The Seattle bass music producer, Torbjørn, is ready to come out of the shadows with the music he has been creating over the past two years in quarantine. Setting out on a west coast tour with a fellow revered Seattle bass music producer Gold•ish, the two will showcase their latest EP, Shadow Arts, that premiered on Headbang Society and more music at the forefront of a diverse range of dance music and hip-hop that explodes from the speakers.
After Torbjørn‘s performance at The UNTZ Festival the festival team commented how Torbjørn is, “A reliable source for cutting-edge, bass-heavy tunes across a variety of styles.” After obtaining an audio engineering degree from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (handed over by Sir Paul McCartney himself), Torbjørn has gone on to release records on reputable labels such as Street Ritual, MalLabel and ShadowTrix that span hard hitting trap, melodic future bass, and glitch/IDM, sounds akin to Flume and RL Grime and also made appearances at Bass Oasis Festival, Santa Cruz Music Festival and Burning Man.
Torbjørn shares on his Shadow Arts EP, “the beats are a hard-hitting combo of bass, trap, and dubstep. Aesthetically, we’re capturing an otherworldly, magical, and chaotic type of energy. Like a dark spell cast by an alien wizard from another planet!”
Gold•ish shares, “the intention of Shadow Arts was to come together with one of the most talented artists in the NW music scene and showcase our forward thinking bass music . Over the past few years the world has been grappling with the shadow of the pandemic , and we wanted to share the beauty and artistry that came out of it.
You may have heard of Gold•ish for being a long time promoter and co-owner of Future Perfect Events, a live appearance supporting Zomboy, showcasing his DJ skills as a resident of #BASSofTheMondays weekly live stream, appearing on Drum and Bass Tuesday’s, WHOMP Wednesdays, Camp Question Mark, and his first record label appearance with ShadowTrix Music.
Alongside the release of Shadow Arts we got to know Torbjørn better through an interview where we explore his concept for his current tour, what venues to hit when you are in Seattle, tracks at the forefront of bass music and more.
Can you tell us about your upcoming tour? Is there a concept for the nights?
Well off top, I have to say how excited I am to bring my guy Gold•ish out on this tour. He started producing right before the start of the pandemic, and where most people found themselves overwhelmed with just existing these past two years, the two of us stayed in the shadows creating art. That’s what this EP and tour is all about- showcasing what comes out of the shadows. We’ll be combining our hard-hitting beats with eerie and psychedelic visuals.
What are some of your favorite places in the Seattle bass scene?
Big shout out to High Dive, who is hosting our EP release party in Seattle! They’re a great intimate space, run by the same team as Nectar. They’ve always treated me like family, and supported me a lot. Honorable mentions to Trinity and Monkey Loft!
What has been a unique track or music style you have mixed into your set?
I’m coming off a big run of tracks with pop hooks and rap verses, and now I’m really excited to get back into sound design / bass beats again. Vocals and cool lyrics will always have a place in my heard though, so I’m constantly looking for interesting ways to incorporate that. Right now these chopped & screwed southern rap thing is really catching my ear, I guess people are calling that “phonk” now, but I remember rappers from Texas to Atlanta pushing that sound as a kid, so I kind of associate it with that. Shout out my Houston people!
What are 5 tracks you might play along tour?
These top 5 questions are always so hard, just because there’s SO much good music right now. But high on my playlist right now is Ahee & Sømething’s song “The Action,” GLTY has some forthcoming ID’s that you’ll catch in my set, Drezza’s new song OOOAAAHHH, Kowta’s new tune “Saggin,” and you’ll definitely catch some unreleased beats of mine in the mix as well.
What artists have inspired you lately?
Right now what I find most inspiring is seeing truly unique artists transcend the underground to be a mid-tier or mainstream attraction, but while still being authentic to their artistic roots. I recently saw ATLiens at an arena concert in Seattle, and they played the same type of music that they were playing at the off-the-beaten-path festival I saw them at prior. Some artists really change their style to try and achieve some new level of success, but the ones that are able to make those big moves happen and not pander to the masses, that’s sincere artistry in my mind.
What are some trends or new sub genres you have seen emerge within the bass music scene?
I do my best to keep my ear to the streets, but at the end of the day I only truly get to connect with the West Coast, where I spend most of my time. I’m seeing two styles really taking hold right now; drum & bass, and the other I don’t know the proper name for… “bounce?” Sometimes it gets called twerk, hyphy… its like this Bay Area-inspired 100BPM upbeat dance/trap sound. I’m sure it’s known by many names, but yeah it’s definitely back in the EDM club nights out West.
What are some of your favorite moments as a DJ and producer so far?
I’m tied with two shows; Aronesrocken Festival in Norway was a trip, because I was the only DJ that played the whole festival, and it took a lot of guts to get up in front of that crowd, so far away from home, and do something so unique to the rest of the entertainment. After that, I’d say playing at Burning Man on the same stage as, and right before Skrillex and Diplo was pretty wild. Like 70,000 attend that even and I got to play on the biggest stage there. Pretty insane!
Do you have any life hacks?
Sunscreen on the top of your ears when you’re at the beach, nobody likes a buster with a sunburn. Oh, and prep the coffee maker the night *BEFORE* you go to bed… waking up for work sucks, so maybe just quit your job. Eh, let’s strike that last part haha