Final Mix’s electric pulse paints the evening in neon, pneumatic airwaves ricocheting across Hattiesburg. Ideally, a student driving down Hardy Street might flip his or her radio to WUSM to see what the school’s station has to offer at such a bizarre hour—midnight on a Saturday—and find a blast of shrill synthetic harmony tickling their ears like the static of a battery.
“NEVER DIE. FOREVER THRIVE,” read the fliers that dot the campus. Start asking around and no one will be able to tell who hosts this strange experiment in radio; the show’s DJ is as elusive as the time slot itself.
Midnight on Jan. 25 saw the premiere of Final Mix, an enigmatic radio block highlighting alternative electronic music, as well as other peripheral genres pulled from the corners of cyberspace.
The first episode, edited together and uploaded post-airing, reached #19 in the trending college radio tag on Mixcloud after a single day, and currently stands at #7. The tracks can also be found in the archive of the WUSM website.
Miriam Featherston, a junior nursing major, tuned in on Saturday night via livestream and noted her excitement that WUSM played something other than classic or indie rock.
“It’s cool to hear some good electronic-style music on an online medium other than Bandcamp or Soundcloud,” Featherston said. “I love those media, but at the same time, when I think of radio it’s always top-40 pop or pop folk. So it was refreshing to hear something that was suited more to my tastes.” Featherston was one of the students who learned of Final Mix through fliers posted on the doors of various campus buildings, and, just as everyone else, she had no clue as to who the show’s host really was.
Fortunately, the mysterious curator, who chose to remain anonymous, was open to comment on how one might describe the music played on Final Mix.
“Really, there’s no genre distinguisher that I stick to or anything,” the DJ said. “I guess the simplest way I could describe it to somebody is it’s kind of a love letter to the Internet. When the Internet came along, I got my first iPod and had access to an immediate library of any type of music. It changed everything. I guess that’s how you’d describe it—cool stuff I found on the Internet.”
The curator also went on to discuss who the “ideal” Final Mix listener would be: someone who is not too savvy and who does not have the time to seek out fringe music online.
“Really, I just want random people to tune in and react to it, whether it’s positive or negative, and maybe look into this music further,” the curator said.
Seeking to bring something new to WUSM after finding that the station has an often polarizing broadcast of popular country, rock and folk material, the DJ cited that there was nothing being aired that appealed to people with interest in alternative genres.
The show’s future content is not likely to stay focused on one musical category. Subsequent broadcasts may present something very different from the first episode, but will stick to spotlighting obscure online artists who do not regularly receive radio play. The show, according to the curator, is open to airing underground artists who are willing to submit their music.
Final Mix is slated to air every Sunday at midnight on WUSM, which can be streamed live on the WUSM website or heard on 88.5 FM. Past broadcasts can be found at the Final Mix page on Mixcloud.