A. G. Cook

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A. G. Cook
A. G. Cook performing in March 2015
A. G. Cook performing in March 2015
Background information
Birth nameAlexander Guy Cook[1]
Born (1990-08-23) 23 August 1990 (age 30)[2]
OriginLondon, England, United Kingdom
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Music producer
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record executive
Years active2011–present
LabelsPC Music
Associated acts
Websiteagcook.com

Alexander Guy Cook (born 23 August 1990) is an English music producer, singer, songwriter, and head of record label PC Music. Since its founding in August 2013, PC Music has represented over twenty artists producing music within a similar genre and style.[3] Cook's dense, chaotic arrangements are distorted versions of mainstream pop music. He was named #12 in the Dazed 100 for "redefining style and youth culture in 2015 and beyond".[4] Cook is currently Charli XCX's Creative Director[5] and has executively produced her last four projects: Number 1 Angel, Pop 2, Charli and How I'm Feeling Now. Cook released his two debut albums 7G and Apple in 2020.

Early life[edit]

Alexander Guy Cook is the son of architect Sir Peter Cook and Israeli architect Yael Reisner. He attended Goldsmiths, University of London, where he studied music.[6]

Career[edit]

2011-2013: Career beginnings[edit]

It was at Goldsmiths he reconnected with Danny L Harle, with whom he had gone to school as a teen.[2] The two bonded over their shared musical tastes and interest in comedy duo Tim & Eric. This grew into a musical project called Dux Content.[7] Since they did not have a vocalist, Dux Content focused on musical experiments like compound metres and changes in tempo.[7] One of their earlier works was a collection of compositions for the Disklavier, released with Spencer Noble and Tim Phillips under the name "Dux Consort".[1]

Cook has worked on graphics for PC Music acts including easyFun and Maxo.[1]

Cook created Gamsonite, a "pseudo-label" collecting his early collaborations.[6] Dux Content released its songs with strange renderings of digital avatars for promotional artwork.[1] They contributed to the score for Alicia Norman's animated film Heart of Death and began considering a children's television show titled Dux Content's Jungle Jam. Cook and Harle explored how to build rhythms out of a vocalist's natural singing tempo and released the results as "Dux Kidz". The project was noticed by producer Sophie, who later worked with PC Music's acts.[7] Cook began working on building flashy websites with Hannah Diamond and decided to focus on using websites to promote music.[6]

2013-2015: Foundation of PC Music[edit]

In August 2013, Cook founded PC Music as a way of embracing an A&R role, with the aim of "recording people who don't normally make music and treating them as if they're a major label artist."[2] In January 2014, Cook released "Keri Baby" as his first solo single, with vocals by Diamond.[8] The track uses pop clichés and glitchy vocals to depict Diamond as a digital entity on a screen.[8][9] His follow-up single "Beautiful" was released in June. "Beautiful" is a pastiche of Eurodance, featuring high, pitch-shifted vocals and donk sounds.[10][11] Fact magazine called it PC Music's "de-facto anthem", and the song received a remix from Scottish producer Rustie.[12]

Sophie (left) and Cook (right) produced QT's single "Hey QT"

Cook worked with Sophie to produce a song for QT, a pop singer portrayed by American performance artist Hayden Dunham.[13] She found Cook through his work online and wanted to use a song to market a QT energy drink.[14] Their resulting collaboration "Hey QT" was released in August 2014 on XL Recordings.[15]

On 22 December 2014, A. G. Cook released "What I Mean" from his "Personal Computer Music" mix as a single. The single was made available as a free download via radio presenter Annie Mac's "Free Music Monday" SoundCloud channel.[16] Opening with muffled dialogue, the song incorporates robotic vocals and a sample of R&B artist Chuckii Booker.[17] Its organ-based arrangement was a more soulful take on Cook's usual style of dance-pop.[17][18] After discussing a collaboration on a Charli XCX album,[19] Cook contributed an official remix of her single "Doing It" featuring Rita Ora.[20]

