Album Review

A. G. Cook - Britpop

On ‘Britpop’, Cook’s mastery of the esoteric is singular.

A. G. Cook - Britpop

On third album ‘Britpop’, A. G. Cook – founder of art collective PC Music and arguably the godfather of hyperpop – taps into the nostalgia of British pop culture to mine historic sounds for his audience to find innovative. In his universe, Britpop is less Oasis than springy PC Music, and over a 24-track odyssey split into three discs – past, present and future – Cook surmises a decade of sonic invention. The chipmunk fantasia never dims: Disc 1 – a platform video game rave – is buoyant, cartoonish and queasily saccharine. Disc 2 reiterates the off-piste medieval tapestry of collaborative outfit Thy Slaughter’s ‘Soft Rock’, before Disc 3 is more akin to throwing ice cream on a circuit board, and features no shortage of SOPHIE’s established future soundscape (see ‘Without’, which features a touching tribute to the late Scottish producer, a reminder of her indelible impact on the collective and pop music at large).

Later, ‘Lucifer’ boasts long-time collaborator Charli XCX, who also joins for its hyper, bratty title track; ‘Luddite Factory Operator’ makes use of the pop industrialism and metaphysics Cook originally helped to forge, and ‘The Weave’ is an elixir of digital wizardry and retro mythology. On ‘Britpop’, a record that exists at the cusp of a portal between medieval England and a spritely electronic future, Cook’s mastery of the esoteric is singular – and a strong argument for the term to retain this new, additional meaning.

Tags: AG Cook, Reviews, Album Reviews

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