Be Svendsen is on his own trip. Already known for his association with Burning Man and Woomoon, the Danish DJ turned live performer and architect of his slower ‘desert tech’ sound is now headlining his own world tour dates and releasing his debut artist album on Kenneth Bager’s Music For Dreams label.
The full-length album entitled ‘Between A Smile And A Tear’ was released on vinyl and CD on Friday 18th January. A limited edition cassette version is also available. Following his sold out launch party at Cirque De Boneca in London, Be is performing live at Rough Trade East in Brick Lane on Tuesday 22nd January at 19:00.
“I chose to work with the ‘Dreamers’ because Music For Dreams is a successful label with an eclectic music policy. I needed an outlet that could understand and absorb the more experimental side of my output together with more club-orientated material that makes up ‘Between A Smile And A Tear. It’s harder for house and techno labels to promote experimental stuff or even focus on an artist album, so doing a deal with MFD has allowed me to release an album that doesn’t fall between the cracks – too left field for techno, too electronic for the festival crowd.”
Be has been releasing music as Be Svendsen since 2011 when he started with some releases in Germany, although he has been making music much longer. However, his break as a DJ and performer came early on with bookings for festivals and cooler clubs with what he describes as his Tarantino techno sound.
He sites major breakthroughs on the live side came about from support from the Fusion Festival, Boom Festival and Ibiza dates with Woomoon.
“The support I’ve received Fusion Festival in north eastern Germany helped break me into the festival scene. The counter cultural festival allowed me to develop a festival-friendly live set, which now shapes what I’m doing. I still have a good relationship with Woomoon, although I didn’t get to play there last year because of my album recording and supporting tour. I did play at Cirque De Soleil and Heart in Ibiza in 2018”.
Be has already permeated the festival scene with appearances at festivals such as Tomorrowland Belgium; BPM Mexico; Fusion Germany; BOOM Portugal; Get Lost Miami; DGTL Amsterdam; Secret Garden Party, UK; Oregon Eclipse; Robot Heart, Burning Man; Rainbow Serpent, Australia, Chill Out, Turkey; Afrika Burn, South Africa; Midnight Sun, Norway amongst others and since last summer has been focusing on his on world tour to support his album. Be completed a world tour including North America in support of the album release in the last quarter of 2018.
“The album enabled the world tour. It was important for me to focus on my own productions, as that’s what supporters expect to hear when they come and see you live. The more uptempo elements of the album are reflected in my live set, where everything is my own music, which I perform using a 16 channel mixer. With this live set up I can remove melodies from my productions to make the tracks more club friendly for me to work with the sounds and effects. It also means I can progress from playing ‘Drop The Gun’, which is 115bpm to faster tracks like ‘Andromeda’ and live mash ups of ‘Flint’ and ‘Day 3’.
As I’m known for playing more melodic, more chilled, this new way of playing has allowed me to be for pump. For me, the set really came together on my tour of the Americas where there were standout shows for me in places like Tulum, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles and New York, with LA probably being the best reception”.
Be Svendsen’s most successful collaboration to date was when Damian Lazarus asked him to remix NU’s famous track ‘Man O To’ on Crosstown Rebels, released in February 2017. The track remained on the Beatport Charts for 8 months, as did Be’s solo track ‘Twilight In Tankwa’ on Rebellion. He also remixed Acid Pauli’s track ‘Requiem For a Loop’ which was originally out on Nicolas Jaar’s Clown and Sunset. The track was featured on a remix EP on German label 3000 Grad, with great success. ‘Requiem For a Loop’ has become Acid Pauli’s most played remix track on Spotify.
Every release from Be in the last 18 months made into to the top 15 on Beatport within its category, with one remaining at #1 for over 1.5 months and is currently number one in Beatport’s Downtempo/Electronica chart.
Be has shied away from the mainstream dance scene, preferring to build up an alternative crowd of supporters such as Burners. He has built up an association with the desert tech scene and performs at Burning Man.
“I’m always playing outdoors, which I prefer to club based appearances, as I’m not a club person. That is why I was attracted to Burning Man and Afrika Burn (after meeting the organisers at Boom Festival). I played with Robert Heart on his art car at Burning Man and I teamed up with Lee Burridge who put me on Sunday morning. I also met my fiancée at Burning Man.”
Be Svendsen shows us his diversity on ‘Between…’ that spans from hypnotic new-disco cuts, galactic journey melodies, analogue ambient atmosphere with soundtrack epicness, and a deep-tech organic collaboration with legendary French musician Henri Texier. We even get a taste of Be Svendsen’s own vocals on this album.
”I’ve always believed the music should connect you to a bigger picture. The goal is to express and convey a feeling, and to behold the moment – the essence of oscillating between a smile and a tear. I like to bring tragedy and humour together, and invite them up for a dance.”