Tobias Bernstrup is a contemporary musician and video artist born 1970 in Gothenburg, Sweden. He received an MFA from Royal College University of Fine Arts Stockholm in 1998. Using the visual language of pop culture, video games, sci-fi, classicism and gothic noir, he has created a stage persona with notorious live performances. Dressed in elaborate costumes of skin-tight rubber suits and fetish gear, Tobias’ external appearance is androgynous. He raises questions about representation of identity, the body and physical space in both virtual and non-virtual realities. Between 1997 and 1998 he self-released two limited CD-R EPs. In 2002 his debut album ‘Re-Animate Me’ was released by Tonight Records followed by two limited 12” singles for the song “27” and the Italian version “Ventisette”.
“27” is a 5-song EP collecting 4 different mixes of the title track plus one unreleased song from the ‘Re-Animate Me’ recording sessions. The material on this EP is closely connected with the world of computer games which Bernstrup also inhabits. Bernstrup’s music is influenced by 1980s Italo disco and synth pop, reminiscent of Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and Ken Lazlo. On the A-side is the original mix at 115 bpm followed by the Lazer Mix set to an faster beat and additional arpeggiations and heavier bass drum beats. Lyrically the song tells the story of a good looking 27-year old boy from a small town searching for love with any man who can spoil him. On the B-side are both the vocal and instrumental of “Ventisette”, the Italian translation of the song “27.” Both versions of “Ventisette” are stripped back compared to the A-side but keep the melodies in tact. Also released for the first time ever is the demo “Dirty Money” a Pet Shop Boys influenced song about male prostitutes ready for a night out working the streets.
All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. For the jacket Eloise Leigh transformed the original portrait of Tobias into a Warhol-like painted polaroid with a striking likeness to Liza Minelli with blue eye shadow and red lipstick. Each copy includes a photo postcard with lyrics and notes. “I would rather create alternative routes to experiencing and understanding the world, understanding what it means to be human today,” says Bernstrup. “We are more artificial than we want to admit.”