BIMM Berlin Principal Nick Donovan has made a name for himself as the hotly-tipped electronic producer DEADBEAR. His sound blends ambient electronica with ethereal beats, and the results are magnificent.
The UK-born producer, who moved from Manchester to East Berlin some years ago, is being tipped for great things in 2017, following the announcement of his debut album, ‘The Trees Are Dancing’, which is due for release on 24 March 2017 as a limited gold cassette and instant digital download via Bandcamp.
The album will also feature his brand new single ‘Holding heart Aces’, which was recently premiered by renowned independent music mag, The Skinny.
DEADBEAR’s new record comes after much praise from key tastemakers like BBC 6 Music’s, Mary-Anne Hobbs, BBC Radio 1, The Wire Magazine, Virgin, XFM the NME and DJ Eddy Temple-Morris. Speaking ahead of its release, Nick talked about his passion for music and finding a balance between his work as a musician and his busy role.
“Being an artist is like being possessed. When something is a passion of yours – like my music is to me – there is no way that I could possibly not do it. I would feel like life was half full without it,” he told BIMM.
“At times it can be hard work finding a balance between my busy role as College Principal and creating music. But being around music and creative people all day inspires me and gives me lots of ideas.”
Nick began experimenting with electronic music as part of a university ‘laptop orchestra’ and later making interactive software including being commissioned to build an app for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
DEADBEAR wrote his new album ‘The Trees Are Dancing’ in two halves, with three songs in Manchester and three in Berlin burrowing deeper into his experimental electronic pop tapestry ripe with skittering tropical beats, woven with a kaleidoscope of vocal samples, found sounds and synths.
Revealing new intricacies and textures upon each listen, the songs reflect a period of change, being inspired by his move from Manchester to East Berlin. Thus the city, its surrounding forests and lakes and abandoned, post-apocalyptic-like spaces influenced the sounds and atmospheres he crafted.
“The atmospheres and context, relate to almost post-apocalyptic scenes,” says Nick “I guess this sounds pretty bleak, but it’s not meant to be negative. Fusing together music from other cultures and combing those together into visions of new culture has been a constant in my work and this record paints that picture quite well,” he revealed.
To celebrate his latest release and highly-anticipated debut LP, DEADBEAR has selected three tracks for this week’s #ThreeThursdaySongs series on Injazero Records. The eclectic mix draws on the artists who have inspired his music, including Brian Eno’s magnificent ‘Emerald and Stone’.
His enchanting playlist also pays homage to the enigmatic and masterful, Scott Walker and his ground-breaking collaboration with dark metal behemoths Sunn O))).
The last track to feature on DEADBEAR’s selection is a rather left-field discovery from the experimental German composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen. Commissioned by the City of Cologne, ‘Stimmung’ – for six vocalists and six microphones – is a 74-minute masterpiece that deserves full attention.
We’re eagerly awaiting DEADBEAR’s debut album, which you can pre-order here. In the meantime, check out The Skinny’s review of the beautiful ‘Holding Heart Aces’.