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aka: Pogo

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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.
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He's 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 to form a new work of music.

While his first (and arguably most popular) hit song was 2007's "Alice" (a remix of Alice in Wonderland), he had been producing seriously for seven years prior.

His works have landed him promotional jobs working with big names in the industry, which has 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).

Besides his YouTube channel, he has a solid 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.

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He also has a recently revamped second channel, where he posts audio-only singles and miscellaneous content, and hosts a live-streamed show called Radio Pogo, where he and his audience listen to fan-requested songs and determine whether they are "donks" (good) or "knobbles" (bad).

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, to put it concisely.

Discography:

  • 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)
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  • Weightless (2016)
  • Ascend (2018)
  • Quantum Field (2019)
  • Unity EP (2020)


Nick and his music demonstrate the following tropes:

  • Adorkable: Definitely has a quirky character that comes across in his real-life videos. Take, for example, the "Jungle Dash" video.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: 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.
  • Catch Phrase: 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" to YouTube, since 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".
  • 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".
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: His music nowadays fits comfortably around a 3, but he's done everything from a 1 ("Standing Before the Earth") to a 10 ("sLITphree").
  • No Ending: Practically every track on 2003-2005.
  • 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 the samples to spell 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 samples all across his music, but for some concrete examples...
    • "Nicey Nicey" is a essentially a remix of "Zoo Zoo".
    • The beat of "Perthection" can be heard at the start of "Perth Milks It".
    • In the same vein, "Hermione Mix" borrows some nooks and crannies from "Alohomora".
    • "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 seguing into "sLITphree".
  • Sampling: What sort of sets him apart from other YouTube musicians is his insane sampling skills and his capability of manipulating said samples.
    • In his earlier work, he used more traditional samples; for example, the Windows 95 sound is reversed and looped in the background of "Mary's Magic".
  • 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:
  • Shrinking Violet: Comes off as something of this due to him admitting in one of his livestreams that he's shy about his work and doesn't like collaborating due to its social aspects.
  • Slasher Smile: Nick pulls off a few hilariously freaky ones in the "Wizard of Meh" video.
  • Something Completely Different: The music videos for "Wizard of Meh" and "Jungle Dash" both consist of Nick sitting in front of the camera and lip-syncing the song's samples.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: He often uses "Thanks for tuning in, folks!" as a closer.
  • 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 L33t L1ng0. 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

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