News of Avicii‘s death in Muscat, Oman has reopened a dialogue on substance abuse in dance music over the past several days. In addition, a relic from the Swedish DJ and producer’s formative years has found a new audience in light of his passing.
The song in question is a work in progress titled “Brain” that Avicii (whose real name was Tim Bergling) shared with an online community called Studio Forum via his Timberman alias. Blending elements of melodic techno, trance and hardcore, it provides a window into the producer’s early musings before mainstream EDM singles like “Seek Bromance” and “Levels” propelled him into international stardom.
The track is predictably unpolished, as a 16-year-old Bergling addressed in his accompanying post. “This is a song I have tried to grind for a while,” it read. “I dig the melody and think I have received a reasonable amount of pressure in the bass and the song in general but I would need help knowing what’s still missing…”
Before His Time
Rumors of Tim Bergling’s ongoing battle with substance abuse date as far back as 2012 when he was first hospitalized for acute pancreatitis caused by heavy drinking. The following year he had his gallbladder removed, and after repeated show cancellations and hospital visits he announced his indefinite retirement from touring in 2016.
While toxicology reports will help narrow down the exact cause of Bergling’s death, two autopsies have ruled out the likelihood of foul play. This week, his body will be flown back to Sweden where he is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister.
As of this writing, no unreleased Avicii singles or remixes have found their way to his fans in the wake of Tim Bergling’s death.