Prior to 2020, A.G. Cook sprinkled his own releases among the many projects he worked on with other artists. That year, however, he unleashed a flood of music, starting with 7G, which was presented as seven sprawling volumes dedicated to the essential ingredients of his music-making and as a seven-minute megamix. Both were perfect representations of the dizzying style he forged with PC Music, as a collaborator with artists such as Charli XCX, and on his own.
It's only been just over a month since the surprise release of Cook's expansive collection 7G. After a sabbatical from releasing eponymous projects in favour of sprinkling gold dust on albums by both new gen PC Music alumni such as Namasenda and Planet 1999 and alt-pop pals - including on Charli XCX 's Mercury Prize-nominated lockdown album How I'm Feeling Now. Cook's refocusing closer to home will sate the thirst of those who have watched the movement spurred by his now-iconic label PC Music very closely since they first appeared in 2013.
If you ever feel like zinging a music journalist with a single pithy quote, I'll give you a free one: "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture". Elvis Costello, Thelonius Monk, Laurie Anderson, Frank Zappa - the saying's been attributed to any number of musical icons over the years. So obscured is its true origin it's almost as if it always existed, a permanent reminder to self-important critics of the futility in pinning a badge to a shadow.
PC Music founder A. G. Cook settled on Apple as an album title, he says, because the word evokes so many things: the eponymous tech company (which, historically, has been regarded as the opposite of the Windows-based personal computer, or "PC"); the Beatles' record label, where the group could stretch their legs and play with genre; the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
The release of A. G. Cook's debut album comes hot on the heels of a 160-minute mixtape that threatened to steal all the bandwidth for it, a novel hype-building strategy perhaps intended to make up for his absence as a solo artist. Within it are hyperkinetic blasts of bubblegum bass mixed with guitar-based tunes that echo Oneohtrix Point Never's recent work.
Following the release of his epic 49-track '7G' in August, AG Cook has been a busy boy, whipping up this self-proclaimed "second debut album" for release only a month after. And as the mastermind and founder of PC Music - the label responsible for all your glitchy pop faves - he's obviously got some big shoes to fill. From the sleek pop of opener 'Oh Yeah' followed by the experimental instrumental 'Xxoplex', 'Apple' shows off AG's chameleon-like composition skills.