Pogo (aka Nick Bertke of Perth, Australia) is an electronic artist whose work consists of sampled audio clips from films. Pure and clean sounding vocals and soundtracks are better for creating this sort of music, so Pogo is partial to Disney Movies.
On Sunday (10/2), Pogo featured a plethora of films at Cambridge’s Middle East Nightclub, including Alice in Wonderland, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Snow White, and Mary Poppins. As he remixed and DJ’d, Pogo projected the scenes from which he took the audio.
I walked downstairs into the club’s basement to see the opener, “That 1 Guy”, just finishing up his electronic-funk set. His clever name is outmatched by his high tech one man band instrument that looks like a vacuum hose with some base drum petals attached to it. He calls this his magic pipe. He also plays two other homemade musical instruments: the magic boot and the magic saw. I guess his creativity stops at “That 1 Guy”.
I had little to no expectations that night. I knew Pogo and was familiar with most of his tracks. Looking around, I became oddly self-conscious. I realized that this show had attracted all sorts of members of (what I might call) societal outliers. Most of the people there looked like they had crawled out of a woodland scene from one of Pogo’s films. I felt uncomfortable because I was the only one not wearing a Phrygian Cap. I was reassured once Pogo stepped on stage.
He began with some of his best songs, most of which were sampled from Alice in Wonderland. Images from The Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Up, and Hook soon followed. Each film transitioned with the thump of a heavy base line accompanied by the roar and applause of 200 people in a dark basement. The show concluded with another track sampled from Alice in Wonderland, “One Mushroom too Many”. Pogo’s fans bounced around the room ecstatically like children. Not bad for a Sunday.