Glitch (music)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

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.

Sources of glitch sound material are usually malfunctioning or abused audio recording devices or digital electronics, such as CD skipping, electric hum, digital or analog distortion, bit rate reduction, hardware noise, software 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.

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. The title track of OMD's popular 1981 album Architecture & Morality makes use of invasive computer- and industrial noise snippets, and has been cited as an early incarnation of glitch. 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. Yuzo Koshiro's electronic soundtrack for 1994 video game Streets of Rage 3 used automatically randomized sequences to generate "unexpected and odd" experimental sounds.

Glitch originated as a distinct movement in Germany with the musical work and labels (especially Mille Plateaux) of Achim Szepanski. While the movement initially slowly gained members (including bands like Oval), 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.

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.


Notable artists

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Glitch (music)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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