Despite PC Music’s high-profile visuals, revamped production, and ambitious collaborations with multinational beverage companies, the label’s goals are modest. For founder AG Cook, running the boundary-pushing label has always been about releasing music that feels honest and intimate, above all else. He said magazine interview that when he makes songs, it’s like his computer is an extension of itself. “My brain just works on a different level,” he said. “[My computer] feels like a part of me. Over the years, he’s made it clear that while he and his collaborators make “personal computer music,” the focus is primarily on the “personal.”

PC Music Volume 3—a mix of new tracks and songs released since 2016 2nd volume– is the first of the label’s compilations to fully deliver on this promise. In the early days of the label, it might have felt like there was some sort of house style – especially since Cook had got his hands on so many of the label’s most memorable clay productions – but Volume 3 erases the notion that there is only one PC Music sound. Whatever the genre – from cyborg radio refractions to acid-scorched rave memories – each track is intensely detailed and rich in emotion, with the producers’ work as concerned with self-expression as they are focused on notions. changes in what pop music can sound like.

In the case of some of the artists gathered on Volume 3it means getting closer and closer to music that would really fit the Billboard graphics. AG Cook’s “Xcxoplex,” for example, welcomes Charli XCX to a euphoric revamp of one of her solo songs, and it sounds, in places, like the kind of euphoric EDM track that would once have recorded cringing kids. at Electric Zoo. But Cook was never the kind of artist to embrace pure pleasure; the most ecstatic moments are cut with digital noise, rhythmic contortions and offbeat harmonies. Even as the timbre of pop music evolves towards more outrageous sounds – the jaw-dropping sounds of hyperpop, digicore and plugg have emerged from the underground internet since the last PC Music compilation – Cook’s productions are still wonderfully discordant. . Other dreamy albums like “over u” by caro♡ and “☆” by Namasenda (with French singer-producer Oklou) are a little less complicated. This approach can be a virtue for pop music, but some of these moments feel a little light in the context of a PC Music compilation that’s full of otherwise recognizable complex and rich takes.

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