Tobias Pedersen aka Beastie Respond is an artist who has undergone plenty of change over the years. His early releases followed a relatively straightforward dancefloor trajectory; albeit always with a heavy focus on melody and instrumentation. Stylistically they often centered around UK dance genres, taking heavy influence from D&B, dubstep and jungle.
In the last few years however, the Danish artist’s palette has grown to include a much wider range of references. September’s Foul-Up released Information City took on the problems of the information age, seeking to fragment and reassemble sample material from Pedersen’s day-to-day online consumption. Snapchat videos, YouTube clips and newsreel segments all made it on to the album in a visceral, full-throttle explosion of ideas and textures.
With the album out for a number of months, we invited Pedersen to contribute to our ‘That Time When’ series, discussing five of his most memorable gigging experiences.
I had booked dBridge to play at my club night at the legendary Dunkel Bar in Copenhagen. I was 21 years old and this was the second night I ever hosted, so I was completely green to doing promotion. At that time the Autonomic sound was peaking and I was into it heavily. For me it was very special to get a guy like dBridge over to Copenhagen. I had been touring with my band the three previous days and also had a concert the night of the show, so it was a tight schedule for me. I picked him up at the airport and we went to grab some food. I left for the concert came back when the club opened. A long time passed before people started to arrive so I was really worried. Anyway it ended up being packed - dBridge smashed it, laughs were had, the mood was high and he wheeled ‘Syncopy’ three times I think when I played my set after him. An amazing memory.
Playing at Roskilde Festival, the biggest festival in Denmark when I was 23 was quite an experience. I grew up in Roskilde and I had attended the festival for quite some time so it was really special to actually go there and play. Back then I used to do the full week. Camping for three or four days before the actual festival began; pissed most of the time. I can’t do that anymore. Last time I went was in 2016. I went two days and that was more than enough for me.
At Image Movement I tried to do the musical accompaniment for Eva Papamargaritis animated works, which was shown in the shop. I played with Traktor and a decade old midi-controller. Not my favourite way of DJing at all. I thought it would be like a little reception where people would have a beer and a chat and then the music and the art was in the background like it mostly is back in Copenhagen. It turned out to be quite the opposite. There was a bit of talking to begin with but as I started accompanying the animations people turned completely silent. They were watching and listening for one hour and not a single word was uttered. I was both impressed and humbled.
Decession at Volksbühne in Berlin. I was feeling a bit ill from the escapades the night before and I didn’t know much about what was going to happen. I went with my good friend Nicolai who I bought the tickets for, as a birthday present. Despite my aching body and disbelief in leaving the bed that day the night turned out to be a complete game changer for me. Drinking nothing but Apfelschorle and refreshing myself with Physical Therapy’s funny smelling Eau De Dance cologne. M.E.S.H and Amnesia Scanner blew me completely away musically, visually… in all senses really. The reverent attitude from the audience, the setting and the music all together made this a very special night for me.
My friend, and roommate, is heavily into Hardcore. Not hardcore as in warehouse rave hardcore, but hardcore as Terror, Expire and Code Orange. The latter has turned into a huge influence for me. I’m not sure you can hear it in my music though. But it’s music full of passion and energy. I saw Code Orange when they were warming up for the French metal band Gojira. It was a funny experience because the metal audience in Denmark is very grown up and mature, kind and sweet middle aged men, but a little bit boring. The energy coming from the stage when Code Orange went on exceeded the energy the audience gave back tenfold. The band didn’t seem to care and continued tirelessly for a good 45 minutes. It was one of the best shows I had seen for a while but I’d really like to see them with a more engaged audience sometime.