PC Music’s Pop Crypt at London’s HERE was an unforgettable spectacle
Here’s what went down at the label’s 10th anniversary Halloween party and one-off London show
PC Music pictured during Pop Crypt at London’s HERE
Hordes of PC Music diehards entered the maze of London’s new venue, HERE at Outernet, for Pop Crypt, a Halloween showcase held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the widely influential label and collective that has, over a decade, shifted and reshaped the pop and electronic landscape.
Following the announcement that 2023 would be the label’s final year for new releases, the sold-out party hosted newcomers, well-known names and several surprise guests.
Experimental producer felicita, who sported ghoulish white and back face paint, set the tone early on with demonic soundcapes that could easily soundtrack an exorcism. From nowhere, rapper YoungQueenz hobbled on stage – with his face concealed by a pair of tights, his ear-splitting screams were paired with obliterating trap snares. “I don’t know what the fuck just violated my ears, but I kind of liked it,” said MusicTech’s friend who was being indoctrinated into the PC Music world for the first time.
Moments later, Denzel Himself rattled through his breakbeat-driven ‘aggressive rap music’ while dressed as a cowboy. “This is a song about wanting to blow my fucking head off,” he said, casually.
As is typical of a PC Music show, no two performances were the same. French singer caro<3 switched the vibe completely with her autotune-heavy synth-pop love songs. Fittingly performed under pink lights, the sugar rush beats and heart backdrop visuals delivered a cuteness overload.
Another gear shift saw producer EASYFUN take to the DJ decks, centre-stage, and kickstart a full-throttle ride with the rubbery bounce of Audio. The energy didn’t let up throughout the 25-minute set, which culminated in a million-miles-per-hour edit of Charli XCX’s Barbie soundtrack song, Speed Drive.
Up next, label boss and hyperpop hero A. G. Cook delivered a live-DJ hybrid show to be witnessed through the 3D glasses provided upon entry to the event. While he really went for it with his vocals (Superstar was particularly memorable), the keys, stars and floating candles from the globe-traversing visuals on the IMAX-sized screen felt within touching distance.
After 15 minutes of relative tranquility, the room erupted as the 2023 edition of old favourite Beautiful sent everyone wild. A masterclass in indulgent maximalism followed, along with a surprise appearance from PC Music queen Hannah Diamond, who twirled onto the stage in a tiara and sash before jumping around with Cook during Concrete Angel.
After a quick set change, Cook reappeared with EASYFUN for the debut live performance of the ultimate PC Music supergroup – AKA their band, Thy Slaughter. From the riffs to the snares and the electric shockwaves onscreen, everything was amped up as they lived out their rock band dreams. The set hosted two more guests, too: Alaska Reid, and Caroline Polachek; the latter, shrouded in a cloak, arrived to deafening screams.
As if that hadn’t already sent the PC Music sub-Reddit into meltdown, Danny L Harle closed the show with a superclub-style DJ set. Sporting knight in shining armour chainmail, the ravelord from a forgotten age effortlessly commanded his legion of fans as he veered between Ibiza-ready tech-house and EDM build-ups. Then, he stopped his set to make way for a perplexing interlude courtesy of theorbo master Toby Carr. Normal service resumed, however, when Danny took everyone to Harlecore Heaven, with On A Mountain, Carly Rae Jepsen-collab Super Natural and Broken Flowers ending the night on a final rush of euphoria.
At no other event could you convincingly transition from rap to rock to EDM to a theorbo interlude to trance. But it’s this freedom to do whatever they want, while consistently pushing sonic boundaries, that has long made the PC Music universe so exciting. Their legacy will never be forgotten.
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