities. That to name a few, but big things are on the horizon, that’s for sure.

Before we go, what’s one track you can’t seem to turn off at the moment?

Mauricio: For me lately: “Afraid of the Dark (feat. Tolü Makay)” by Searchlight, off Goldie’s label Fallen Tree 1Hundred. Ever since Goldie featured it in one of our EGLO mixes, I’ve been absolutely hooked. There’s something about the composition and energy of that track that just hits all the right notes for me.

Rene: I’m always listening to different music genres, but in fact yesterday I commented to a friend that I was into electronic music more than ever. If I had to choose a recent favorite I would say Orbit – 3amstillalive (Parra For Cuva Remix), I really like Parra For Cuva’s emotional sound, if you are not familiar with him, I’d highly recommend it. Also, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Murder On The Dancefloor anthem, not sure what this track has but it always brings a positive mood to me.

40 Questions: Ramon Tapia

Visit Electronic Groove here.