***Vote for "Kim, People Are Dying" in the California Music Video and Film Awards here!
"Sicko" in Resident Advisor Best Releases of 2022
"Sicko" in Bandcamp Best Albums of Winter 2022
"Kim, People Are Dying" Video Premiere in Foxy Digitalis Magazine
"Kim, People Are Dying" Video in The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival
Beast Nest Feature in Rolling Stone India
"Oakland-bred Indo-American queer artist Sharmi Basu’s electronic music project Beast Nest released their album Sicko in January this year and it’s led by the seemingly cathartic music video for the song “Kim, People are Dying.” As Beast Nest leads us down hypnotic synth passages, in the video directed by Sepand Mashiahof (with cinematography by Ricky Marler), we see the artist take on a role similar to a healer, guiding people who seem out of sorts onto a clearer path, all within the confines of their apartment."
Beast Nest feature in KQED ARTS "Beast Nest's Sicko Holds Space For Grief In All It's Messy Forms"
"As danceable beats guide the listener from abstract to accessible terrain, Sicko takes us on an emotional ride that opens with the ambient, droning tones of a meditation. Quickly, sci-fi blips and bloops interrupt the connection to what sounds like a dispatch from the spiritual realm. Electronic noise blacks out pretty melodies like a swipe of spray paint. But moments of joy and hope bubble up as whimsical, fuzzy sounds, conjuring the textures of Koosh balls and cotton candy.
The compositions flow like the ups and downs that Basu went through in the months and years that followed the tragedy. “There was so much cuckoo energy going on, like any time you entered a space the grief was so thick you could touch it,” says Basu, who has been intimately involved in the Bay Area’s music scene for years as a performer, educator and executive director of Ratskin Records. Their work (notably their “Decolonizing Sound” workshop) has appeared in major museums and universities, but they’ve stayed firmly rooted in the D.I.Y. underground scene."
Beast Nest feature in 48 HILLS 'Beast Nest's Sicko Is a Jubilant freak celebration..."
"Those same questions are included in a booklet with the vinyl release of Sicko, out now on Ratskin Records, which could be seen as a kind of comfort object as well. Though Basu’s roots are in the East Bay noise scene, Sicko is bright, vivid, jubilant, and centering, driven by drums that seem perpetually on the verge of exploding. There’s noise, but it’s not confrontational, instead bringing texture and intrigue to these six long tracks."
"Sicko" Reviewed in Resident Advisor by Dash Lewis : (Review)
"Even at its harshest, Sicko stays warm and inviting. Basu imparts this music with an empathetic sweetness—there's never a moment designed to put distance between you and them. Instead, the album feels vivacious, as if you're in the room witnessing its creation. "Kim, People Are Dying" embodies this sense of presence. Despite the dissonant FM sequence and frantic drum pattern, Basu guides the listener through the maelstrom with a lilting major key drone. Each song features multiple opportunities to foster connection, whether in the form of a human voice peeking through searing distortion or a danceable beat beneath the chaotic swirl. " -Resident Advisor
Bandcamp Daily: Essential Releases - Feb 2022 (Review)
"When we interviewed Sharmi Basu, who performs as Beast Nest, in 2017, she described the whitewashed, prohibitively academic nature of the experimental music canon succinctly, explaining how much work she and others have done to break open that world and build something new. Listening to her latest, Sicko, a profoundly gracious work that is part avant-garde composition, part ambient, part noise, and part techno, it’s easy to hear the imprint of her ethos. This is music that is imaginative and unconventional, but also has immediate emotional resonance; no fancy degree needed.
"Sicko" Feature / Review in SLUG MAG
"Sicko" Feature / Review in FAULT RADIO
"Sicko" reviewed in Blogcritics, by Richard Marcus : https://blogcritics.org/music-review-beast-nest-sicko/
"Sicko" reviewed in The Quietus, by Daryl Worthington : https://thequietus.com/articles/31045-beast-nest-sicko-review
"Sicko" reviewed in Bandcloud #376 https://bandcloud.substack.com/p/bandcloud-376
"Sicko" Best New Bay Area Music https://whitecrate.substack.com/p/queer-south-asian-electronic-artist
"Sicko" reviewed on Underground Apex : https://www.undergroundapex.com/post/beast-nest-sicko-graces-your-ears-with-love
"Sicko" reviewed in Europae Cultura Elettronica https://europaeculturaelettronica.blogspot.com/2022/02/beast-nest-sicko-recensioni-album-2022.html
"Toward Unity And Justice" Sharmi Basu in San Francisco Classical Voice - July 2020
“For me, it’s just like, pay them” responded electronic artist and DIY-scene community organizer Sharmi Basu, with a laugh. The question posed was about how to account for the wide range of access to opportunity and safety between, say, a cisgender white gay man and a transgender black woman, while trying to unify the queer and trans new music community. They continued: “A lot of these questions are actually really simple — giving resources both financially and emotionally [to queer and trans artists of color] is a huge step towards changing these discrepancies, and making people feel loved and seen.”
"How Oakland's Music Scene became Queerer, Browner, and More Femme" on Bandcamp Daily
"The life cycles of underground scenes in Oakland tend to be short. Because of the affordability crisis in the Bay Area, there’s no longer an abundance of derelict storefronts and warehouses in which to throw parties. When a landlord sells a building that used to house an underground venue, the groups of people that venue united typically scatter among other enclaves in the scene. Every year, a new crop of kids comes of age and starts building something new. And because of the Ghost Ship fire, which claimed 36 lives at a party last December, underground venues have become harder to find than ever before.
That’s why, even though Basu is only a few years older than some other artists in the experimental music scene, many regard her as a foremother who paved the way for younger artists like Spellling, Kohinoorgasm, and Earthbound. “I think it has a lot to do with resistance also, to be honest,” she says. “I think a lot of things shifted at the end of 2014, when all the stuff surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown was happening. That was a point when people were suddenly realizing what police violence is, and what white supremacy actually is.”
"Sharmi Basu is Decolonizing Noise" Sharmi Basu in East Bay Express
""There's a myth that noise as a genre miraculously came from white dudes in the suburbs, but that's not the case. History is misleading. Noise is based on improvisation. There are so many accounts of mothers in the South, who were enslaved, freestyling these lullabies and the lullabies serve as a moment of refuge, an actual source of safety." Basu continued, "For myself, getting into experimental music was about how I can create a world outside of the world I'm materially bound to, how I can express what I'm feeling without this shitty colonial language I'm socialized to use."
"Indian American Artist Sharmi Basu Using Music to Effect Social Change" in India West
“In many ways music allows me more freedom and the ability to rewrite a different type of story for what it looks like to actually create change,” Basu stressed to India-West. “A lot of the times activism seems like fighting against something, but in music all over the world being able to bring the community together in a form of empowerment, it’s like a mode of change that doesn’t feel accessible. It’s not as acknowledged that it has so much power.”
"Global Melodies" In Little India
Many artists in America are also taking this moment to show an extraordinary prowess and synergy. For instance, Sharmi Basu, an electronic musician from Oakland, Calif., who performs as Beast Nest, has been active in the experimental music scene anc vociferously promotes the idea that music exists across-the-board. She believes in “decolonizing musical language” through her workshops, has been part of “Empowering women of Color” conferences and views her gigs as a way of providing solace to marginalized community.
Basu says: “I do believe that spaces that emphasize music by people of color and women of color hold a qualitatively different atmosphere that is inherently more welcoming and provides a different sense of cultural reference and expansion than a typical punk show or concert that might still host a predominantly white audience.”