PC Music is the newest addition to the ever-growing London music scene, but how much does appearance and a desire to be inventive blur the lines between creative music making and a visual statement?
Starting in 2013 record label PC Music has built a repertoire of acts which all have a distinct sound and look. The owner of the label, AG Cook is adding a new element to the British dance scene with his acts, cuteness. Adding further to the child-like vocals the aesthetic created is based in hues of bubblegum pink and baby blue, think Disney channel mixed with Eurovision-only with a lot more skin on show.
At which point does the visual stop being a representation of the music created and become something more significant? For those in the know it is difficult to imagine PC Music without associating it with a look, could it be that without the attention grabbing aesthetic the music itself would be able to be viewed from a more serious perspective?
London based stylist Audrey.D comments on the unquestionable influence that London street wear has on the acts ‘The looks are all based on brands that have been growing in London for years, brands such as Nasir Mazhar have blown up in the past year, even bigger brands like House of Holland are starting to look at them for inspiration. Vinti Andrews, Machine A, they have all been doing this, just waiting for the market to come along and finally it has!’ Brands like Ashish, also known for their extravagant take on street wear trends, has recently gained a larger following being sold in high street staple Topshop. Since the trend for the 90’s revival came back into our wardrobes last year, the demand for brightly colours sports luxe clothing has been growing and PC Music has brought a 2014 spin to the look by mixing pastels with latex and adding quirky hairstyles to match.
The label is hugely dependent on the internet, both promoting and scouting acts through music sharing giant Soundcloud. Nearly all interaction between fans and critics about the acts are based in music forum Drowned in Sound, and without the site the labels information is near impossible to find. The sound and look of the label also have an internet generation feel to them, auto tuned vocals are accompanied by computer made soundtracks featuring synthesised sound effects, the look is also one taken straight from Tumblr. Which in fact it is, Alis Pelleschi a designer based in London runs a Tumblr dedicated to the trend fronted by PC Music (http://alispelleschi.tumblr.com/). The site features pictures of artists such as Hannah Diamond and Serious Thugs all mounted upon a baby pink background of course. Alis Pelleschi has taken the rise of PC Music trend as a business opportunity, founding MEAT clothing with partner Bo Claridge. MEAT is a rubber based collection claiming to draw its inspiration directly from the internet ‘Meat is a brand fully in tune with the Internet. Not only in the inspiration they draw from online culture, but also in their adoptions of the Internet as a presentation platform in itself.’ (http://www.meatclothing.co.uk/). Online culture is something based firmly at the heart of PC Music, the culture for expression but also satire is one that can be applied to not only the look of the label but also the music. A lot of critics have struggled to distinguish if the music is based in serious creativity or one elaborate joke.
Since gaining steam on the internet, publications such as VICE and FACT have picked up on the new genre, and although some praise the labels output as the future “The most compelling pop music in recent memory”-FACT, others however are struggling to see the creativity as more than an just another internet faze calling it “Ear-splitting squeak’n’bass”-The Quietus.
FACT also comments on the introverted nature of the label commenting that ‘It’s the best labels that establish their own unique world which its artists live and breathe in’. Perhaps this is the most accurate description of AG Cook’s vision, instead of just simply producing music these acts are instead a creating a whole unique bubble for themselves and their fans, a big pink rubber bubble.