Review Summary: Movie-mixing master makes magical music.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Nick Bertke, aka Pogo, aka Fagottron (his unfortunate YouTube username) is an ambitious young lad. Hailing from western Australia, Nick has a gift for music making, albeit an odd one. His style of music is remixing, and while remixing is a pretty common art form in this day and age, Pogo stands out like a sore thumb for a couple of reasons; mainly because he has a knack for remixing movies. The way this is done is by splicing snippets of dialogue that Nick feels has a certain musical quality to them and forming a melody out of it, as well as chords and various other sounds from the film(s) and a synthetic bassline and drum beat to form a backdrop. His music works like a jigsaw puzzle - each piece works together to make his songs work the way they do.
While the music is created inorganically, it has a very human element to it. The lyrics are often unintelligible bits of speech, but one look at the comments below his YouTube videos and it's obvious that people have many different interpretations as to what the song could really be saying, making the music feel personal to many. Many of the movies that Pogo samples are children's movies, such as Alice In Wonderland, Harry Potter, Hook, etc, so his music creates a sense of nostalgia for fans of the movies (and in many cases, for people who haven't seen the films either). Also, because movie soundtracks are made with the intent of evoking emotion of the viewer, the songs have a similar effect. In a sense, Pogo's music has a magical effect for people, and this is indebted almost entirely to Hollywood, which has been known to have a magical feel to its films. This isn't to say that the music is gimmicky. Pogo puts a lot into his music, always trying to capture the essence of a film into his music as a sort of tribute, not as any sort of money making scheme (although it has become a job for him - he has recently done commissioned work for Pixar, Microsoft, and other companies). Because of this, his music feels impassioned, like the work of a true artist.
Weave And Wish, which is one of Pogo's finest releases to date, is a perfect introduction to his catalog. The songs range from various different styles within the electronic music spectrum - "Under A Spell", a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang remix, has a trance feel to it, while "White Magic", a Sword In The Stone remix, plays off like a trip-hop song. The former is a style that Pogo works with a lot, which can be heard in the track "Splurgen***ter", of which the samples have never been verified, although it features a hilarious and perfectly placed Family Guy sample. The track "Mending", an Oliver remix, plays off like a bouncy house song. My only real complaint about the EP would be "Alohamora", the Harry Potter remix. While it's not a particularly bad track, it doesn't have the same je ne se qua as most Pogo tracks, and while the repetitive nature of Pogo's music most often works to his favor, this song feels a little lazy. Also the EP is fairly short, rolling in at just under 17 minutes. But despite these setbacks, Weave And Wish is a highly enjoyable listen that can appeal to fans of electronic music fans alike.