“Another article about PC Music. Seriously? When is this site going to cover something new? Get this GARBAGE out of here. I want real music, like Zeppelin. Why doesn’t TMT cover more rock & roll??”
Well, guess what? Yes, this is an article about PC Music, and we’re not going to stop until they do. To that end, A. G. Cook has dropped a 57-minute mix featuring works of tracks by Rihanna, Katy Perry, and this week’s meme queen, Grimes. The entire mix is part of Sigur Rós’ ongoing endless music series, Liminal.
So there. Take your Zeppelin and shove it up your Deep Purple.
Dance Until We Die
New Recording 4
Coming Home Demo
Track 10 (Extended Mix feat. Lil Data)
Ekki múkk (A. G. Cook vs. Sigur Rós)
Paul Just Made A Kind Of Weird Mashup
Seeds (For Jónsi & Alex)
A Love Fire
“Blame It On Your Heart”
Feelings Transcription (For Sophie & Cecile)
Everyone_has_a_reason_to_Pray [Ö] (A. G. Mix)
Varúð (A. G. Cook vs. Sigur Rós)
Yellow Diamonds In The Light
If You’ve Got The Money, I’ve Got The Time
Flesh Without Musk
Jónsi & A. G. 2015 Demo
Grimes and Elon Musk have been causing quite a stir online, but their union hasn’t only inspired memes. A.G. Cook, who helms the bubblegum-electronic label and collective PC Music, shared a remix of Grimes’ “Flesh Without Blood” called “Flesh Without Musk.” Musk recently tweeted that “Flesh Without Blood” is one of his More »
She wasn’t supposed to make it past 25. Charlotte Aitchison’s Charli XCX persona has never been geared toward longevity. Whether braving an apocalyptic day of reckoning on “Nuclear Seasons” or literalizing her mortality on “Die Tonight,” the Cambridge singer has long displayed a sense of fatalism in her music. On True Romance, Charli’s oncoming demise demanded romantic consummation, no matter how transitory. On Sucker, she combated encroaching death with puerile hedonism and carnal distraction. And unlike compatriots and fellow Bacchanalia frontline journalists Arctic Monkeys, whose distaste for English nightlife is so acute you might mistake them for teetotalers, Charli revels in the debauchery of the London club scene, viewing its inevitable hangover as fait accompli and, consequently, a nonissue. This is why her career never seemed likely to sustain itself; the good times were bound to kill this death-obsessed girl. But the joke’s on us: she’s still alive, and on Pop 2, Charli XCX returns for more profligacy, yet this time with a keener perspective recalibrated by the nuances of young adult maturity.
There’s a certain territoriality and arrogance in Charli naming her mixtape Pop 2, but much of her music is spent negotiating the line between admirable confidence and aggressive hauteur. Charli spent roughly half of Sucker explaining that she was too good for you — even if she’ll mete out second and third chances for the sake of comfort and familiarity — while elsewhere flaunting her superhuman tolerance to narcotics and a vast wealth that puts Croesus to shame. And so on Pop 2, we see more of the cocksureness Charli exhibits in spades, as on the escapist-affirmative “Out of My Head” (ft. Tove Lo and ALMA), as well as a self-assured autonomy on tracks like the prurient, cloying “Unlock It” (ft. Kim Petras and Jay Park).
Yet on most of these tracks, Charli XCX sounds to have abjured the truculence and grandeur that granted her notoriety on singles like “Boom Clap,” “Fancy,” and “I Love It,” with much emphasis on her guests, which include Carly Rae Jepsen, CupcakKe, Mykki Blanco, Pabllo Vittar, MØ, Dorian Electra, and more. The Caroline Polachek duet “Tears” finds the singer reckoning with her proclivity for caprice, singing “I killed our life, I’m crazy […] Door shut tight, that ain’t love, no.” In place of her trademark overconfidence, Charli delivers a comparatively unadorned performance, signaling what seems to be genuine feelings of remorse. She may not be the most convincing agent of regret, but Charli didn’t pen these songs in hopes of credence or validation. Instead, she’s singing for her own benefit, to make sense of the needless waffling and unrest in her relationships. More power to her.
