Benjamin Speed

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Benjamin Speed
Also known as Mister Speed
Born 1979
Origin Adelaide, Australia
Genres Indie Pop, Hip Hop, Electronica, Film Music, Alternative, Experimental
Occupation(s) Songwriter, Composer, Producer
Years active 2000–present
Labels Creative Vibes, Groovescooter, ABC
Associated acts The New Pollutants, Metropolis Rescore

Benjamin Peter Speed (born 27 June 1979 in Adelaide, South Australia) is an Australian musician who composes scores for film, television and theatre. He performs and records as Mister Speed and was vocalist and songwriter in the Australian alternative, electronic and hip hop band The New Pollutants.

Growing up in Adelaide, Speed graduated with an honours degree in Music Technology from the Elder Conservatorium of Music at Adelaide University and has a Masters Degree in Screen Composing from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney.


Early Career & The New Pollutants: 2000–2005

Speed started making computer based music in 1998 and put on solo shows in Adelaide alongside Ben Frost in 2000. He performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and This Is Not Art Festivals, supported Anticon on their Australian tour and released two 'Speed Presents' EPs as Mr Tappin' Fresh and The Other Half. In 2001 Speed met electronic musician Tyson Hopprich (DJ Tr!p) and in 2001 they formed The New Pollutants.

From 2002 to 2004 they released a full-length album, Hygene Atoms, a 12" EP Urban Professional Nightmares and a 7" single Sid-Hop.[1] The New Pollutants sound traversed through a number of different genres including lo-fi, trip hop, electro, Commodore 64 music, 1950s and 1960s pop, comedy, alternative hip hop and electronica.[2] The New Pollutants were musically aligned with such Australian acts such as Curse Ov Dialect, The Herd, Music Vs Physics, TZU and MKB.

The New Pollutants played at Australian festivals such as the Falls Festival in 2004/5, Big Day Out in 2003 and were headliners of the 2004 Adelaide Fringe Festival opening concert.[2][3] In 2004 the group was voted Most Popular Dance Act by DB Magazine readers.[4] The group also played on Triple J Radio's Mix-Up during the Amnesty Freedom Festival in 2004, Adelaide University O'Ball 2003 & Newcastle's This Is Not Art (TINA) Festival in 2002.[3]

Mister Speed: The Dreamer 2006–2007

After moving to Sydney in 2006, Speed signed to Creative Vibes record label and released his debut solo album The Dreamer in 2007. The album was based on hip hop, indie rock, pop, world music, electronica, reggae and experiemtal genres. A review in the Sydney Morning Herald described the album by saying "The opening sounds like a scene from The Godfather; it closes with a hybrid of hip-hop rock. In between there are snippets of 1950s French soundtracks, moody trip-hop and multiple samples. The vocals sway between Beck and Buck 65, moving from the philosophy of art to observations of love." [5]

The Dreamer became a feature album on FBi Radio (NSW), Three D Radio (SA), 3PBS (Vic) and Edge Radio (Tas) and the song Everybody Needs Somebody was put up on the Triple J website for exclusive download.


Metropolis Rescore

In 2004 as The New Pollutants, Speed composed and produced a new soundtrack to the silent film Metropolis with Hopprich and premiered it at the 2005 Adelaide Film Festival.[6] The live performance also featured actor/singer Astrid Pill as vocalist and musician Zoe Barry as cellist. The soundtrack has been described as "an infectious and unique approach ranging from Germanic trip hop and lo-fi electronica to unforgettable classical and breathtaking cinematica." [7] Metropolis has subsequently performed at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI),[8] as a part of the 2006 Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival and at the 2006 Perth Revelations Film Festival.[9] In 2010, it was performed at the Sydney Opera House and was also played at the 2011 Mona Foma Festival in Tasmania. Since then, a newly updated score is being composed to the 2010 restoration version which has an extra 30 minutes of footage originally thought lost. The updated score was premiered at the 2011 Adelaide Film Festival [10]

The People's Republic Of Animation

In 2005, Speed composed for the first of many collaborations with The People's Republic of Animation (PRA) in a series called Errorism: A Comedy of Terrors. He received the Best Original Score award at the 2006 St Kilda Film Festival for the animated short Carnivore Reflux,[11] a film that was also a 2006 Tropfest finalist. In 2007 Speed composed for the animated short music-film Sweet and Sour which premiered at both the Adelaide Film Festival and the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2007 and has since won multiple awards and played at numerous international film festivals.[12] He composed music for the winning 2008 Tropfest Supershort Series film Safer In A Wild World, which was also chosen for official competition in the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France.[13] In 2009, Speed composed the music for The Cat Piano which features Nick Cave as narrator [14] and in 2010 won an APRA/AGSC Award for his work on The PRA's children's series Itty Bitty Ditties.[15]

Other Work

Speed composed for the 2008 Tropfest finalist film Glass and the 2011 Tropfest Finalist The Maestro.[16] He did the feature film The Tumbler, which premiered at the 2008 Perth Revelations Film Festival,[17] and was selected for the 2008 São Paulo International Film Festival [18] and has scored feature documentaries A Northern Town in 2008, which was nominated for a Dendy Award at the 2008 Sydney Film Festival,[19] and was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2008 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards,[20] and The Snowman in 2010, which won the Australian Documentary Prize [21] and was nominated for an AFI Award.[22]


