100 Gecs – ‘1000 Gecs & the Tree of Clues’ review: Brain-melting, genre-crushing vision of pop’s future

The likes of Fall Out Boy, Charli XCX and PC Music's A.G. Cook are among the 21 massive guest features on the Missouri duo’s brilliantly bonkers remix album

No sound is off limits in the glitchy, genre-splicing world of 100 Gecs: Dylan Brady and Laura Les filter jarring sonics into a DIY blender to see what undefinable concoction materialises. Crash-landing onto earth from their hyper-online universe, the US duo’s divisive 2019 debut album ‘1000 Gecs’ created a dedicated legion of stans while less convinced Reddit users pondered whether it was actually all a post-ironic meme. It also echoes the scepticism levelled at the London collective PC Music in the mid-2010s after they laid the foundations for a new generation of artists who have since gone on to confidently skew the idea of ‘pop’.

It makes sense, then, that its leading figures and URL friends feature heavily across 100 Gecs’ utterly wild collaborative remix album and major label debut ‘1000 Gecs & the Tree of Clues’. PC Music head A.G. Cook delivers a maximalist annihilation of ‘Money Machine’, Charli XCX teams up Avengers-style with Kero Kero Bonito and Rico Nasty on ‘Ringtone’, while Danny L Harle’s stadium-filling Harlecore remix of ‘Gec 2 Ü’ is a ’90s rave-indebted adrenaline rush.

Elsewhere, Hannah Diamond and Tommy Cash turn ‘xXXi_wud_nvrstøp_ÜXXx’ into a euphoric Eurodance banger, GFOTY and Count Baldor turn the ridiculousness up to 11 with wonky farmyard namechecks on ‘Stupid Horse’ (aka ‘Old McDonald’ for donk lovers) and umru adds classical strings and an epic guitar solo outro to ‘Ringtone’. By this point, it’s best to embrace the record’s infectious absurdity.

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The wide-ranging guestlist also invites SoundCloud favourites Lil West, 99jakes, Tony Velour and US rap trio Injury Reserve to the party, while Ricco Harvey returns to pummel the disparate parts of ‘800db cloud’ into a distorted dubstep blowout that Skrillex would love. There’s also the nightmare-inducing screams of now-defunct Canadian noise duo Black Dresses, who awaken ‘745 Sticky’ into a demonic exorcism. But the biggest WTF moment comes when Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump sings the opening of ‘Hand Crushed By A Mallet’ a capella, delivering a nostalgic, early-2000s throwback.

Not content with crowd-sourcing 21 collaborators for 14 huge remixes, there’s also two new 100 Gecs anthems that are sure to have fan forums hyperventilating. After a warped 34-second intro that imagines how the theme tune of a children’s TV show might sound if it was made while on acid (think The Magic Roundabout reimagined by the creators of Rick and Morty), ‘Came To My Show’ explodes over tinkling piano keys, pulsing synths and a frustration-releasing chorus, while frenetic follow-up ‘Toothless’ storms in as a head-banging, pop-punk rager.

By spotlighting upcoming artists alongside established names, 100 Gecs give an IRL boost to their ever-expanding community of internet collaborators on ‘1000 Gecs & the Tree of Clues’ while providing an exhilarating snapshot of pop’s alternative future.

Details

100 Gecs – ‘1000 Gecs & the Tree of Clues’
100 Gecs – ‘1000 Gecs & the Tree of Clues’

  • Release date: July 10
  • Record label: Big Beat / Atlantic Records
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