Last year it was estimated, that every minute 400 hours' worth of content was uploaded to YouTube, 2,430,555 posts were liked on Instagram, and 6,944,444 videos were watched on Snapchat. And these figures won't stay static. The amount of data we upload, and in turn the amount we consume every year, is growing exponentially. As this expanding data pool grows, making sense of it becomes concurrently more difficult; the distinctions between dream and reality, fact and fiction, truth and lie fade to obscurity.
‘Information City’, the sophomore album from Copenhagen's Tobias Hjørnet Pedersen aka Beastie Respond, attempts to reflect this world in a very direct sense. ‘Information City’ is the simulacrum in which we live and exist, where our cultural identities exist primarily as representations of a real without origin, he explains.
Writing the album Pedersen set no limits on his sample sources, instead taking fragments from a vast array of media, reflecting on the themes outlined above. This resulted in ‘Information City ‘being completely stylistically unchained, giving reference to everything from UK bass genres to electro, footwork and synthwave. 'Downloaded 4 R. D4wkins' for example pits Moving Shadow reminiscent rave stabs against juke-like percussive workouts, while opener 'Real Without Origin' recontextualises cliché trap-style drops with hollowed-out, swaggering low-end, calling to mind recent hybrids of UK Grime and American hip-hop.
At other points, Pedersen eschews the dancefloor entirely. Tracks like 'Lullabies for the Lost and Forgotten' or 'He Used His Bench Lathe to Form His Wooden Sculpture' provide respite from the thunderous barrages of percussion with slurred melodies and dream-like anime soundscapes.
Comprising the fourth release from Foul-Up, ‘Information City’ is a brave proposition for a second album. Pedersen tackles it with vibrance and audacity, inviting us into a fast-paced world of bright lights and unbridled imagination.
– Written by Theo Darton-Moore