I hope you'll understand
August 28, 2014 10:05 AM   Subscribe

The first cut on this record has been cross-format-focused for airplay success. As you well know, a record must break on radio in order to actually provide a living for the artists involved. Up until now, you've had to make these record-breaking decisions on your own, relying only on perplexing intangibilities like taste and intuition. But now, there's a better way. The cut that follows is the product of newly-developed compositional techniques, based on state-of-the-art marketing analysis technology. This cut has been analytically designed to break on radio. And it will, sooner or later. For the station that breaks it first, the benefits are obvious. You lead the pack. Yes, no matter what share of this crazy market you do business in, no other release is going to satisfy your corporation's current idea of good radio like this one. On this cut, we're working together, on the same wavelength, in scientific harmony. But remember, this cut is constructed for multi-market-breaking NOW. Don't waste valuable research with needless delay. We've done the hard work of insuring your success; the final step is up to you.
posted by ardgedee at 10:23 AM on August 28, 2014 [6 favorites]

Hey QT!
(✿◠‿◠) Yeah?
posted by naju at 10:34 AM on August 28, 2014 [11 favorites]

I played HEY QT for my wife this morning and she told me to stop before she punched my computer :(

I like all of this.
posted by mkb at 10:37 AM on August 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

...and on XL Records, that's decent pedigree.
posted by wyndham at 10:38 AM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pitched down HEY QT.
posted by mkb at 10:52 AM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sounds like it's being sung by the Munchkins from Wizard of Oz.
posted by rocket88 at 10:53 AM on August 28, 2014

I can't even tell if this is the harbinger that I'm now on the inevitable trash heap of those who've been generation gapped for good or if y'all are just suckers.
posted by nanojath at 10:55 AM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm gonna have to second nanojath. Are people actually detecting earworm components in this, or is that a joke? It sounds so generica (and a little old-fashioned, even?) that I can't discern a hook worth getting stuck on.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 11:02 AM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

It reminds me of Wave Racer and little-scale.

I often consider myself a musical curmudgeon who's been generation gapped. This has enough (chiptune-y? 16-bit sampler?) nostalgia in it for me to really work.
posted by mkb at 11:06 AM on August 28, 2014

It's weird seeing pop trends right before they emerge. You'll see the QT team (Sophie & AG Cook from PC Music) producing major artists (Beyonce, etc.) in 2 years or less.
posted by sleeping bear at 11:11 AM on August 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

You'll see the QT team (Sophie & AG Cook from PC Music) producing major artists (Beyonce, etc.) in 2 years or less.

I don't necessarily doubt it--the sounds teeter somewhere between the (on-its-way-out) big house pop and the (simultaneously-popular) stripped-down nearly-rhythm-only beats along with something else--but I would think they'd be producing actual pop songs instead of whatever this is. Unless the next trend is giving up on songs as a concept, which seems unlikely.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:25 AM on August 28, 2014

It's strange that a production that is so precise--stripping those notes down to the minimum, allowing milliseconds of silence to exist--should also result in a song that is at least 30 seconds too long. A lot of the PCMusic output has that feeling, two minutes of ideas stretched into four minutes of song.
posted by mittens at 11:33 AM on August 28, 2014

Oh, baby-voiced female singers, how you vex me.

Oh no, I listened to the whole thing. Now I'll never get it out of my head today without countermeasures. Bring on the ZZ Top.

On the "giving up on songs" thing, I'll give in to the Inner Curmudgeon. It does sure seem to me that even the dumb pop confections of my youth had actual melodies more often than some of today's. Of course, not all, though in the absence of a melody there was often some sweet brass.
posted by chazlarson at 11:37 AM on August 28, 2014

Chipmunks pop aside, I really for the life of me can't figure out from all this whether or not there is an actual drink, or if the 'drink' is just some kind of artistic metaphor for the song/band itself.
posted by dis_integration at 11:50 AM on August 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

There's so much happening here it's hard to know where to even begin. There's a million thoughts and connections forming whenever I listen to a new track from Sophie or PC Music. Like explaining why this is so next-level requires a great deal of additional knowledge. It's definitely a conscious reaction to or evolution of vaporwave so this thread might be relevant. But you have to aware of what vaporwave is doing and saying (and how it's shifting into a complex aesthetic rather than a genre of its own) before you can be baseline contextually aware, probably. And that's not to mention how this is all distilling and recontextualizing huge swathes of pop and dance music from the past few decades, from eurobeat to freestyle-R&B to Amiga demo scene to happy hardcore to Dance Dance Revolution to Kyary to Ariana Grande.

Or if you don't want to think about where this sits in pop music and what it's trying to do, it just exists as pure pleasure zone tweaking fun anyway, doesn't it? If not, yes, you might be too old.
posted by naju at 11:53 AM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

This comment I made from the previous thread still applies too:

"There's totally a 10,000 word Medium post waiting to be written about how The Kidz are experiencing music and art within a fucked up attention economy and cultural environment where authenticity is a fool's game and everything happens in this weird refractory hall of rebloggable mirrors. And are managing to do interesting things and make waves in ways that Olds like me can't even conceive of. I'm not the person to write that post, because I don't really know what I'm talking about. Just saying. Maybe some 20 year old kid out there can explain."
posted by naju at 11:55 AM on August 28, 2014

Oh and since I didn't see it linked, give a listen to Sophie's "Lemonade". Good lord. 2 minutes of - what is this? I don't know where to begin.
posted by naju at 11:57 AM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

This? I have no use for this.
posted by stenseng at 12:19 PM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's so much happening here it's hard to know where to even begin.

