It’s Thursday, and you know what that means. It’s time to explore a genre that you might not be familiar with. So open up your musical horizons and get to know glitch. Now, we’re not expecting you to become an instant fan of the genres we introduce in this column, but you might be surprised at some inspirational elements that can be integrated into the music you write.
If you haven’t been exposed to glitch music, there are some basic characteristics to watch out for. You know all those unwanted CD skips and weird electronic noises that typically sound like mistakes? Well, glitch utilizes these sound artifacts and incorporates them into the beat of the music. Primarily an electronic genre, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about glitchy music:
The glitch aesthetic is characterized by a deliberate use of glitch based sonic artifacts that would normally be viewed as unwanted disturbances reducing the overall sound quality and are thus usually to be avoided in audio recordings.
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, hardwarenoise, computer bugs, crashes, vinyl record hiss or scratches and system errors. 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. Another term for Glitch is Clicks & Cuts (sometimes only Clicks) deriving from the Clicks & Cuts Series released by the Mille Plateaux music label, which played a leading role in the development of the genre.
And some notable artists to check out: