Imagine you opened a door to a wormhole: a magnetic warp pulls you forward with growing intensity and just as you are about to fall in, a pair of auto tuned voices reaches in and pulls you out.
On a manic day in mid-September, I sent a text to a friend with a link to experimental electronic duo 100 gecs’ song “stupid horse.”
In the message box I pleaded with her: “But why is it good?”
“Stupid horse” by 100 gecs is an experimental fusion of electronica, hip-hop and pop with an almost criminally insane narrative and overwhelmingly intense production that will bewitch your body and soul in under two minutes.
It is bizarre. It is exhilarating. It is infernal. It’s pop anarchy curated specifically for the refined paletes of riotous, Internet-bred Zoomers. It’s what you wish you heard when you played “Helter Skelter” backwards.
But “stupid horse” is just the tip of the iceberg that is the album “1000 gecs.” Singles like “money machine” and “hand crushed by a mallet” exude anarchic energy that has been neatly packaged in the form of rhythmic snares and mechanical synths.
The vocal tracking on the entire album is pitched up and slightly distorted for virtually no reason at all, making the voices of 100 gecs members Laura Les and Dylan Brady essentially indistinguishable from one another.
It is delightfully confusing to decode. The maximalist production style packed with operatic, tension-building trance synths disguise how gratifying close listening is on “1000 gecs.”
“Money machine” begins with a simple guitar riff and suddenly an offbeat soliloquy with no rhyme scheme comences, asking its subject “Hey lil’ piss baby, you think you’re so fucking cool? Huh? You think you’re so fucking tough?”
The beat tries to keep up with the barrage of confrontational vocals, but can’t quite catch it until the chorus hits, singing “Big boys coming with the big trucks / I feel so clean like a money machine.”
Some of the lyrics are laugh out loud funny, like on “stupid horse:” “Me and the horse we ran out of that place / Then we took the Porsche back to my place.”
Some just straight up vicious like on “800db cloud”: “Taking shots in the dark, that’s a bad call / Going straight for your head, gotta saw it off.”
“Ringtone” is much sweeter. They sing, “My boy’s got his own ringtone / It’s the only one I know, it’s the only one I answer” over a simple, syncopated beat. It is also perhaps the most accessible song on “1000 gecs” and was remixed by popstar Charli XCX, rapper Rico Nasty and the band Kero Kero Bonito.
The abrasive genre clashing of “1000 gecs” makes you feel jumpy and tumultuous. Its energy is infectious and makes whatever room you walk into after hearing it far too orderly and subdued.
Hearing this album is like hearing 2020. Its deranged and disordered beats and melodies paired with absurdist lyrics is somehow the most relatable and inspiring music I have heard all year.
The tracks pull your attention in ten different directions and pults so many different sounds at you that you have never heard before all at once.
This is the generational genius of 100 gecs. It’s chaos in a box. Generation Z and college students are bombarded with constant information flying at us from every angle and outlet.
We are constantly consuming content from social media platforms, TV and movies, advertising, our friends, family and teachers and these messages come in so many different forms
100 gecs sounds like what it feels like to be texting 20 people at once while eating lunch and trying to meet a deadline before class starts in a half hour. It sounds like how it feels to be going crazy alone in your room for days, a servant to your screens. It sounds like a jailbreak.
“1000 gecs” is the perfect soundtrack to these feelings of disarray that are unique to our generation and this time period specifically.
It contains the ideal hype-up anthem. Its catchy beats can excite even just a walk down the street. It can fill any empty void in your head and make you feel something, if even just confused.
“1000 gecs” is from hell but it will send you straight to heaven.