Glitchpop

Glitch
Stylistic origins Industrial, noise, breakbeat, electro, chiptune, lo-fi, IDM, synthpop
Cultural origins 1990s, Germany
Typical instruments Hardware: circuit bending, Software: Audiomulch, Max/MSP, Pure Data, Reaktor, SuperCollider
Subgenres
Complextro - Glitchstep - Glitch-hop

Glitch is a style of electronic music that emerged in the late 1990s. It has been described as a genre that adheres to an "aesthetic of failure," where the deliberate use of glitch-based audio media, and other sonic artifacts, is a central concern.[1]

Sources of glitch sound material are usually malfunctioning or abused audio recording devices or digital technology, such as CD skipping, electric hum, digital or analog distortion, bit rate reduction, hardware noise, computer bugs, crashes, vinyl record hiss or scratches and system errors.[2] In a Computer Music Journal article published in 2000, composer and writer Kim Cascone classifies glitch as a sub-genre of electronica, and used the term post-digital to describe the glitch aesthetic.[1]

History

The origins of the glitch aesthetic can be traced to the early 20th century, with Luigi Russolo's Futurist manifesto The Art of Noises, the basis of noise music. He also constructed noise generators, which he named intonarumori. Later musicians and composers made use of malfunctioning technology, such as Christian Marclay who used mutilated vinyl records to create sound collages beginning in 1979. Yasunao Tone used damaged CDs in his Techno Eden performance in 1985, while Nicolas Collins's 1992 album It Was a Dark and Stormy Night included a composition that featured a string quartet playing alongside the stuttering sound of skipping CDs.[3] Yuzo Koshiro's electronic soundtrack for 1994 video game Streets of Rage 3 used automatically randomized sequences to generate "unexpected and odd" experimental sounds.[4]

Glitch originated as a distinct movement in Germany with the musical work and labels (especially Mille Plateaux) of Achim Szepanski.[5][6] While the movement initially slowly gained members (including bands like Oval),[7] the techniques of Glitch later quickly spread around the world as many artists followed suit. Trumpeter Jon Hassell's 1994 album Dressing for Pleasure — a dense mesh of funky trip hop and jazz — features several songs with the sound of skipping CDs layered into the mix.

Oval's Wohnton, produced in 1993, helped define the genre by adding ambient aesthetics to it.[8]

The mid-nineties work of Warp Records artists Aphex Twin (Richard D. James Album, Windowlicker, Come to Daddy EP) and Autechre (Tri Repetae, Chiastic Slide) were also influential in the development of the digital audio manipulation technique and aesthetic.

Production techniques

Glitch is often produced on computers using modern digital production software to splice together small "cuts" (samples) of music from previously recorded works. These cuts are then integrated with the signature of glitch music: beats made up of glitches, clicks, scratches, and otherwise "erroneously" produced or sounding noise. These glitches are often very short, and are typically used in place of traditional percussion or instrumentation. Skipping CDs, scratched vinyl records, circuit bending, and other noise-like distortions figure prominently into the creation of rhythm and feeling in glitch; it is from the use of these digital artifacts that the genre derives its name. However, not all artists of the genre are working with erroneously produced sounds or are even using digital sounds. Some artists also use digital synthesizer such as the Clavia Nord Modular G2 and Elektron Machinedrum and Monomachine.

Popular software for creating glitch includes trackers like Jeskola Buzz and Renoise, as well as modular software like Reaktor, Ableton Live, Reason, AudioMulch, Bidule, SuperCollider, Usine, FLStudio, Max/MSP, Pure Data, and ChucK. Circuit bending, the intentional short-circuiting of low power electronic devices to create new musical devices, also plays a significant role on the hardware end of glitch music and its creation.

Notable artists

See also

References

Further reading

  • Andrews, Ian, website.
  • Bijsterveld, Karin and Trevor J. Pinch. "'Should One Applaud?': Breaches and Boundaries in the Reception of New Technology in Music." Technology and Culture. Ed. 44.3, pg 536-559. 2003.
  • Byrne, David. "What is Blip Hop?" Lukabop, 2002. Available here.
  • Collins, Adam, "Sounds of the system: the emancipation of noise in the music of Carsten Nicolai", Organised Sound, 13(1): 31-39. 2008. Cambridge University Press.
  • Collins, Nicolas. Editor. "Composers inside Electronics: Music after David Tudor." Leonardo Music Journal. Vol. 14, pgs 1-3. 2004.
  • Prior, Nick, "Putting a Glitch in the Field: Bourdieu, Actor Network Theory and Contemporary Music", Cultural Sociology, 2: 3, 2008: pp 301–319.
  • Thomson, Phil, "Atoms and errors: towards a history and aesthetics of microsound", Organised Sound, 9(2): 207-218. 2004. Cambridge University Press.
  • Sangild, Torben: "Glitch — The Beauty of Malfunction" in Bad Music. Routledge (2004, [1]
  • Young, Rob: "Worship the Glitch", The Wire 190/191 (2000)
  • Noah Zimmerman, "Dusted Reviews, 2002"
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