In the last 40 seconds of “Delicious” (ft. Tommy Cash), the track shifts from a scrupulously produced club banger to a pristine choir. This is an apt metonym for the instrumentation and arrangements of Pop 2. With production help from the likes of SOPHIE, Life Sim, King Henry, EASYFUN, and executive producer A. G. Cook, the music vacillates between synth-powered spectral screeches and jolts and immaculate choral beds, as if to reconcile the delineation between the impersonal nature of club life, with its ephemeral hookups, and the deceptive jubilance of a real, long-term relationship. The result is mixed bag, with the album’s industrial moments more engrossing by virtue of their immediacy and the more human elements of the production turning into a slog if left alone for too long.
For better or for worse, Charli XCX is embracing maturity on her fourth mixtape. Now 25 years (and some change) old, Charlotte Aitchison looks to be relieving herself of the “born to die young” credo she’s so ardently maintained for the past few years in favor of something more stable. And though she may not find what she’s looking for anytime soon, Charli XCX, on Pop 2, is at least looking down a new path.
Following felicita’s recent NTS radio show, the PC Music-affiliated artist has shared a new video for a work titled “hej!” Directed by Matt Copson, the video captures Polish dancing over sparse, fragile piano melodies that bend and swerve themselves through subtle wavering pitches and slight dissonance. The music comes from felicita’s Soft Power, an Unsound-commissioned performance piece featuring traditional dancers from Poland’s renowned Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble. According to Unsound:
This unique work synthesizes traditional choreography and costume with new music to create a hypnotic multimedia experience. The concept stems from Felicita’s childhood education in traditional dance, and explores folk culture, national identity, tourism, branding, illusion, and farce.
PC Music notes that an album by felicita is coming in 2018. Could be an album version of Soft Power, could be something else. We have no idea. STOP ASKING. We’ll just have to sit tight for now and watch the video for “hej!” below.
And hey, if you’re in or around London, Soft Power will be performed Friday at Barbican for Unsound Dislocation alongside performances from NIVHEK (a.k.a. Grouper) & MFO and The Caretaker — oh, you know, just the absolute BEST musicians IN THE WORLD. More information can be found here.
GFOTY continues to be the girlfriend of the year by gracing us unworthy fans with another video in support of her delicious greatest hits compilation, GFOTYBUCKS, due out November 17 via PC Music.
The queen herself has let us in some of the behind-the-scenes gossip #JUICY: “This video is sick because it has that hot babe from the Linkin Park ‘Crawling’ video pretending to be me – maybe I shouldn’t have said that because people might’ve thought it was actually me and be like ‘oh wow GFOTY is so fucking bangin’.’ well, the cat’s out the bag now guys! anyway – yeah watch this amazing video by Ambar Navarro – Oh! and I’m actually drinking Lemsip right now.”
In addition to the release of her album, GFOTY will be opening a branch of *GFOTYBUCKS* at London’s Five Miles Club during the release party on November 23rd. Attendees will be able to taste some corporate, sugary GFOTY-tested recipes alongside the hottest *GFOTYBUCKS* baristas: GFOTY (live), DJ Warlord, MC Boing, Spinee, Ben Suff Donk, SURATI, Chema Papi Diaz & GFOTY (DJ set).
Every day, GFOTY goes to work hoping to do two things: share smash hits with her fans and flirt with a bunch of hot guys. It was true when GFOTY’s “Friday Night” streamed in 2012, and it’s just as true today.
Back then, GFOTY was just Polly-Louisa Salmon from London. From a small internet storefront, she offered some of the world’s finest fresh-roasted whole bean smash hits. Her name, possibly inspired by Moby’s dick, evoked the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of early music listeners.