Please, begin! I'm having a little trouble seeing what's so revolutionary about this, but then again I'm an old Kid606, Venetian Snares, Autechre afficianado, and this just seems to be adding a bit of a k-pop twist on the old glitchy classics of the early-oughts, maybe with a bit of house/trance influence, although without succeeding in being really booty-shaking enough to fill up a dancefloor. I think the integration of crass commercialism is interesting, but other than that, why is everyone so excited about it? (And is there a drink? I want to try the drink)
posted by dis_integration at 12:28 PM on August 28, 2014

Naju I made this post at first with no idea what it was only that I really really liked how weird it was before I saw your post about how it was a whole genre. I don't think you need any special knowledge to understand this is something really cool and crazy. Plus I think this track especially does what all the other stuff in the genre is attempting to do but even better.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Was was was
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2014

Please, begin!

I don't see much of a Kid 606 / Venetian Snares / Autechre thing here! Except in the sense of it all being electronic music with conceptual purpose that is daring to push into grating territory.

I'm not the person to write the comprehensive primer to understanding this stuff, unfortunately. I'm surprised it hasn't been written yet, but I don't have the time or articulateness to do a 5,000+ word write-up. Some friends and I had a really good Facebook thread the other day where someone went from eyerolling at PC Music to being converted completely. I wish I could just copy and paste that whole thing but I don't think anyone wants that, and I want to respect privacy. Here was his final takeaway though:

If Opera was always the grand social art form - combining narrative, music, text, acting, costuming, etc. into a greater whole - perhaps this, which has grown out of the vaporwave sensibility [vaporwave much like glitch in the mid-nineties now becoming an aesthetic, not primarily a genre of its own] is actually the new uber art form, bringing together coding ("the new literacy!" - Assholes), computing, music, repurposed pop and corporate sound and presentation, in a perfect reflection of "the way we live now" and the newest frontiers of the whole human drama.
posted by naju at 12:46 PM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Fair enough, Potomac. I agree that it totally does work as just being a crazy and fun track. There are just all these other layers to it that are fun to think about!
posted by naju at 12:48 PM on August 28, 2014

Ok I wasn't really grokking the QT track but the Lemonade track naju posted?

...yeah. Damn.

1. Technically proficient audio works
2. Tightly constructed pop forms
3. Oblique arrangements
4. Crazy-cool aesthetics

I'm really digging this. Thanks for sharing.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:25 PM on August 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

"St-st-studio by L'Oreal!"

When post punk is old, you know you are old. Let's all watch vids of a pack of cigarettes dancing.
posted by clvrmnky at 2:49 PM on August 28, 2014

It's OK but I listened at very low volume. If it came over the radio as an ad at 1.5X the volume the content programming was playing it would annoy the shit out of me.
posted by bukvich at 3:09 PM on August 28, 2014

First of all, I am so excited there's another PC Music FPP. I loved the baffled excitement of the last one from a few months ago.

I've got to say that PC Music and the whole Bubblegrime (?) genre have ruined my music taste over the course of this summer, and I'm not really that sad about it. My friends all are starting to never let me put on music anymore, though.

Things I've been playing nonstop for the last week because of the DisMagazine RinseFM takeover:

Wisin & Yandel - Pegate
Danity Kane - Lemonade
Kero Kero Bonito - Sick Beat
HEY QT (obviously)
posted by azarbayejani at 7:00 PM on August 28, 2014 [5 favorites]

I can say that I am fascinated with all the intellectual and aesthetic writing that has been made about PC Music etc., because I absolutely do not understand ANY of it, but I will say as well that since the last PC Music FPP, I have had a tab open of the PCMusic soundcloud for regular listening.

I guess I am just fortunate that I've been too lazy to purchase/download/put songs on my ipod, because then there would be no way I wouldn't be singing/humming this stuff 24/7
posted by subversiveasset at 9:15 AM on August 29, 2014

I'm liking this a lot, but can't really grok what makes it so different from some veins of glitch pop from that moment ten or twelve years back when the tigerbeat6 crew were putting out a ton of poppy work, and mille plateaux was putting out an endless stream of minimalist glitch-hop compilations. Hey QT reminds me a lot of Otto Von Schirach's poppier work, just teleported a decade forward.

I can see how PCMusic generally sounds more "now" and tumblr-y, but that seems to be due to the fact that the present is a lot more "now" and tumblr-y, for obvious reasons. I agree with Naju's quoted comment about glitch evolving into an aesthetic rather than a genre, but can't really figure out how vaporwave's interaction with its cultural surrounding is something distinct from an evolution of the glitch aesthetic.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:40 PM on August 30, 2014

I'm really into this one too (and the rest of the Manicure Records roster) - Ponibbi - "Heartskip"
posted by naju at 5:04 PM on August 30, 2014

I did what everyone needs and put it through the Infinite Jukebox (sort of a self link, made by coworker)
posted by mkb at 9:15 PM on August 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tension, apprehension,
And dissension have begun.
posted by Sand at 10:57 AM on August 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

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