100 gecs Remix Debut with Help From Fall Out Boy, Charli XCX and More

Photo: Nic John / Courtesy of Orienteer

100 gecs' follow up their debut with a "remix album" stuffed with features, remixes, covers, and a couple of new recordings. But don't worry, it's just as blissfully difficult as their debut.

1000 gecs and the Tree of Clues
100 gecs

Big Beat / Atlantic

10 July 2020

Where do you start with 100 gecs? Their brand of scary but cute, low-fi, noise rock, glitch electronica has to be heard to be believed. Initially, the anarchic pop duo burst onto the scene last year with their highly favored debut release 1000 gecs. It's an eclectic genre-defying collection of lo-fi mixes that beguiled and entertained in equal measure. 1000 gecs has made the duo one of the most divisive acts in modern music. The album made its way into heights of numerous end-of-year lists and even topped the best album of the year in several publications. This year Dylan Brady and Laura Les follow up their debut with a "remix album" stuffed with features, remixes, covers, and a couple of new recordings. But don't worry, it's just as blissfully difficult as their debut.

Since their debut 100 gecs had planned to be on a world tour, unfortunately, the cosmos had other plans. Following the cancellation of the tour, the duo planned and performed at their own digital festival, Square Garden, which took place online in a Minecraft server. Many of the acts at the digital festival are included on 1000 gecs and the Tree of Clues, the two new original songs were also played at the festival. 100 gecs are a band that know their audience and are tapped as much as a fan as they are a contributor to internet and meme culture.

1000 gecs and the Tree of Clues feels less like a new release essential to the 100 gecs cannon and more of an acknowledgment of their idols, influences, and peers. The features and collaborators range from the well known (Charli XCX, Dorian Electra) though to relatively obscure (Lil West, Tommy Cash) as well as the completely unexpected (Fall Out Boy). The inclusion of Fall Out Boy and other emo acts such as Craig Owens of Chiodos shows 100 gecs paying homage to emo influence that permeates each of their catchy hook driven pop-punk melodies. The track "hand crushed by a mallet (Remix)" could easily find a place on Fall Out Boy's latest release.

In complete contrast, the album boasts a vast number of acts from or related to, the British experimental label PC Music. Across the album, 100 gecs feature current experimental pop acts GFOTY and Hannah Diamond, former PC Music act Kerro Kerro Bonito, as well as A.G. Cook and Danny L Harle, who both have writing and production credits on Charli XCX's last two albums. PC Music draws influence from Europop, EDM, children's music, and experimental electronica. A cutesy, kitsch shell with a dark and mysterious interior. The label's eclectic over the top but naive sound based in organized chaos has been a clear influence on 100 gecs and their musical melting pot. PC Music's prominence on this release displays the kinship and passion that gecs share for ever-developing internet subgenres and subcultures.

Another sharp turn in collaboration leads to hip-hop features such as Injury Reserve, Estonian rapper and conceptual artist Tommy Cash, and Soundcloud star Ricco Nasty. Dylan Brady's beasts owe a lot to the genre, and his ardent passion is easily heard throughout his production credits, as well as his work as half of 100 gecs. "745 sticky (Injury Reserve Remix)" is one of the highlights of the album. Its sparse instrumentation constructed from car horn samples, obscure lo-fi synths, and unidentifiable sounds give this new version a Death Grips feel with the ambiguous polytonality and arhythmic stabs of avant-garde composer Igor Stravinsky.

Canadian duo Black Dresses also take their collective hand to 100 gecs' "745 sticky" and put a completely different spin on it. In "745 sticky (Black Dresses remix)", the track is made even more abrupt and absurd than the original. The sound collage feels like a conceptual sound installation with terrifyingly dark undertones. The close microphoned added vocals and distorted production are full of raw rage and visceral energy. Black Dresses' recent split has meant this may be the last project that the two worked on together. 100 gecs' tribute and thanks for Black Dresses' influence and support in the experimental internet cannon may well end up being the swansong of a duo made and destroyed by the internet.

