If you were to put your favorite childhood movies in a blender, these are the smoothies that would come out. Nick Bertke, better known as Pogo, is an Australian electronic artist who has gained an obsessive following on YouTube for his soothing and highly-addictive musical confections. He weaves together tiny snippets of classic films like Snow White, Lord of the Rings, Toy Story, and Mary Poppins, into warm, happy blends that just feel good. His new album, appropriately titled Younghood, samples from Sesame Street, Back to the Future, Willy Wonka, the Mighty Boosh, and Wall-E.
Nobody does nostalgia like Pogo, and the five tracks on the new album are absolutely delicious. The first song, entitled, “Kermit Clouds” melds the various sounds of Sesame Street and Kermit the Frog into a sweet, mellow jam. He even throws in a little surprise toward the beginning, breaking up the music with the question, “What do you think?” to which Kermit responds “Well it’s uh, it’s not the kind of music that old Willy Shakespeare here used to write.” Then the bliss continues with lots of familiar hums and “Hi-ho!”s that will probably leave you a little misty-eyed. Don’t wear mascara, because you’ve still got sentimental mixes of Willy Wonka and Wall-E to swoon over.
Of course, a huge part of getting the Pogo experience is watching the music videos that accompany each song. Each one is a whimsical collage of the movie or show he sourced from, letting you peer into his mind and see exactly how the music was crafted. You can check out the video for “Kermit Clouds” here.
“I’ve always detected these small sounds,” Bertke says of his initial inspiration. “I thought it would be cool to find those key elements that stick out to me and put them together into some kind of jigsaw.”
He’s been perfecting the art for nearly a decade, humbly rising as one of YouTube’s top DJs in the process. Around half of his works are now commissioned, and many others honor fan requests for specific flicks that tug at their heartstrings for one reason or another. “I grew up with Dumbo and Pinocchio,” Bertke reminisces. “They seem to have been with me as long as I can remember.”
Another favorite on the release is “Time Machine,” the Back to the Future mix that many fans have been crossing their fingers for. The resulting masterpiece is a dreamy collaboration between Pogo and Skye, an independent filmmaker. The beginning includes a clip from the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, in which the bandleader says in a sultry voice, “This is a song for all you lovers out there.” The rest of the song features Lorraine’s wistful sighs, as well as Marty’s cool comment that “History is gonna change.” You can check out the video here.