arts

COLUMN: 100 gecs, but your ears don’t bleed this time



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Charli XCX performs May 15, 2015, at the Mercedes-Benz Evolution stage during the Rock in Rio USA music festival in Las Vegas.CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled Charli XCX's name. The IDS regrets this error. Tribune News Service

Insert the “Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover event in history” meme here. 

Today, we have truly been blessed with the greatest musical crossover since Wiz Khalifa spit that guest verse on “Payphone” by Maroon 5. 

100 gecs, Charli XCX, Rico Nasty and Kero Kero Bonito have teamed up for the remix to 100 gecs’ electronic rager “ringtone.” 

100 gecs is an experimental, electronic duo of producers and songwriters Dylan Brady and Laura Les. Their debut album “1000 gecs” is a mystifying, sometimes terrifying amalgamation of sounds. 

It’s a bundle of trends tied together with a frayed string. The entire album barely holds itself together as it races through a buoyant, shifting electronic landscape. There’s a track called “stupid horse” which is this bizarre mix of ska, garage rock and electronics. Album closer “gec 2 Ü” is a drum and bass track that features a drop that goes so damn hard it makes my bones shake inside my skin. 

However, 100 gecs is not for everyone. Of course, there is no actual, universally beloved artist. People will always find something negative to say about anything. But a lot of people seem to have a visceral reaction to 100 gecs. This tweet can be used as evidence: 

Every time I turn on 100 gecs in my car everyone collectively groans and threatens to dive out of the moving vehicle. But, with “ringtone [remix]” I can finally play 100 gecs and not become a social pariah. 

“ringtone [remix]” really is like any other 100 gecs track, but the addition of seasoned vocalists creates a new dynamism. 

Charli XCX’s vocals on the first verse and chorus are so smooth. Sarah Bonito’s accent melds perfectly with the glitch-poppiness of the second verse. And Rico Nasty absolutely obliterates the third verse, riding in on a wall of early-2000s guitar. 

The song really is the auditory form of an “Avengers” movie. It’s this monolithic, bombastic piece of music. Charli XCX is Captain America. She’s the leader, holding the song together, ushering it forward. Sarah Bonito is Vision because she has a British accent and Vision is a British robot for some reason. Rico Nasty is the Hulk because she absolutely smashes the hell out of everything in her path. She pops off. 100 gecs itself takes a backseat on this song, so Brady and Les are Hawkeye and Black Widow. They do stuff, but no one really notices them or particularly cares all that much. 

My feelings toward “ringtone [remix]” can be summed up by Laura Les’ only spoken words on the track. 

“My boy’s got–Wait, Charli can you sing the chorus again please?” 

Please, Charli. Sing it forever.

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