Now GFOTY is undisputedly the most popular musician in the world, and she’s set to drop her most important release of all: a greatest hits album titled GFOTYBUCKS. The 19-track release includes such smash hits as “USA,” “HUGE,” and “Don’t Wanna / Let’s Do It,” as well as deep cuts like “My Song,” “Tongue,” and “Red Silver Blue,” which are also smash hits. The album even includes smash hits not written by her, like “Unbreak My Heart,” “All the Small Things,” and “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” with the rest of the tracklist padded out by not only more smash hits, but also breakthrough singles, a few chart-toppers, and some greatest hits.
GFOTYBUCKS is due November 17 via PC Music, with a “32 page magazine created by GFOTY with exclusive GFOTYBUCKS recipes, lyrics and artwork.” Watch the video for a hybrid work featuring new song “Tongue” mixed with VIPOTY track “Poison,” listen to “Tongue” in full via SoundCloud, and let GFOTY inspire and nurture your human spirit — one smash hit at a time.
01. My Song
03. Don’t Wanna / Let’s Do It (Bucks Mix)
05. Unbreak My Heart
06. Red Silver Blue
09. Mysterious GFOTY
10. Christmas Day
11. Lemsip (Bucks Mix)
12. All The Small Things
14. Drown Her
15. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
18. Nobody Does It Better
19. Friday Night
Get the gas masks on, take a few final breaths of non-filtered air, and wait. There’s no escaping it. Every day, the virus grows, already infecting innocent bystanders from Stockholm to South Korean, Latin America to Berlin. You can fight it or bask in its glory. The queen of PC Music, Hannah Diamond, has already thrown in support by way of Tom Clancy x Deadpool-esque cover art.
All throughout the London club scene, saturated with grime, an epidemic is spreading and the breadcrumbs lead right to Bala Club. The reggaeton collective has revitalized the lonely ex-European city and, as with nearly all culture movements, has begun to see the inklings of genre gentrification. Collective member Endgame’s mixtape halts any attempts by previous grime DJs to make their way into the Reggaeton resistance with Consumed.
I love this song!
By Carrie Page · September 6, 2017
THIS SONG IS SO COOL. My daughter listens and listens to “Me4U,” and even her adult siblings have been drawn to it when they come visit. The track is soft and pliable, but can be molded and will hold shape. It will separate, but will also stay together. I haven’t listened to anything quite like this before; it kind of reminds me of the science projects we used to do as children where we mixed corn starch and water and you would get a unique consistency/texture. It’d be like a liquid, but if you tried to pick it up, it’d run through your fingers, then act like a solid if you slapped its surface. I can see that there is a therapeutic quality about listening to a song like this, kind of how it feels when working in the garden and moving your hands through the earth.
Customer questions & answers
Q: What happens if the song gets wet?
Answer: Depends on how wet. We live in a dry climate and my wife actually adds a bit of water to the song every other week or so because it starts to dry out a bit. If you think it’s too wet, then just leave it out on a tray in the sun to dry it out. Just make sure a cat can’t get to it. That wouldn’t be fun.
Q: does it come with a “play mat” of some sort?
Q: do you consider the song to be edible?
Answer: No. While I do not believe it is poisonous (the primary ingredients in the song are notes and some form of baby oil), I would not recommend allowing or encouraging children to eat it, or listening to it with children who tend to put things in their mouths.
Danny L Harle is one of the most celebrated artists on the PC Music label, based on a string of deadly singles and collaborations with everyone from Panda Bear and Tinashe to Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX. His first single, “Broken Flowers,” was what he called an attempt at writing a “completely conventional song,” but the SHAPE-affiliated artist has since branched out stylistically. Harle has said his latest EP, 1UL, is all about “making sad music that people can dance to.”
Lucia Udvardyova spoke to Harle about his label’s new MAJOR status, “pop,” the conceptual strategies of his music, and, of course, arpeggios.
What fascinates you about pop music and its structure?
I used to be solely interested in contemporary classical music, especially pieces that experimented with extremes of sound. Toward the end of my masters degree I started playing electronic music at club nights and soon realised that you can play around with extremes of sound with complete freedom in electronic music in a much more interesting performance context. After being enlightened to electronic music in this way I became interested in certain types of pop, as it had all the extremes of music that I was interested in during my classical phase (extremes of simplicity, complexity, loudness) but also had the added benefit of being super-fun.
