To say that 100 gecs’ influence has been felt throughout the music industry would be somewhat of an understatement. Starting out as the home projects of Laura Les and Dylan Brady, emailing demos back and forth to each other, with each adding their own elements each time. The duo eventually released their self titled debut EP in 2017, quickly gaining media interest for its experimental anti-pop sound. They then broke new grounds after they dropped their debut album ‘1000 gecs’ last year. Blending pop, hardcore metal and even elements of dubstep together they managed to create one of the most interesting experimental album of 2019. The 100 gecs sound isn’t for everyone, as the highly auto-tuned pop segments glide between the deep growls of the metal-core ending on ‘800db clouds’ from their debut album. It’s jarring to say the least, you can never know what to expect from their music. But thats the element that have made them so popular not only with fans, but fellow contemporary boundary pushers in the industry. And thats what this album serves as; an ode to the impact and influence 100 gecs have had on the greater music scene.
One of the highest profile names to declare themselves a fan of the duo was none other than future-pop singer Charli XCX. And one of the first singles to be released from this album was the ‘ringtone (remix)’ featuring Charli, Rico Nasty and Kero Kero Bonito. On it’s own it stands up there with the modern feats of great pop songs, catchy melodies and synthetic production. And now with the added flavour of the three features it hones in all the elements of a chart topping single. Their relationship doesn’t just stop their though as Dylan Brady, one half of the dynamic duo, helped to produce Charli XCX’s latest quarantine album ‘how i’m feeling now’. And his influence can be heard throughout, through its vacuum sealed sound and eccentric production choices.
There’s also other big name features from the likes of Fall Out Boy on the ever shifting ‘hand crushed by a mallet (remix)’, that shifts from its simple almost jazz-esque intro to an all out glitchy head-banging rager, with huge overblown everything. And the hip-hop trio Injury Reserve that manage to transform ‘745 sticky’ from its glitch-pop beginnings to a groove filled hip-hop splice-piece, keeping the barest of original elements. Founding father of the ‘PC Music’ record label and one of the originators of the sound that surrounds 100 gecs, A.G. Cook turns up to remix the highly intoxicating ‘money machine’. Having this as the opening track certainly gives a brief glimpse of what you can expect, with its transition from dreamy pop ballad into crunchy industrial beats. It’s clunky, it’s harsh and it verges on the edge of noise rock, but it works. With everything involved it serves as an expression of just what can be done with a song; breaking away from the normal limitations of pop and its surrounding genres, giving it a space to excel in its own.
But for all the notoriety surrounding the featured artists on this album there’s also a few fan-made remixes, made after the band gave out the stems for the original songs. Such as the ‘xXXi_wud_nvrstøp_ÜXXx (99jakes Remix) and ‘hand crushed by a mallet (n0thanky0u Remix) which lean more towards the arranging instrumental side of the remixes rather than adding new features. The latter of which seems to be a lesson in how much can you turn up the distortion whilst still hearing the key elements of the track.
Already giving so much with this project, the band also decided to include a couple of previously pieces unreleased original material. These come in the form of the two part ‘came to my show’ with the first part acting as an acid tab children’s tv theme intro moving into their classic sound of high pitched electro pop. And the fan favourite highly synthetic ‘toothless’ which has one of the most ‘normal’ pop sounds in their discography.
There’s a lot to unpack within this album and the density of it is perhaps one of the best parts to it. Not only does it expand on the original idiosyncratic sound of the orignal album, but transforms it into a whole new experience, whilst still throwing in reminders on why people fell in love with the weird and wonderful world of 100 gecs.