ON REPEAT is a feature at Chickens Don’t Clap! that draws special attention to my favorite, faaaavorite tracks. It’s all love here, but these jams are the cream of the crop in my world right now.
PC Music founder A. G. Cook and Numbers producer Sophie (all but an official member of the PC Music crew) are currently leading a revolution of self-aware, warped, club-leaning pop music that is as infectious as it is innovative. Cook continues to prove himself as the most measured and accessible producer of the bunch, capable of the kind of hyped-up, distorted club music that characterizes the collective, but also something far more patient like this slow-burning rework of How To Dress Well‘s “Repeat Pleasure”.
From its bizarrely bent intro on through its climactic finish, this remix is nothing short of ingenious. Cook dismantles the entire composition and restructures it to his liking, twisting the first verse into a jagged mess of pitch shifts and light sprinklings of synth in a reimagined introduction for the track. The second verse of the song is cut completely, as are the soft and warm acoustic sounds of the original. Instead, Cook relishes the refrains of “Repeat Pleasure” and allows Tom Krell’s vocals to soar over cold, otherworldly walls of synth. The sharp falsetto of “broken my heart will go on” is looped and layered with backup vocals to brilliant effect, helping to create incredible levels of tension in conjunction with Cook’s crescendos of heart-wrenching chords. Finally, as the power of that moment builds upon itself exponentially, the tension snaps and this rework collapses into a subtly unresolved ending that subconsciously drives me to want to play the song again. Intentional or not, this little detail feels reflective of the song’s subject matter— the search for closure amongst anxiety and pain, driven by a nagging pull of chronic dissatisfaction and longing.
For me, this masterful rework from the King Midas of PC Music markedly improves upon the original. Or, at least, turns it into something far more powerful and affecting. An impressive feat, but I’m pretty convinced I shouldn’t expect any less from A. G. Cook or his affiliates at this point.