The electronic world is packed with masked producers what with Daft Punk, deadmau5, SBTRKT, and the venerable DJ Ski Mask, to name a few. Swedish outfit Teddybears take the concept to even more ludicrous levels with their giant bear heads and three-piece suits. Yet for as flashy as their outfits are, some of their most well-known work is even more covert. They’ve penned songs for superstar acts like Katy Perry, Charli XCX, and Giorgio Moroder.
However, Teadybears have also invaded airwaves under their own moniker thanks to the Iggy Pop crossover “Punkrocker” and infectious “Cobrastyle”. No genre seems immune to the band’s acute sense of pop sensibilities, and they certainly prove as much with their latest collaboration “Marathon Man” featuring dancehall star Cutty Ranks.
“Cutty Ranks has been an inspiration for us in Teddybears since way back,” the group tells Consequence of Sound, “and we consider it a great honor to get the opportunity to work with him. The song itself, ‘Marathon Man’, refers to Cutty himself being ‘in it for the long run.’ It´s a quite heavy and intense story, and sonically it´s a real smack in the face delivered by the heavyweight champion Cutty. Parts of the track are also a modern tale on the reggae/dancehall classic ‘Sleng-Teng’, which probably most reggae-fans will recognize.”
The track excels at adapting both parties’ strengths. Ranks’ manic flow weaves around Teddybear’s spastic rhythms, using his raspy voice as another rough texture to the already grimy beats. The vocal samples repeating the song’s title give a sense of insanity, heightened further by the vaudevillian pianos at the beginning of the track. The shifting tempos make the track a feverish experience. Teddybears and Ranks are a formidable pairing, pushing each other as far out as they can.
Listen in below.