Cook's work received recognition on year-end lists for 2014. "Keri Baby" was listed at number 5 of Dummy magazine's "20 Best Tracks of 2014",[21] and Buzzfeed's "13 Obscure Tracks of 2014",[22] number 1 on Gorilla vs. Bear's, "Favourite Tracks of 2014",[23] number 2 on Dazed & Confused's "Top 20 Tracks of 2014".[9] Pitchfork Media ranked "Beautiful" number 30 on its list of "The 100 Best Tracks of 2014".[10]

March 2015 saw Cook's PC Music head to the US to showcase all 11 of his label's talent at the Empire Garage in Austin, Texas as part of SXSW. The showcase received positive reviews, with The Guardian saying "AG Cook's entire thundering set [shows] this is a label refusing to be confined by definitions of genre or good taste."[24] On 8 May 2015, Cook performed as part of a PC Music show at BRIC House in Brooklyn, New York as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival. The show was billed as the premiere of Pop Cube, "a multimedia reality network".[25]

"Superstar," Cook's fifth single, was released via PC Music on 13 July 2016.[26] On the day of its release, Cook revealed via Twitter that "Superstar" had been in the works for over two years prior, originally beginning as a "topline pitch" for electro house DJ Zedd.[27]

In April 2016, experimental music producer Oneohtrix Point Never posted a cryptic video to his Instagram that appeared to show Cook working on a remix of "Sticky Drama," a single from his 2015 album Garden of Delete.[28] The remix was later surprise-released on 16 December 2016.[29][30]

2017-Present: Charli XCX, other ventures, 7G and Apple[edit]

In March 2017, Charli XCX's mixtape Number 1 Angel was released, prominently featuring production by Cook and others, including PC Music artists and affiliates SOPHIE, Danny L Harle, Life Sim, and EASYFUN, who created the project EasyFX with Cook. This was followed by the mixtape Pop 2, also featuring production by Cook and others. Pitchfork Media gave Pop 2 a rating of 8.4 out of 10, calling it "a vision of what pop music could be" and "the best full-length work of both Charli and PC Music’s respective careers".[31]

In November 2018, A. G. Cook contributed to Tommy Cash's second studio album ¥€$. Cook is credited as the producer on 5 tracks on the record, including lead single "X-RAY" which he co-produced with Danny L Harle.

Cook was announced as the co-executive producer for Charli XCX's third studio album Charli, which was released on 13 September 2019. Cook has produced six of the album's seven singles, including Gone, the third single from the album, which features Christine and the Queens. The song was awarded "Best New Track" by Pitchfork[32] and best song of the week by Stereogum.[33]

On 6 April 2020, Cook and BJ Burton were announced as co-executive producers for Charli XCX's quarantine album How I'm Feeling Now, which was written in an open-source style, sharing the production process online and utilising fan input/content.[34]

Cook produced the song "Exhale" by Jónsi, his first solo music in a decade, released on 23 April 2020.[35] In July 2020 it was revealed Cook is the co-executive producer on Shiver, Jónsi's new album which was released on 2 October 2020.[36]

On 30 July 2020, Cook announced an upcoming studio album 7G.[37] On 7 August 2020, he held a virtual concert featuring Caroline Polachek, Thy Slaughter and GRRL titled 7 by 7 over Zoom.[citation needed] The album was released through PC Music on 12 August,[38] comprising 49 tracks split over seven discs.[39]

On 20 August 2020, Cook announced another studio album, Apple.[40] The announcement came with the release of the single "Oh Yeah".[40] The album was released through PC Music on 18 September 2020.[39][41][42]

Artistry[edit]

Cook's style of music amplifies the clichés of mainstream pop music from the 1990s and 2000s.[4] He follows the work of "mega-producers" such as Max Martin and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.[2] Cook references Scritti Politti's album Cupid & Psyche 85 for its "conscious decision to take pop music and make it as shiny and detailed as possible".[44] He cites Korean and Japanese pop music as influences, as well as gyaru subculture.[2]

