Meet the Pacemakers #1: @joebrokken

Ever wondered who your Pacemaker friends really are? Where do they live, what do they do when they are not busy creating amazing mixtapes? Well, it’s time to get to know them a bit better! To break the ice, we spoke to everyone’s favourite @joebrokken!


Where in the world do you live?

I live in Seattle, Washington USA.

We only see a username and sometimes a picture when it comes to users. Who is behind your username?

Oh, well I’m a music lover, a husband, a pet owner, and a designer.

How did you discover Pacemaker?

I downloaded Pacemaker two years ago when it was first featured in the iOS App Store.

What is your favourite thing about Pacemaker?

I love that Pacemaker keeps getting better and more fun to use, but my favorite thing about the app is the community of music lovers it has created. I am connected with musical friends all around the world and I love that. Pacemaker has created a social network where people are smart, kind, and sharing ideas – it’s so cool!

What would you improve in the app?

I’d like to see some more advanced info about the tracks I’m mixing. Pacemaker does a lot of heavy lifting for me when it comes to matching tracks, but I would like to see the key signature of each track any way. It would help me find songs that go together even though they may have a different BPM.

If you could pick just one favourite user in the Pacemaker community, who would that be?

I would have to say every user I’ve had a dialogue with. The people who are engaging and want to have a conversation about music like tefoden, provocateur, proudspark, capturingphi, stanfitz, jonas and many many more keep me going and make it fun to share.

Name one of your most favourite mixes from another user on Pacemaker.

Every once in a while a mix drops that is so fresh and new everyone else wants to take a crack at it. I remember when tefoden dropped NOISE // RNB // NOISE, everyone was like, WOW what is that? That mix taught me a lot about contrasting sounds and the importance of having contrast in a mix. Yes, we want smooth seamless transitions but not at the cost of sounding boring. So for the next few mixes I played with the idea of contrast and I noticed this theme popping up in mixes from other friends on Pacemaker. It was like everyone went up a level together by listening and collaborating with each other.

How do you usually discover music, what are your favourite sources?

Our local alt-radio station KEXP states that most people find their “type” of music in their early 20’s and stick with it for the rest of their life. KEXP is on a mission to undo all of that. They want to create a scene where people discover and love new types of music for a lifetime. I couldn’t agree more with that mission. I am always digging around on record store blogs and meandering down algorithmic paths on Spotify to find artists I’ve never heard of. Pacemaker makes it really easy to find new music because people with great taste from around the world are always dropping mixes with artists I’ve never heard of.

How much time do you usually spend on creating a mixtape?

Some flow right through me in a couple of hours, while others take weeks and lots of research. It’s hard to say.

What do you do when not mixing on Pacemaker?

I’m into the local music scene here quite a bit. I went to the Flaming Lips, Mark Farina, Fleet Foxes, and Father John Misty recently. It was like a DIY music festival. When I’m not getting down with my bad self on the dance floor I like to go outside and have fun in the fresh air.


Did Pacemaker change the way you’re listening to music? If so, in what sense?

Pacemaker taught me how to choose just the right thing to listen to. I didn’t know that I had good taste in music until I saw other people who I greatly respect commenting and enjoying my mixes. Just a few weeks ago it dawned on me that OMG I have good taste in music.

Have you had any DJ experiences before joining Pacemaker?


Are you making music yourself in any way?

I am a pianist first and a drummer second, I like making tracks on my computer. But more than anything I’m enjoying Pacemaker as a musical outlet these days.

Name 3 of your current favourite artists.

Bicep, Svarte Greiner, and JD Emanuel.

Who would you like to see posting a mixtape on Pacemaker?


Name one of your own mixes that you’re the most proud of.

I’ve been putting these meditation mixes together for a while now, and when I’m working on one I can feel the music coming through me. It is one of the purest expressions of self that I have found and I’m always surprised when other people like them. For me it is really hard to mix popular music because I like to live on the fringe. So I have to say that I am most proud of Headphones and Chill #3, It should be called Netflix and Chill because that mix is sexy. I took a crack at really mixing some popular music and making something new with it. I pulled all the stops and used everything I’ve learned about mixing to create the smoothest sexiest mix possible. Everyone I play it for remembers that mix and says oh, you have really good taste in music, what was that?

Name one friend who should be on Pacemaker but isn’t.

Octoclops – you know who you are buddy.

Is there a question you always wanted to ask from a Pacemaker user but you never did? Ask away!

@provocateur: what planet did you come from and can I party there?

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