Pogo, a.k.a. Nick Bertke, is a pioneer of music in the post-charts age. Like most artists in the post-charts age, he has come to prominence largely through YouTube; like pioneers of music throughout history, he has developed a style that is entirely his own. Pogo is the kind of artist that Amazing Stuff wants you to meet.
The Perth-based artist first came to prominence on the web with his remixes of classic Disney cartoons and films, such as this one of Mary Poppins, entitled ‘Expialidocious’:
To create his unique style, Pogo uses many sound samples taken directly from the films as the basis for an entirely new musical track, before overlaying selected vocal samples to form a scat-like melody. He then remixes the video to match the new track.
The trancey, trippy music is good, and the videos are funny to watch, but what makes Pogo’s work uniquely appealing is that it breathes new life into films most people have enjoyed as kids, while managing to maintain a sense of their original atmosphere (and even the storyline.)
Here is his edit of Disney/Pixar’s film Up, which he created as part of a remix project hosted by the film companies:
However, times of peace between lone remixers and the big corps are rare in these days of the online copyright wars. Pogo had protests from Sony Pictures Entertainment at his remix of Hook (Bangarang!) resulting in the removal of the video from YouTube, but when fans posted saved versions of the video back on the site, Sony relented. Generally, the 23-year-old’s creative efforts are now tolerated by the multi-billion-dollar firms.
Pogo is now moving on to remixing the real world. Through a Kickstarter project that has already raised $25,000, he’s aiming to travel to random destinations across the globe and create tracks out of the sounds he records there. Next destination: Tibet. Here’s one he already made in Johannesburg, ‘Joburg Jam’:
If you fancy seeing Pogo live in action, he’s on tour across the U.S. from next month. Check out his website for details: http://www.pogomix.net/