Cook begins constructing tracks by constructing chords and melodies note by note.[2] He prefers the sounds of virtual instruments and avoids sound design early in the process, giving his music a deadpan simplicity. He experiments with combining dissonant sounds, and the resulting dense, multi-layered arrangements are influenced by the black MIDI techniques.[1][2] Cook's arrangements are inspired by the mechanized music of composer Conlon Nancarrow.[45] When collaborating with other artists, he prepares an extensive demo so that they can complete lyrics and record vocals straight away. Cook thoroughly processes the vocals, chopping them to use as a rhythmic element atop the melody.[2]

In contrast to most of the artists on PC Music, Cook wears plain clothing.[46] GFOTY jokingly characterised his style as normcore.[47]

PC Music[edit]

PC Music was founded by A. G. Cook in 2013 and made its first song available on SoundCloud in the same year.[48] PC Music is known for its surreal or exaggerated take on pop music, often featuring pitch-shifted, feminine vocals and bright, synthetic textures.[49] Artists on its roster include Hannah Diamond, Easyfun, Namasenda & Danny L Harle. The label has been characterized as embracing the aesthetics of advertising, consumerism, and corporate branding.[49] Its artists often present devised personas inspired by cyberculture.[50] The label has inspired both praise and criticism from journalists, and has been called "polarizing".[51] In 2019 it was described by Dazed as one of the 'most exhilarating record labels of the 2010s.'[52] In more recent years it has been noted for its influence on mainstream pop due to the production work by PC Music signees for artists such as Kim Petras, Charli XCX and Jónsi.[53]

Personal life[edit]

A. G. Cook currently lives in Los Angeles where he moved in 2019.[52]

Cook began a relationship with singer Alaska Reid in 2018. Since they began dating, they have frequently collaborated with each other. Cook lent production work on her singles "Quake" in 2019, and "Boys from Town" in 2020, as well as mixing her single "Amber" in 2020. Reid lent her vocals to multiple songs on Cook's 2020 albums 7G and Apple. He quarantined with her and her family in Montana during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. He helped produce Charli XCX's how i'm feeling now album while in Montana.

Discography[edit]

Studio Albums[edit]

Title Details
7G
Apple
  • Released: September 18, 2020
  • Label: PC Music
  • Formats: LP, digital download, streaming

Singles[edit]

Title Year Album
"Keri Baby"

(featuring Hannah Diamond)

2014 PC Music Volume 1
"Beautiful"
"What I Mean" Non-album single
"Bubs"

(with Oneohtrix Point Never)

"Drop FM"

(featuring Hannah Diamond)

2015
"Superstar" 2016 PC Music, Vol. 2
"Music On A Gold Plate" / "Cos I Love You" 2017 Month Of Mayhem
"Lifeline" 2019 Apple
"Oh Yeah" 2020
"Xxoplex"
"Beautiful Superstar"

Songwriting and production credits[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Album Credits Writer(s) Producer(s)
2013 "Pink and Blue" Hannah Diamond Non-album single Co-writer/producer Hannah Diamond, Cook Cook
2014 "Hey QT" QT Co-writer/producer Sophie Xeon, Cook SOPHIE, Cook
"Don't Wanna / Let's Do It" GFOTY Co-writer/producer GFOTY, Cook Cook
"Attachment" Hannah Diamond Producer Hannah Diamond
"Every Night" Co-writer/producer Hannah Diamond, Cook
2015 "Hi"
"Real Love" Chris Lee (Li Yuchun) Chris Lee (Li Yuchun), Cook
"Only You"
"USA" GFOTY GFOTY, Cook
2016 "All the Love I Had" VIPOTY
"Amazing"
"Got My Chad" Co-writer/ co-producer GFOTY, Cook, EASYFUN Cook, EASYFUN
"Poison" Co-writer/producer GFOTY, Cook Cook
"Mr. E" Call Him A Doctor Co-writer/ co-producer GFOTY, Cook, Johnny White Cook, Johnny White
"Blown"
"Lemsip"
"Snakes + Ladders"
"The Argument"
"Wood U"
"You Don't"
"Call Him A Doctor"
"Heaven"
"Fade Away" Hannah Diamond Reflections Hannah Diamond, Cook, Finn Keane Cook, Easyfun
"Make Believe"
"Paradise"