When listening to 1000 gecs and the Tree of Clues, you have to question what is it that this album is trying to do? This release isn't a next important edition in the discography of 100 gecs; it is a document to pay thanks to the influences for the success of their debut. Like 100 gecs debut, this remix album is music as art, and it is a collection of tongue-in-cheek experimentations trying to find new sounds and point the way for the future of music. 1000 gecs and the Tree of Clues is well worth a listen so long as you are familiar with the 2019 debut. Alone the album is a little overlong, repetitive, and unwarranted. Still, when viewed through the lens of the debut, it is a tribute to a community of new music makers. The album is insightful, moving, and points the way to new artists and their experimental music.






Padma Lakshmi's 'Taste the Nation' Questions What, Exactly, Is American Food

Can food alone undo centuries of anti-immigrant policies that are ingrained in the fabric of the American nation? Padma Lakshmi's Taste the Nation certainly tries.


Performing Race in James Whale's 'Show Boat'

There's a song performed in James Whale's musical, Show Boat, wherein race is revealed as a set of variegated and contradictory performances, signals to others, a manner of being seen and a manner of remaining hidden, and it isn't "Old Man River".


The Greyboy Allstars Rise Up to Help America Come Together with 'Como De Allstars'

If America could come together as one nation under a groove, Karl Denson & the Greyboy Allstars would be leading candidates of musical unity with their funky new album, Como De Allstars.


The Beatles' 'Help!' Redefined How Personal Popular Music Could Be 55 Years Ago

Help! is the record on which the Beatles really started to investigate just how much they could get away with. The album was released 55 years ago this week, and it's the kick-off to our new "All Things Reconsidered" series.


Porridge Radio's Mercury Prize-Nominated 'Every Bad' Is a Wonderful Epistemological Nightmare

With Every Bad, Porridge Radio seduce us with the vulnerability and existential confusion of Dana Margolin's deathly beautiful lyricism interweaved with alluring pop melodies.


​​Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Builds Identity From Afrofuturism

Beyoncé's Black Is King's reliance on Afrofuturism recuperates the film from Disney's clutches while reclaiming Black excellence.

Reading Pandemics

Colonial Pandemics and Indigenous Futurism in Louise Erdrich and Gerald Vizenor

From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.


John Fullbright Salutes Leon Russell with "If the Shoe Fits" (premiere + interview)

John Fullbright and other Tulsa musicians decamped to Leon Russell's defunct studio for a four-day session that's a tribute to Dwight Twilley, Hoyt Axton, the Gap Band and more. Hear Fullbright's take on Russell's "If The Shoe Fits".


Roots Rocker Webb Wilder Shares a "Night Without Love" (premiere + interview)

Veteran roots rocker Webb Wilder turns back the hands of time on an old favorite of his with "Night Without Love".


The 10 Best Films of Sir Alan Parker

Here are 10 reasons to mourn the passing of one of England's most interesting directors, Sir Alan Parker.


July Talk Transform on 'Pray for It'

On Pray for It, Canadian alt-poppers July Talk show they understand the complex dualities that make up our lives.


With 'Articulation' Rival Consoles Goes Back to the Drawing Board

London producer Rival Consoles uses unorthodox approaches on his latest record, Articulation, resulting in a stunning, beautiful collection.


Paranoia Goes Viral in 'She Dies Tomorrow'

Amy Seimetz's thriller, She Dies Tomorrow, is visually dazzling and pulsating with menace -- until the color fades.


MetalMatters: July 2020 - Back on Track

In a busy and exciting month for metal, Boris arrive in rejuvenated fashion, Imperial Triumphant continue to impress with their forward-thinking black metal, and death metal masters Defeated Sanity and Lantern return with a vengeance.


Isabel Wilkerson's 'Caste' Reveals the Other Kind of American Exceptionalism

By comparing the American race-based class system to that of India and Nazi Germany, Isabel Wilkerson makes us see a familiar evil in a different light with her latest work, Caste.


Anna Kerrigan Prioritizes Substance Over Style in 'Cowboys'

Anna Kerrigan talks with PopMatters about her latest film, Cowboys, which deviates from the common "issues style" approach to LGBTQ characters.


John Fusco and the X-Road Riders Get Funky with "It Takes a Man" (premiere + interview)

Screenwriter and musician John Fusco pens a soulful anti-street fighting man song, "It Takes a Man". "As a trained fighter, one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned is to walk away from a fight without letting ego get the best of you."


'Run-Out Groove' Shows the Dark Side of Capitol Records

Music promoter Dave Morrell's memoir, Run Out Groove, recalls the underbelly of the mainstream music industry.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.