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Getting Into Glitch Hop: Odd & Distracting Or Musical Art Form?

Glitch hop is finally making its way into the spotlight. Glitch hop can best be described as a complex series of short, quick electronic sounds when usually mixed together would result in an unappealing and abnormal sequence. However, the beauty of the genre lies in its ability to transform itself from tiny cuts or samples of pre recorded music into a sweet-sounding art form. 

The EDM world can thank several producers for their contributions to the rising popularity and growth of glitch hop, such as Luigi Russolo, Christian Marclay, Oval, Prefuse 73, and more. Russolo is known for arguing that the human ear had grown accustomed to the sounds of the industrial world in the early 1900s, meaning that our musical taste had evolved into needing something with a more elaborate musical composition, such as distorting effects and creating an original and futuristic sound. Marclay is a pioneer in the knack of composing sound collages with warped vinyl records. Ambience came into effect when the glitch group Oval released “Wohton” in 1993, ultimately solidifying what makes a track glitch hop material. Around 2001, Prefuse 73 aided glitch hop in becoming a major sub-genre of IDM (Intelligent Dance Music). Today, glitch hop is mostly popular in the UK.

After years of development, we can identify a track to be a true glitch hop piece if it is a mid-tempo beat accompanied with a future funk bass line. These tracks are typically 100 to 105 BPM, but it is common for producers to stray from that range of BPM, which is one of the many contributing aspects to the uniqueness of the sub-genre. Glitch hop is also heavily influenced by hip-hop, which is where the second half of its name derives from.

Below are a few of my favorite tracks that I would recommend to anyone looking to get into glitch.

Beat Fatigue - A Blues Malfunktion

Beat Fatigue is an electronic funk DJ/producer from Amsterdam who is very skilled with the guitar. The track below illustrates this quite nicely with a strong, catchy guitar riff in the beginning. Beat Fatigue fortifies his live band feel by performing and recording his own music using bass, synths, and guitars. “A Blues Malfunktion” delivers a soothing jazz vibe alongside a dirty yet funky bass line.

Zebbler Encanti Experience - Neuron Dialect

Zebbler Encanti Experience describes themselves as a visual psychedelic bass experience, and I don’t think I could say it any better than that. This glitch hop style track below embodies their abstract, psy-trap influenced sound flawlessly. “Neuron Dialect” encapsulates ambient effects as well as the futuristic and syncopated beats completely.

KOAN Sound - 80s Fitness (Reso Remix)

One of the more popular glitch hop artists would be Reso from London, England. Reso remixed the track “80s Fitness” by KOAN Sound, where he subtly builds up to a promising 80s-infused drop. The track highlights the most basic element of a glitch piece by distorting the drop and making it sound like the whole track is composed of short samples all with a power driving bass line to tie it all together.

Haywyre - The Schism 

Martin Vogt of Haywyre is predominantly known for his extensive jazz and classical music history and his ability to incorporate the two genres with his love for electronic music and hip-hop. His usual modus operandi includes utilizing the piano as a main tool in achieving the harmonious, funky beats. “The Schism” uses both the piano and guitar while also utilizing dreamy synths that ultimately provide that sonorous vibe we all love.

Said The Sky - Clouds

Originating from Denver, Colorado, Trevor Christensen of Said The Sky is all about creating an experience with his music. Booming bass lines and melodic synths pair together unerringly with the mid-tempo beat in “Clouds.” A tepid kick drum adds a nice flair to the smooth jazz-influenced track. “Clouds” also utilizes a saxophone that emphasizes the classic glitch hop style. The drop consists of deep morphing bass sounds with a touch of piano.  This track is sure to get you into a nice groovy vibe.

Written by Emily Hall

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