(feat. Hannah Diamond)

Charli XCX Vroom Vroom (EP) Co-writer Sophie Xeon, Charlotte Aitchison, Noonie Bao, Cook, Martin Stilling SOPHIE
"After the Afterparty"

(feat. Lil Yachty)

Non-album single Vocal producer Charlotte Aitchison, Miles McCollum, Rachel Keen, Fred Gibson, Sophie Xeon, Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Hermansen, Eyelar Mirzazadeh StarGate, FRED, SOPHIE (add.), Cook (voc.)
2017 "Dreamer"

(feat. Starrah & RAYE)

Number 1 Angel Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Brittany Hazzard, Rachel Keen Cook
"3AM (Pull Up)"

(feat. )

Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Finn Keane, Karen Marie Ørsted Cook, Easyfun
"Blame It On U" Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Noonie Bao Cook
"Emotional" Co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Patrik Berger Cook, EASYFUN
"White Roses" Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Noonie Bao Cook
"Drugs"

(feat. ABRA)

Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Gabrielle Mirville
"Lipgloss"

(feat. cupcakKe)

Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Elizabeth Harris Cook, SOPHIE, Life Sim
"Month of Mayhem" GFOTY Month of Mayhem Co-writer/producer GFOTY, Cook Cook
"Dirty Sexy Money"

(feat. Charli XCX & French Montana)

David Guetta & Afrojack Non-album single Co-writer Karim Kharbouch, Nick Van De Wall, Noonie Bao, Cook, David Guetta, Charlotte Aitchison David Guetta, Afrojack, Skrillex (co.)
"Backseat"

(feat. Carly Rae Jepsen)

Charli XCX Pop 2 Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Finn Keane, Carly Rae Jepsen EASYFUN, Cook
"Out of My Head"

(feat. Tove Lo & ALMA)

Charlotte Aitchison, Sophie Xeon, Cook, Ebba Tove Nilsson, Alma-Sofia Miettinen Cook, SOPHIE
"Lucky" Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Nicolas Petitfrère Cook, Ö
"Tears"

(feat. Caroline Polachek)

Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Caroline Polachek Cook
"I Got It"

(feat. Brooke Candy, cupcakKe & Pabllo Vittar)

Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Jesse Shatkin, Pablo Bispo, Rodrigo Gorky, Arthur Marques, Jesse St. John Geller, Phabullo da Silva, Elizabeth Harris Cook, umru
"Femmebot"

(feat. Dorian Electra & Mykki Blanco)

Cook, David Gamson, Finn Keane, Francisca Hall, Michael Quattelbaum Jr. Cook, David Gamson, EASYFUN
"Delicious"

(feat. Tommy Cash)

Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Tomas Tammemets Cook
"Unlock It"

(feat. Kim Petras & Jay Park)

Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Kim Petras, Park Jae-beom Cook, Life Sim
"Porsche"

(feat. MØ)

Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Henry Allen, Cassia O'Reilly, Karen Marie Ørsted Cook, EASYFUN, King Henry
"Track 10" Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Hermansen, Noonie Bao, Sasha Sloan Cook, StarGate, Life Sim, Lil Data
"My Song" GFOTY GFOTYBUCKS Co-writer/producer GFOTY, COOK Cook
"Believe"
"Don't Wanna / Let's Do It"

(Bucks Mix)

"Tongue"
"Unbreak My Heart"
"Red Silver Blue"
"Huge"
"Mysterious GFOTY"
"Christmas Day"
"Lemsip"

(Bucks Mix)

"All the Small Things"
"Lover"
"Drown Her"
"It's All Coming Back to Me Now"
"Kiss"
"Nobody Does It Better"
"Friday Night"
2018 "Pussy Money Weed" Tommy Cash Non-album single Producer Tommy Cash
"Mood" Carlie Hanson Co-writer/producer Carlie Hanson, Leland, Cook
"Focus" Charli XCX Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Jack & Coke Cook, Jack & Coke
"Little Molly" Tommy Cash Co-producer Tommy Cash felicita, Cook, Tommy Cash
"True" Hannah Diamond Reflections Co-writer/producer Hannah Diamond, Cook Cook
"X-RAY" Tommy Cash ¥€$ Additional producer Tommy Cash, Danny L Harle, Caroline Polachek Danny L Harle, Cook (add.)
"MONA LISA"

(feat. Rick Owens)

Co-writer/producer Tommy Cash, Rick Owens, Cook Cook
"HORSE B4 PORSCHE" Tommy Cash, Cook
"DOSTOYEVSKY"
"COOL 3D WORLD" Tommy Cash, Charlotte Aitchison, Cook
2019 "Quake" Alaska Reid TBA Alaska Reid, Cook
"Blame It On Your Love"

(feat. Lizzo)

Charli XCX Charli Additional producer Charlotte Aitchison, Noonie Bao, Lizzo, Sasha Sloan, StarGate, Finn Keane StarGate, Finn Keane (add.), Cook (add.)
"Gone"

(with Christine and the Queens)

Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Noonie Bao, Linus Wiklund, Héloïse Letissier, Nicolas Petitfrère Cook, Lotus IV, Ö, Baseck (add.)
"Ocean of Tears" Caroline Polachek Pang Additional producer Caroline Polachek, Nathaniel Campany, Kyle Shearer Caroline Polachek, Danny L Harle, Valley Girl, Cook (add.)
"Cross You Out"

(feat. Sky Ferreira)

Charli XCX Charli Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Noonie Bao, Linus Wiklund, Cook, Lotus IV
"Warm"

(feat. HAIM)

Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Este Haim, Danielle Haim, Alana Haim Cook
"February 2017"

(feat. Clairo & Yaeji)

Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Claire Cottrill, Katherine Yaeji Lee, Charles Teiller, Alexandre Teiller, Caroline Beatrix Maurin Cook, Planet 1999
"2099"

(feat. Troye Sivan)

Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Troye Sivan, Nicolas Petitfrère Cook, Ö
"Next Level Charli" Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook Cook
"Click"

(feat. Kim Petras & Tommy Cash)

Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Jaan Umru Rothenburg, Theron Thomas, Tommy Cash, Dylan Brady Cook, umru, Dylan Brady, Ö (add.)
"Thoughts" Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook Cook
"White Mercedes" Additional producer Charlotte Aitchison, Andrew Wotman, Ali Tamposi, Nathan Perez Watt, Happy Perez, Cook (add.)
"Silver Cross" Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook Cook
"I Don't Wanna Know"
"Official" Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Noonie Bao, Patrik Berger, Finn Keane Cook, EASYFUN, Patrik Berger
"Shake It"

(feat. Big Freedia, cupcakKe, Brooke Candy & Pabllo Vittar)

Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Nicolas Petitfrère, Elizabeth Harris, Freddie Ross Jr., Pabllo Vittar, Rodrigo Gorsky, Pablo Bispo, Arthur Marques, Zebu, Maffalda Cook, Ö
"Hey Big Eyes" Caroline Polachek PANG Co-producer Caroline Polachek Caroline Polachek, Cook
"Invisible" Hannah Diamond Reflections Co-writer/co-producer Hannah Diamond, Cook, Finn Keane, Thomas Carrell, Christopher Mason Cook, EASYFUN
"Love Goes On" Co-writer/producer Hannah Diamond, Cook Cook
"Reflections"
"Never Again"
"Concrete Angel" Producer Gareth Emery, Christina Novelli
"The Ending" Co-writer/producer Hannah Diamond, Cook
"Shy"
"24/7" Namasenda TBA Co-writer/co-producer Namasenda, Robokid, Cook, Rebecca Scheja, Fiona Fitzpatrick Robokid, Cook
2020 "forever" Charli XCX how i'm feeling now Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, BJ Burton Cook, BJ Burton
"Exhale" Jónsi Shiver Jónsi, Cook Cook, Jónsi
"Dare (AM)" Namasenda TBA Co-writer/producer Namasenda, Cook Cook
"Dare (PM)"
"i finally understand" Charli XCX how i'm feeling now Additional producer Charlotte Aitchison, Benjamin Keating Palmistry, Cook (add.), Mechatok (add.)
"pink diamond" Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Dijon Duenas, Cook Dijon, Cook
"7 years" Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, BJ Burton Cook, BJ Burton
"detonate" Co-writer/producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook Cook
"c2.0" Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, Dylan Brady, Umru Rotherberg, Theron Thomas, Tommy Cash
"party 4 u" Charlotte Aitchison, Cook
"visions" Co-writer/co-producer Charlotte Aitchison, Cook, BJ Burton Cook, BJ Burton
"Swill" Jónsi Shiver Co-producer Jónsi Cook, Jónsi
"Boys From Town" Alaska Reid TBA Additional producer Alaska Reid, Tom Stafford Tom Stafford, Cook (add.)
"Cannibal"

(with Elizabeth Fraser)

Jónsi Shiver Co-producer Jónsi, Elizabeth Fraser Cook, Jónsi, Nicolas Petitfrère (add.)
"girl on my throne"

(feat. Casey MQ)

Oklou Galore Co-writer/additional producer Marylou Mayniel, Casey MQ, Cook, Finn Keane Casey MQ, Florian Le Prise, Oklou (co.), Cook (add.)
"Salt Licorice"

(with Robyn)

Jónsi Shiver Co-producer Jónsi Cook, Jónsi
"Shiver" Cook, Jónsi, Nicolas Petitfrère (add.)
"Wildeye" Co-writer/co-producer Jónsi, Cook
"Sumarið sem aldrei kom" Co-producer Jónsi
"Kórall" Co-writer/co-producer Jónsi, Cook Cook, Jónsi, Nicolas Petitfrère (add.), Jack Armitage (add.)
"Hold" Cook, Jónsi
"Grenade" Co-producer Jónsi
"Beautiful Boy"

Filmography[edit]

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Artist(s) Role Director(s) Notes
2016 "VIPOTY" GFOTY Sneaky Picture Taker Roland Waters Companion short film for the EP of the same name
2016 "Vroom Vroom" Charli XCX Himself Bradley&Pablo
2016 "After the Afterparty" Charli XCX Zombie Diane Martel
2017 "Month of Mayhem" GFOTY Himself Mr. E
2017 "Boys" Charli XCX Himself Charli XCX and Sarah McColgan
2018 "X-Ray" Tommy Cash Himself Tommy Cash and Anna-Lisa Himma
2020 "Party" Planet 1999 Himself Aidan Zamiri and Eamonn Freel
2020 "Oh Yeah" A. G. Cook Himself A. G. Cook
2020 "Silver" A. G. Cook Himself A. G. Cook and Aaron Chan
2020 "Today (Live at Appleville)" A. G. Cook Himself Rick Farin & Claire Cochran
2020 "Beautiful Superstar" A. G. Cook Himself Prosper Unger-Hamilton & A. G. Cook
2020 "Boys From Town" Alaska Reid Himself Santiago Cendejas, A. G. Cook & Alaska Reid
2020 "Jumper" A. G. Cook Himself A. G. Cook and Aaron Chan

References[edit]

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  30. ^ Sticky Drama (A. G. Cook Remix), retrieved 22 December 2016
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