Q+A: Beastie Respond Announces New EP on RDG’s Circle Vision - XLR8R

Q+A: Beastie Respond Announces New EP on RDG’s Circle Vision

‘Back to the Future’ is due out June 6.
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Copenhagen-based artist Tobias Pedersen (a.k.a. Beastie Respond) is next up on Ruben Dag Nielsen’s (a.k.a. RDG) Circle Vision imprint.

Beastie Respond released his debut album Fictitious Nostalgia back in 2013, and has been on a bit of a hiatus since. His next release will be via Circle Vision, a label that has so far mainly put out music by RDG himself, as well as the likes of K Man, Piezo and Clearlight. The forthcoming EP, Back to the Future, features vocals by Alia Fresco on the title track, as well as a remix by Silkie.

Back to the Future will hit stores on June 6. Check out a Beastie Respond mix below that he put together alongside the EP.

We caught up with Pedersen and label head RDG ahead of the release.

How did the link between Circle Vision and Beastie Respond happen?
Beastie Respond: RDG and I have been close friends for quite a while, and I have previously released a few tracks on his other label, Surfase Records. So with a slight chance of sounding very cliché, I'd say that it was a natural progression to move on to Circle Vision. I've learned down the line that I prefer to work with people that I know and feel comfortable with, so for me it’s great to be on board the Circle Vision spacecraft. We have a somewhat similar taste in music, and there is a consistency in our approach to music that makes Circle Vision and Beastie Respond an excellent match (or maybe it’s a match between me and RDG, I'm not sure).

RDG: As Beastie Respond says, we have been close friends for quite a while and we have been working together on several projects; music, parties and drinking (yes, this is a project). We are likeminded in so many ways, and although we produce very different music, we still like the same stuff. I have been a huge fan of his track “Wait For Me” (also with Alia Fresco) for years, and when he sent “Back to the Future,” I had on repeat for months. We decided to release it on Circle Vision, which I am very pleased about. We share music and ideas all the time, and he released music on my other label, Surfase, so it was destiny to have him on my second label as well.

Can you tell us about the Copenhagen scene and your ties to it?
Beastie Respond: Let me start by saying that the Copenhagen scene is very diverse. I think there is a bit for everyone here at the moment - lots of techno in different variations, noise stuff that I don't know so much about—the night life here is pretty great in general. I've been playing out a bit more over the last few months and experienced the crowds as being more receptive towards weird stuff than I remember from earlier on. Both RDG, myself and the young duo Code Walk are doing a footwork/slow-fast night in the meatpacking district called Lash Out, which have been surprisingly successful so far. Because of that, and because of the Circle Vision parties, I feel that my ties to the Copenhagen scene are getting tighter again after a couple of years of being kind of loose.

RDG: The Copenhagen scene is very small and diverse, which forces you out of your comfort zone, to new genres, parties and people. This city can house it all and people here are just really up for a good party! No matter the genre and venue, it’s fine as long as it’s well made, quality sound and artists. Therefore we started Lash Out with Code Walk at the Jolene venue, which people have been very supportive of. We've also got Lowpass TV (which Beastie Respond and I started back in 2012), a live streaming event for local artists and DJs. Then I've got my Circle Vision night, where I have been presenting sounds from all over Europe and will continue to do so. Next party is Beastie Respond’s pre-release party with Om Unit in May.

Tobias, it’s been three years since you put out your last release. Why the long wait, and what have you been up to in the meantime? Is the new EP the start of a new chapter?
Beastie Respond: Don't rub it in like that! It's been quite frustrating from time to time actually, I've been doing a lot of pondering of what to do with this Beastie Respond fella, but ended up deciding to stick with him. New tracks and songs has been scarce to be honest. I've spent a lot of time figuring out where to take my sound next, and there is about a million scrapped ideas that will never see the light of the day. So, I've been trying to develop my sound at the right pace for me. There is no point in stressing and putting out music that I'd get tired of too fast. You could say that it is a start of a new chapter.

Where does your obsession with ‘80s aesthetics come from? Is there a thematic link running through your debut album Fictitious Nostalgia, to your new EP Back to the Future?
Beastie Respond: I think 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. On Fictitious Nostalgia it was a very deliberate decision to make it very ‘80s sounding. I know Back to the Future (both the song and the name) sounds very ‘80s, but personally I feel that this EP pulls my fictitious ‘80s nostalgia more into the present (or maybe into the future). As for the song “Back to the Future,” I think Alia Fresco really made sense of it. If you listen to the instrumental, you’ll hear that it's very retrospective, but I think her songwriting and her ear for melodies made this song a modern piece of music.

Circle Vision’s output so far has primarily revolved around your own project, RDG, and certainly around dubstep. The new Beastie Respond 12" involves neither and indeed strays quite far from dubstep. Does Back to the Future signal a change of direction? What does the near future hold for Circle Vision and for RDG?
RDG: That is true. To be honest, Circle Vision was never meant to be just a dubstep label, but rather my label as the sounds and vibes I like and represent. I have released tracks on Surfase in different tempos, by myself and other producers, and when I play out I tend to play stuff in 160-170BPM, as well as in 140BPM. So, it’s a natural progression for Circle Vision to release stuff in this area and to open up the label to another audience and artists. But saying that, Circle Vision will of course continue to release music in 140BPM and I've already got a couple of 12” releases lined up for this year with Causa, Taiko, Cessman, ROOT, Leon Switch and more! Also K Man and I will be touring North America this June to spread the Circle Vision sound and promote our 'Lost On Earth' project!