The name A.G. Cook might not be immediately familiar, but as the founder of the most “love it or hate it” music label in recent memory, he has been credited with redefining style and youth culture in 2015 and beyond.
Home to a plethora of manufactured yet entirely enigmatic acts (Hannah Diamond, Lipgloss Twins, Princess Bambi), all of whom peddle a dizzying blend of tween-pop, happy hardcore and K-pop, P.C. Music is so divisive that some quarters have hailed its output as the future of pop music, while others have dismissed the whole concept as an elaborate Internet joke.
Whatever your stance on its hyperactive, chaotic and strangely unsettling sound, it’s hard to ignore the label’s cultural impact over the past twelve months, and as a record company boss, producer and artist in his own right, A.G. Cook has been right at the forefront.
A music graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London, the 25-year-old first began showcasing his idiosyncratic talents with fellow student Danny L Harle under the guise of experimental duo Dux Content. After creating pseudo-label Gamsonite to release their work, Cook formed the real thing, P.C. Music, in 2013 with the aim of “recording people who don’t normally make music and treating them as if they’re a major label artist.”
However, it was his own track, the glitchy pop-meets-90s kids TV theme “Keri Baby,” that first put the label on the map a year later, before Eurodance pastiche “Beautiful,” Girls Generation-sampling “What I Mean” and his production work on QT’s impossibly addictive breakout hit “Hey QT” continued to keep everyone in the blogosphere talking.
Since then, A.G. Cook has remixed tracks for How To Dress Well (“Repeat Pleasure”), Charli XCX (“Doin’ It”) and Yelle (“Moteur Action”), staged a showcase for all of his label’s acts at SXSW and issued the compilation, P.C. Music Volume 1, not to mention recently adding to its catalog with the typically frantic sugar rush of “Drop FM.”
Citing figures as eclectic as Janet Jackson hitmakers Jam and Lewis, late composer Conlon Nancarrow and industry impresario Berry Gordy as his inspirations, the elusive A.G. Cook has so far been content to stay behind the scenes of his bizarre hit factory. But considering how far his P.C. Music label has developed in such a short space of time, it’s unlikely he will be able to remain hidden for long.