Videos by American Songwriter
For starters, in August, Cook dropped his debut album: a sprawling, 49-track magnum opus entitled 7G, which saw the 30-year-old British artist explore seven “key ingredients” of his production style over the course of seven discs. Then, just a month later, Cook followed up 7G with Apple, a more traditional, 10-song record that served as a vehicle for his iconoclastic, future pop style (which he developed alongside SOPHIE and others in the PC Music world). Add on top of that all the production work he did for the likes of Charli XCX (he’s been her creative director since 2016), Jónsi and more and you can begin to understand just how crazy Cook’s calendar must look.
Now, on May 28, Cook is unveiling his latest endeavor: Apple vs 7G, an exciting, 21-track remix record highlighting and reimagining songs from both records. Clad with a who’s who of artists and producers from the wider PC Music sphere—including XCX, Caroline Polachek, No Rome, Sarah Bonito (of Kero Kero Bonito), Hannah Diamond, Boys Noize, umru and more—the record is lush with imaginative arrangements, hard-hitting beats, groundbreaking sound design and pure, modern musicality. A definitive highlight is XCX’s reworking of Cook’s “Xxoplex,” fittingly renamed “Xcxoplex.”
“It started as a track called ‘Xxoplex,’ made at Charli’s XCX’s house before I played a show at the Echoplex,” Cook said of the remix in a press statement. “My favourite songs are never-ending, existing beyond albums in the form of remixes, covers, demos, live versions and edits. When Charli and I started working on ‘Xcxoplex,’ we subliminally both wanted to do something high energy—in my mind it became a kind of tribute to all the live shows and DJ sets that we’ve done together, and a way of putting the intensity of those moments back into something new.”
Looking at old things through new lenses is a pretty familiar exercise for Cook, who’s listed everyone from Joni Mitchell to Shania Twain to Frank Zappa as some of his many eclectic influences. Working within the realm of future pop—or, depending on what you want to call it and how you categorize him, hyperpop—Cook’s music is pulsing with cultural and political commentary, subtly making reference to the complicated web of economics, history and tradition that accounts for some of the more baffling contradictions of the modern world. A bustling online hub for everything from counter-culturalism to LGBT+ expression and more, the music scene growing up in Cook’s wake is a vibrant and capable community, drawing from the world around them but synthesizing an impressive, provocative and brilliant new sound.
A. G. Cook’s new remix album 7G vs Apple is out now and available everywhere—listen to it below: