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Music / Nick Bertke

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Nick Bertke (born Christopher Nicholas Bertke on July 26, 1988), better known as Pogo, is a South African Australiannote  electronic music artist who lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Bertke is a particularly idiosyncratic producer due to his unique style of sampling (very similar to Todd Edwards' groundbreaking "microsampling" techniques) in which he takes small clips of quotes, melodies, and sounds from practically anything (film, TV, video games, even real life) and sequences the sounds together along with melodic elements and beats to form a new work of music.

He has credited the PlayStation game Music for his initial interest in music production, which he worked in for seven years before the runaway online success of "Alice", a remix of Alice in Wonderland released in 2007, generated the first wave of widespread attention for his music. (The song still stands as his most-viewed — and arguably most popular.)

His works have landed him promotional jobs working with big names in the industry, which have in turn been known to cause interference. In fact, Disney commissions every mix Nick makes of one of their films or else they'll sue, leading to some mixes never seeing official release.

Besides his YouTube channel, Bertke has a discography of less specifically-sampling music as well as an extensive back catalog of rarities that has been thoroughly documented by the fan channel BSHFTW. He also has a second channel where he posts audio-only singles and miscellaneous content.

Aside from his music, he has also made a name for himself for his opinions, which often take the forms of critiques of modern culture, some even being exaggerated self-dubbed satires which have not usually worked in his favor.


  • Wonderland EP (2007)
  • Broken Beats EP (2008)
  • Table Scraps EP (2008)
  • Weave and Wish EP (2009)
  • Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole EP (2010)
  • Texturebox (2010)
  • Wonderpuff (2011)
  • Forgotten Fudge (2013)
  • Fluctuate EP (2014)
  • Perfect Chaos EP (2014)
  • Younghood EP (2014)
  • Star Charts (2015)
  • Kindred Shadow (2015)
  • Weightless (2016)
  • Ascend (2018)
  • Quantum Field (2019)
  • Unity EP (2020)
  • Cultures (2020)
  • Cosmoluxe (2022)

Nick and his music demonstrate the following tropes:

  • Awesome McCoolname: Has discussed this trope on one occasion, mainly concerning how his name (Nick Bertke) does NOT fit under this trope (in actuality, he was talking about how nice it would sound on a business card, but still). He prefers a name like "Nicholas Christianson".
  • Badass Biker: He owns a Honda VT 750 motorcycle.
  • Catchphrase: Often starts his conversational videos with "Hey there, folks!"
  • Child Prodigy: Began making music when he was 14 years old. Here's a sample of what he produced during his teenage years.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A staple of his eccentric brand of humor.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The "Wizard of Meh" video.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Nick dons one at select points in the "Wizard of Meh" video.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: All of Nick's songs use various soundclips of voices, bits of music, and miscellaneous noises to make a song.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In one of the final shots of the video for "Splurgenshitter" — released earlier in Nick's career when he kept his face obscured — you can see Nick's face for a second or so when he takes off his mask.
  • Gratuitous Panning:
    • The "David" voice sample at the start of "Davyd" repeatedly cascades from one ear to the next.
      • The "my brain is falling out" sample is panned to the right side the first time it is played, and then switches to the other side the next time. It happens twice.
    • A rather unique variation with his "Virtual 3D" tracks, which are just previous works reworked so that if you listen to them wearing headphones (preferably earbuds), the sound feels as if it's rotating around your head.
  • Hell Is That Noise: "Satan in the Room", made to encompass the feeling of the presence of the Devil.
  • Intentionally Awkward Name: His former handle and current URL, "Fagottron".
  • It Will Never Catch On: Nick was reluctant to upload his track "Gardyn", since it centered its sampling around Nick's mother instead of a film or show, and he thought people would find it a little unnerving to see him stray away from his original form. However, it gained a lot of praise, and it even became one of the top 25 videos of YouTube Play 2010.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: One time, when Nick finished a track, he hadn't really had a title in mind for it. Out of boredom, he took one look around his room and named the song "Oh Good, I Found Some Lint".
  • LOL, 69: The first soundbite of Donald Trump in "Trumpular" is him saying "69", and it's heard a few more times throughout the song.
  • Long Runner: He's been uploading music to his channel since it was started in summer 2007.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Buzzwing", "Expialidocious", "Jiminy", "Kadinchey", "What I Likes", and "Data & Picard".
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words: "Splurgenshitter".
  • No Ending: Practically every track on his archival compilation 2003-2005, seeing as they're mainly built as unfinished drafts of looped ideas.
  • No Title: A lot of the tracks on 2003-2005.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience:
    • "Ingenuity!" sees him foraying into Hardcore Techno, and — at 200 BPM — is likely the fastest song he's ever made.
    • "Scoobystep" was his first work incorporating dubstep, or something resembling it.
    • Vent Now has some of his most abrasive and aggressive music, sounding very akin to/heavily influenced by the more intense work of Aphex Twin.
    • "Kane" and "People" are songs with more loose sampling and free-form rhythms.
  • Producer Namedrop: In "Muppet Mash", he manipulates samples from a spelling segment to form the letters of his name.
  • Product Placement:
    • Nick and the West Australian dairy company Brownes teamed up to make a track that was something of an advertisement for their Shake n' Shake milk. The final result was "Perth Milks It".
    • "G'Day G'Day" is more or less an advertisement of Whatslively. More considering that Nick went as far as providing more information about them at the video's end, and less considering that Whatslively had simply collaborated with Nick on the song and he wanted to give them some attention.
  • Rearrange the Song: Expect to hear reuses of select samples and sample combinations all across his music, but for some concrete examples...
    • "Nicey Nicey" is essentially a remix of "Zoo Zoo" — fitting, considering they share the same origin.
    • The beat of "Perthection" can be heard at the start of "Perth Milks It".
    • In the same vein, "Hermione Mix" takes some nooks and crannies from "Alohomora", and borrows its main sample from his old track "In Love".
    • "Doo D'Doo" and "Mending" got this treatment to become "Mi Angel" (with John Sean) and "Aye Aye" (with Klarisse de Guzman), respectively.
    • The live mix of "More Tabla" ends by segueing into his Vent Now track "sLITphree".
  • Sampling: The core of his individuality as a producer is his minute sampling and his capability of manipulating said samples. This hasn't stopped him from sampling more traditionally, however; for example, the Windows 95 sound is reversed and looped in the background of "Mary's Magic".
  • Sdrawkcab Name: "redruM", which is "Murder" backwards and has the capital "M" at the end to make the meaning even more obvious.
  • Self-Deprecation: "Truly" ends with a man's voice saying "Well, that's terrible."
  • Serendipitous Symphony: More often than not, his works are based around one that is crafted using samples.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Has described his music's genre as "Pogo".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slasher Smile: Nick pulls off a few hilariously freaky ones in the "Wizard of Meh" video.
  • Studio Chatter: "The Planet" ends with Nick's phone going off, to which he says "Son of a bitch."
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song:
    • "Counterpoint"
    • "Standing Before the Earth"
    • "White Magic"
  • Take That!: He once uploaded a video where he advised on how to make music that sells, and it was by all means a well-aimed shot at the industry.
  • The Unreveal: The final shot of the "Splurgenshitter" video features Nick taking off the Darth Vader mask that he had been wearing for the whole video, but all we see in this shot is his silhouette.
  • Title Drop: The little boy prominently shown in "Kadinchey" does, while speaking Bhutanese, say the name of the song at the start of the video.
  • Voice Clip Song: All of Nick's songs take various voice clips, along with music melodies and sounds, to make a cohesive (and almost always catchy) song.
  • Word Purée Title: His Vent Now album, which has extremely nonsensical track titles laden with Leet Lingo. Said titles include "kissMy@ssPhaggit" and "CHANTofThe@p0calypse".
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Some people find fun in trying to find words and/or meaning in the random sounds of the mixes. Nick even says that he only searches for sounds he likes, not actual words that fit.
    • Subverted in "Mellow Brick Road," which has clearer lyrics than most of his other songs.
    • Averted in "What I Likes", "Data & Picard" and "Trumpular". The lyrics are very clear despite all of the sampling, and they make complete sense.
  • Word Salad Title: "Splurgenshitter". Don't ask him about the meaning, because there is none.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The track titles of Vent Now.

Alternative Title(s): Pogo