Title Director / Producers Format Release year
OK, Lets Talk About Me Closer Productions & SBS TV documentary 2005
Metropolis Rescore The New Pollutants feature film rescore project 2005
Errorism: A Comedy of Terrors - Series 1 Eddie White & The PRA short animation 2005
As Long As I'm Rollin' Jackson Pellow & Film Australia short documentary 2005
Carnivore Reflux Eddie White, James Calvert & The PRA short animation 2006
The Catch Yasemin Sabuncu — The Feast Festival short film 2006
Birth Paul Leeming & The Sydney Film School short film 2006
Errorism: A Comedy of Terrors - Series 2 Eddie White & The PRA short animation 2006
Ayen’s Cooking School for African Men Sieh Mchawala, Vida Films & SBS TV documentary 2007
Sweet and Sour Eddie White, The PRA & Shanghai Animation Film Studio short animation 2007
Fruitloop Kyra Bartley short film 2007
Mitsubishi Lancer "Safer In A Wild World" Eddie White, James Calvert & The PRA TV Commercial 2007
Who Wants to Be A Celebrity Chef Rose Aldahn / AFTRS short documentary 2007
Everyday Heroes AFTRS TV Department TV Magazine 2007
Purgatory Natalie Polomo (Exec Prod) & AFTRS Year of 2007 4 part TV mini series 2007
The Ghastly Gourmet Cooking Show James Calvert, The PRA & Nickelodeon Channel short animation TV pilot 2008
I Was A Teenage Butterfly Eddie White, The PRA & Nickelodeon Channel short animation TV pilot 2008
Glass Jayne Montague / Windermere Blue Films short film 2008
A Northern Town Rachel Landers, Dylan Blowen, Pony Films & SBS feature documentary 2008
The Tumbler Marc Gracie, Stacey Testro, Mondayitis & Ztudio feature film 2008
Street Angel Lucas Testro / AFTRS short film 2008
Vafadar Amin Palangi / AFTRS short film 2008
Death In The Garden Michael Chrisoulakis short film 2009
The Cat Piano Eddie White, Ari Gibson & The PRA short animation 2009
The Snowman Juliet Lamont & Pony Films feature documentary 2009
The Mystery Of Flying Kicks Matthew Bate & Plexus Films short documentary TBA
52 Tuesdays Sophie Hyde/Closer Productions feature film 2014

Awards and nominations


Year Award / Festival Category Film Result
2010 APRA/AGSC Screen Music Awards Best Music For A Children's Series Itty Bitty Ditties Won
2010 APRA/AGSC Screen Music Awards Best Music For A Documentary The Snowman Nominated
2009 APRA/AGSC Screen Music Awards Best Music For A Short Film The Cat Piano Nominated
2009 MPSE, USA Golden Reel Awards Verna Fields Award Street Angel Nominated
2006 St. Kilda Film Festival Best Original Score Carnivore Reflux Won

[23] [24] [25] [26]


Year Award Category Result
2011 APRA PDA Awards Film And Television finalist (TBA)
2009 APRA PDA Awards Film And Television finalist
2005 Education & Arts Ministers' Awards (SA) Excellence in Arts Education (Artists: The New Pollutants) Won
2004 dB Magazine Awards Most Popular Dance Act (The New Pollutants) Nominated
2004 South Australian Music Industry (SAMI) Award Most Popular Electronic / Dance Act (The New Pollutants) Won
2003 dB Magazine Awards Most Popular Dance Act (The New Pollutants) Won

[27] [28] [29]


  • Speed Presents: Mr Tappin' Fresh EP 2001
  • Speed Presents: The Other Half Of Humanity EP 2001
  • The New Pollutants - Hygene Atoms 2002
  • The New Pollutants - Sid Hop 7" 2004
  • The New Pollutants - Urban Professional Nightmares 2004
  • The New Pollutants - Metropolis Rescore 2005
  • Mister Speed - The Dreamer 2007
  • Benjamin Speed - Street Angel (Soundtrack) 2009

Compilations and Collaborations

  • DJ Tr!p - Various: Right (2002)
  • DJ Tr!p - Various: Acute (2002)
  • DJ Tr!p - Various: Reflex (2002)
  • SubFM - La Trobe University - The Fine Line (2002)
  • Surgery Records - 2002A2D: Analogue 2 Digital (2002)
  • Semikazi Collective - 2002 Compilation (2002)
  • DJ Tr!p - Paintbox Compilation 12" (2003)
  • 3D Radio - Depth Charge 3 (2003)
  • MISA - Sounds of MISA Volume 2: Setlist (2003)
  • ABCSound Quality Volume 2: Approved for Export (2003)
  • Soobiesta - Straight Out Of Brisbane (2004)
  • 52Nd Sydney Film Festival - Music for Film: Cults Classics Curios (2005)
  • Blank Tapes CD Sampler 5a & 5b (2005)
  • Cyclic Defrost Presents: Interesting Music from Australia (2005)
  • Mythical Records - Odyssey of Rapture vol.1 (2008)

See also

External links