AG Cook: the nutty producer behind the decade’s most divisive music

Having polarised pop with the abrasive PC Music, he’s now going solo. ‘I trust my own dislike of things’, he says

Describing AG Cook’s haircut is a challenge. Part mullet, part moptop, it also features elements of shag, perm and bowl. The more I try to place it the context of hair history (Paul McCartney? Joan Jett? Late-80s Deirdre Barlow?) the more disorientated I become. It is not the only thing about him that is liable to confound. Cook, 30, from London, is the man behind PC Music, the record label whose sickly, abrasive and ultra-synthetic output doubled as the most divisive sound of the decade.

Yet, in typically contrarian style, the lead single for Cook’s new solo album, Apple, sounds completely different. Oh Yeah is a catchy guitar ballad pumped full of brain-tickling nostalgia for late-90s pop-rock. Much like his hairstyle, it evades all my attempts to find any close relatives (Natalie Imbruglia? Deep Blue Something? Hanson?). According to Cook, his main influence was actually Shania Twain.

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