I also like music with a ‘mechanical’ element. I’ve always loved instruments like the harpsichord, hurdy-gurdy, and player piano, as I find a kind of profundity in a sound made by a mechanical or robotic instrument that evokes a human emotion. My interest in the ‘industrial’ side of pop music is related to this — I am fascinated by music studios which have managed to design a mechanical formula for making pop music, such as always writing at the same BPM, using the same instruments, using modular but consistent structures etc. Examples of this are SAW, Motown, and (my favorite) Cherion studios.
Pop music has become once again the norm/normative. It’s omnipresent, the same way indie-rock used to be. Do you see it imploding and where do you see pop going in the future?
Pop music is always the norm by definition, the only thing that changes is the audience’s perception of whether they are listening to ‘manufactured’ music or ‘real’ music — the difference between which is pretty much illusory when it reaches the charts. I really like how the pop music culture in Japan and Korea allows for an acceptance and an embrace of the fake rather than a search for the real. The South Korean band ‘Exo’ are marketed to have supernatural powers that control the elements, and that is often incorporated into their videos, and J-pop has acts such as Kyari and Hatsune Miku. I would love to see that mentality reflected in Western pop music.
Can you talk about your association with PC Music — the label, the genre, the aesthetic as such? Has the public and media perception of it influenced you in any way?
I hadn’t heard of all these media outlets before PC started making an impact. I never read them before and I don’t read them now. I’ve never really needed journalists to help me find music, as I do my own research. I obviously read reviews of my stuff out of curiosity, but as I never read reviews about anything else, I tend to find it quite nice if they like my stuff and hilarious if they don’t.
What is your stance regarding the major vs. independent music scene (considering PC Music — the label — is now part of Columbia and yours was the first release of this partnership) — is this dichotomy still relevant nowadays?
No, it’s largely an illusion, and I love illusions!
When you make music, do you approach it from a conceptual aspect?
I was a real ‘Johnny Concept’ when I was at music school, but now I tend to do what strikes me as fun or emotionally evocative. I don’t know how much of my old conceptual self still exists in my subconscious though.
Can you talk about how you make music from the perspective of form/content/idea?
I wrote some music recently by transcribing a sequence I liked in a Bruckner motet and then introducing some interesting modulations to it. It sounded completely different after a bit of experimentation. I tend to write melodies and chords first because that is what I am obsessed with. I usually write them into a ‘super saw’ sound with a low cutoff.
Your music is euphoric, the listener awaits an apex, a sonic culmination. Can you talk about euphoria and how you structure your music in general?
You’ve recently recorded an album with Pawel Siwczak entitled Harpsichord Sessions, with a subtitle “the Oldest Newest Old New Music.” Can you talk about it?
Baroque music uses arpeggios all the time because of the nature of the instruments; the same can be said for chiptune music. This limitation produced a way of expressing music that I find particularly emotional, and even though I live in an age where I don’t have to write an arpeggio to express a sustained chord, I choose to stick to arpeggios as I have fallen in love with the sound.
What is “new” in sound nowadays, what innovations can producers bring about? Is “newness” important for a musician/music as such?
Arbitrarily pursuing the ‘new’ is nearly always a bad idea, newness comes as a result of having a thing to say which current technology (or combinations of technology) can’t express.
What is important to you personally about music-making (the effect on the listener, your own feelings from it, its socio-political ramifications, etc)?
The best music for me is emotionally involving and also interesting to listen to. The feeling I most search for in music is euphoric melancholy. I don’t like thinking about the effect on the listener, as it seems to inhibit my creativity. I am a firm believer in Quincy Jones’ saying, “If it really turns you on, there is a chance that it will turn someone else on too.”
Can you talk about your latest projects & plans?
These days I’m interested in making chilled bangers, experimental euphoric music, and HUGE BANGERS. Also video game development and Kids TV shows.