“ … a contemporary take on 80’s aesthetics, analogue synthesizers, flamboyancy and neon lights; a diverse canvas of nostalgia, audacity, luminescence, aspects and aspirations …”
Beastie Respond is the recording alias of Danish producer Tobias Pedersen. He made his discography debut in 2011 for the bass music label Teal Recordings. After two singles on Teal, he released his sophomore personal album entitled “Fictitious Nostalgia” in 2013. Effortlessly oscillating between genres and styles, from electro and techno to experimental 85/170 electronica and drum and bass, drawing from a wide palette of musical influences (from the cinematic likes of Brian Eno and John Carpenter to the dark melancholy of The Cure to the minimalism and genre-defiance of the Autonomic movement), his talents were readily picked up by forward-thinking labels like Exit, CX Digital and Demand for a string of fine guest appearances; the highlight being the track “One More Second”, which was selected for the second volume of the critically acclaimed “Mosaic” series, released by dBridge’s Exit Records.
Beastie Respond spent the following couple of years re-inventing his sound and developing his studio techniques. The final result has been the follow-up to his inaugural album, recently released by the Danish Label Circle Vision. Aptly entitled “Back To The Future”, his new 7-track concept EP is a contemporary take on 80’s aesthetics, analogue synthesizers, flamboyancy and neon lights; a diverse canvas of nostalgia, audacity, luminescence, aspects and aspirations.
“ … what I create with the ’80s references is a combination of melancholia and a strange sort of carefree lightness. It’s uplifting and heavy at the same time.” – Beastie Respond on ‘Back To The Future’ EP
“Back To The Future” EP was released in June, 6th by Circle Vision. The record, which has almost sold out, contains 4 tracks and is also available in a deluxe special vinyl edition limited to 50 copies, including an A1 size artwork poster. The digital album (with three bonus tracks) is due to be released in the first week of August. Audio preview and purchase links from the label’s official bandcamp page are available here.
On the eponymous theme track feature Alia Fresco’s diva vocals, who recently collaborated with Damon Kirkham (better known as Kid Drama, Jon Convex, Mikarma and ½ of Instra:mental) for the track “Wasted Time” on his “Covering Ground” EP on Exit. On remix duties for “Back To The Future” is dubstep heavyweight Silkie, widely known for his outputs on Deep Medi, exploring new musical paths, keeping Fresco’s vocals intact and transforming the original into a groovy electro-soul piece.
“Intergalactic Soap Box Derby” starts with a nod to ’96 artcore and intelligent drum & bass; a captivating piano riff and a glorious breakdown, which are quite deceiving, as right after the breakdown, the track turns an angular corner entering the hardcore realm with a bouncy mid-range and manic synth stabs.
“Joy Ryder” is on a similar tip, with a cascade of manipulated loops and samples and a slightly slower tempo than traditional drum & bass.
The digital bonus tracks capture the essence of the EP, as Beastie Respond makes the most of his vintage Juno-106 and Roland JV-1010 synthesizers. “Wolf” is a modern exercise on synth-pop, whereas “Gold Fang” is probably the highlight, elaborately emulating 80’s new wave and 90s’ IDM, demonstrating Tobias’ musical influences. The intro cheekily samples Orbital’s classic anthem “The Box”, however the theme quickly changes, with syncopated patterns and beautiful chord progressions. Finally, “Spaghetti Reptoid” is dominated by extensive use of reverb and guitar riffs, courtesy of a TC Electronics “Hall OF Fame” signature pedal.
Overall, a quite emotive EP, which collages contradictions without sounding like a creative stretch. Fusing mellow and soulful with sharp and aggressive elements, Beastie Respond, showcases a contemporary interpretation of 80’s nostalgia.
A promo-mix for the “Back To The Future” EP is available following the soundcloud link below
Tobias’ passion for music started off very early, when his granddad gave him a hand-made drum at the age of three. During his time in kindergarten he first heard the sound of Ozzy’s “Shot in the Dark”. At the age of ten he received Bjørn Svin’s “Benene på nakken” as a birthday present and at the age of 14 he was introduced to reggae and ska music by a classmate. A few years later he joined a reggae and ska band in his home town, and over the years he developed a taste for mixing genres that wouldn’t necessarily fit seamlessly together in the first or second try, but nonetheless would end up blending. This urge to fuse elements from different musical periods and styles has been the key drive in the creation of the Beastie Respond moniker.
Although the development of Beastie Respond’s sound started in the upper secondary school, it wasn’t until years later that he had come up with something he was confident showing to a larger audience. In 2010 Beastie Respond signed with the Danish label Teal Recordings, which released his debut EP in the summer of 2011, followed by another two EPs and his debut album “Fictitious Nostalgia” in 2013. Releasing one’s debut album is a milestone for any artist, and from there on Beastie Respond spent the following years redeveloping his sound yet again; a time of soul-searching which culminated in the “Back To The Future” EP in 2016.
Circle Vision label concept
Founded in Copenhagen in 2014, Circle Vision was created out of affection for sub-heavy sounds, commitment to the development of bass music culture and clear-cut dedication to vinyl.
A fundamental objective of the limited edition record label run by RDG, decade-long bass artist, lecturer, promoter and radio host, is to let listeners experience bass focused sound design in optimal ambience. At the aid of its music releases, events, cross-label collaborations, projects with local cultural institutions and much more, Circle Vision continues to build and carefully connect a variety of owned outlets, in order to present bass music in an absolute way and promote a sound that should not only be heard – but rather experienced.
A mini-interview with Beastie Respond sharing some interesting and funny trivia with the blog is available here
*Official Press Release, Circle Vision label concept and Photos courtesy of Modern Matters