A.G. Cook – Britpop

While the news of PC Music’s shutdown sent shockwaves through most of the music community, for anyone paying attention to founder A.G Cook over the past two years, it probably felt like a probability. From soundtracking films to producing for Beyoncé, the UK producer’s growing presence in more mainstream circles hinted toward a departure from PC Music’s outsiderness, posing the question of what the label might look like sans Cook. The answer was always that it would cease to exist altogether. Of course there could be no PC Music without A.G. Cook, because A.G. Cook is PC Music – he is, afterall, the self-indulgent type.


On his inaugural LP since decommissioning the label, Cook adopts a retrospective stance. Released via his newly established New Alias imprint, Britpop is an encapsulation of Cook’s past, present and future, sprawled across three discs that each correlate to one of these temporalities. The sheer scale of the project hints again toward Cook’s creative control being an essential to his craft – a project like Britpop could only exist on a label of Cook’s own design. It’s this sort of self-indulgent maximalism, and unwavering commitment to it, that makes him such a visionary, and with Britpop attempts aims a victory lap of his career’s first chapter.  



Disc 2, ‘the present,’ gnaws on the distorted soft rock nucleus of Apple, while Disc 3’s ‘future’ endeavors to upgrade Cook’s instinctively crude formula toward his recent forays into mainstream pop territory (Out Of Time is an undeniable earworm, though). Tellingly, it’s Disc 1, ‘the past,’ that emerges as Britpop’s most captivating. It’s a faithful revisiting not just of the sonic hallmarks of PC Music’s imperial era, but of its uncompromising ideological bent. On the Charli XCX-aided title track, Cook references himself, his nearest collaborator, and gone-too-soon peer – three icons who define the PC Music age –  in the most obnoxious and frivolous manner. It’s a deliciously petulant satire that serves as a poignant reminder of precisely what made PC Music so groundbreaking in the first place.


Download / stream Britpop here