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100 GECS 1000 Gecs And The Tree Of Clues gets 7/10


100 gecs

1000 gecs and The Tree of Clues
Dog Show/Big Beat/Atlantic

7/10

100 gecs is the producing duo of Laura Les and Dylan Brady who released their debut album 1000 gecs last year, where it swiftly became one of the most discussed releases in years. It felt right that it came several months before the dawn of a new decade, for 100 gecs’ music truly is the arrival of something wholly original in the musical landscape. 

Whenever something truly new appears in music, there is naturally bound to be scepticism and it’s been no different with 100 gecs. Older critics and listeners have wondered if they’re a mere Gen Z inside joke, music by way of irony and memes but it might not matter: their songs are pure and harmless fun and should be treated as such. The key when contemplating the music of 100 gecs is to not view it too seriously – it’s weird, bizarre, and riotously fun. 

It’s remarkable that there’s even a remix album at all, given that 1000 gecs felt so reconfigured and reworked to begin with. The remixes aren’t polished or clean but they aren’t supposed to be – the songs are as sharp and cutting as a slice from a razor. Their sound vibrates with the rushing intensity of an incessant barrage of output, as if it’s being expelled from inside the mind of someone with ADHD. The duo slash their way through internet culture and musical genres to collate a dazed and dizzying Music of Chaos. Les and Brady grab typically mocked genres such as ska, metalcore, and dubstep, and remodel them in their own imitable way. 

The album is teeming with guests, crawling towards the exciting world of 100 gecs from a wild variety of genres and platforms. There are contemporary companions like Charli XCX and Nicole Dollanganger; exposure is offered to new talent like 99jakes and NOthankyyOu; the duo even recruit a relic of the high point of noughties pop-punk with the appearance of Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, whining his way through hand crushed by a mallet. Several songs are given two remixes, creating comparative competition. With the aid of Charli XCX, Kero Kero Bonito and Rico Nasty, ringtone is flush with bubblegum pop grooves; their long-time collaborator umru then imbues the song with a darker industrial intensity. 

The remixes are a chaotic mixture of styles. Gecgecgec becomes a traditional pop-rap track with Lil West rapping about bitches and convertibles. Stupid horse starts with an actual horse’s whinny, and xXXi_wud_nvrstop_UXXx – with the help of Hannah Diamond and Tommy Cash – becomes a horrendous slice of Eurotrash, pounding as only the worst trance can; it almost feels parodical. Much of the lyricism is inane but sometimes it’s coloured with an endearing forlorn sense of connection. On came to my show, a high-pitched voice cries “I can’t believe you came to my show / It hurts when you don’t”; on gec 2 u Les ponders “You’re sitting all alone, and you call me on the phone / And you say, “I need love, can you get to me now?”. This is all to say that 100 gecs is both good and bad: after listening to them, one’s brain is exhausted and in need of rest but it has also been supremely satiated and entertained. 

The band gained accelerated fame through the use of their intoxicating songs on the social media platform Tik Tok and they are the perfect companions: the headache-inducing pace that both 100 gecs’ music and Tik Tok’s clips pass by one’s peripherals are achingly similar, an unceasing stream of content and digital noise. By the culmination of the 2020’s, we will almost certainly look back on this moment in music and anoint 100 gecs as the quintessential Gen Z band. (A sentence that will hurt the eyes of any reader over the age of 30: the duo got their breakthrough after being invited to perform at Minecraft Festivals). 

Les and Brady are in their mid-20s and it shows: they are the late millennials who grew up at the advent of the iPod and its shuffling approach to listening, simultaneously exploring the early deep holes of SoundCloud and YouTube; there is so much to discover, so much to try, and 100 gecs do their utmost to reflect this immensity in their music. They are the producers whose minds are filled with the pinging of addictive video game effects, who witnessed the outrageous popularity of Crazy Frog, and who then envied the immense but polarising rise of Skrillex and EDM. 100 gecs might not be to the tastemaker’s liking today but what they represent is a fascinating distillation of everything that’s come before them in popular music culture since 2000. 

On umru’s ringtone remix, a phone call buzzes in the background; it goes unanswered. This is what it’s like to listen to 100 gecs: we are engulfed by the furious energy and relentless content, like scrolling mindlessly on the internet, ignoring the outside world, but a gem or two might just be found while doing so.

CONOR LOCHRIE

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