Shadowy cyber-pop cabal PC Music is partnering with Columbia Records for a series of new releases, one starting in November with the release of Danny L Harle's Broken Flowers EP. The nature of the partnership between the two labels isn't clear yet, but it's likely that PC Music will function as a sublabel within Columbia for the release of Harle's EP and other new music.
At first glance, the two make for a bizarre pair: Columbia Records is one of the oldest record labels on the planet (now operating under Sony Music Entertainment's umbrella), and it's the home of thoroughly conventional artists from AC/DC to Train. PC Music is a nebulous collective of artists and producers who perform pseudonymously and upload most of their music to SoundCloud. It's not exactly apples and oranges — it's more like apples and USB drives.
PC Music has spent much of this year building up to a major league leap, and a partnership with Columbia makes a lot more sense in that context. The label hosted a raucous SXSW showcase in March and has moved toward purer, less experimental pop with singles like QT's "Hey QT." PC Music-affiliated producer SOPHIE has infiltrated the mainstream to an even greater degree by soundtracking McDonalds commercials and working with Madonna.
Harle's the best choice for Columbia's first PC Music release
When it comes to the label's current roster, there's no better choice for its first release with Columbia than Harle. He's a classically trained composer, and his singles (like 2013's "Broken Flowers," the EP's namesake) are among PC Music's most structured and easily melodic releases. The EP's lead single is called "Forever," and it's a good introduction to Harle's stylistic hallmarks: bright, fizzy synths, chirpy female vocals, and a sense of near-fantastical romance. Broken Flowers should offer more of the same when it's released on November 20th.