I had a really, really nice surprise recently.
I was given a few sample packs to review from Primeloops.com, one of which was called “Glitch Hop drum beats”. I had only heard of the genre in passing, never actually listening to it or researching it, but figuring I had the samples I convinced myself to take the time to do so.
I am so glad I did.
It was like the excitement when I discovered Dubstep. Powerful, electronic music that lives in its very own stylistic bubble. A new genre. But what’s that genre all about? Let’s ask some questions…
To sum it up in a sentence, Glitch hop is hip hop made up of sounds that as a general rule shouldn’t be there.
Excessive stutters, glitched samples, blips and bleeps and really anything that sounds like a computer has mangled it. Hence its genre name being shared with “Blip Hop”, downbreaks and break hop. It does sound like it’s broken, which I think is a lot of the appeal.
Take a listen to this Glitch Hop Mix to get a feel for it. You’ll see just why it’s so awesome.
Relating to the non-musical style of the genre, there is nothing that stereotypical yet. At the moment the genre is still very much evolving. There tends to be a dark edge to everything dealing with the style, along with a strong connection to technology, unsurprisingly.
The genre has grown out of the German Glitch movement, which originated around the late 1990s; A traditionally ambient, experimental genre using the circuit bent sounds to create soundscapes and songs. It takes this ethos and adds the totally sweet hip hop swagger to make an interesting, cool style.
Glitch Hop itself has been evolving from early 2000 – it’s still not completely come into its own yet, so now is the time to get onto the bandwagon before it blows up. I have heard of so many people moving from the dubstep scene to Glitch Hop for a change of pace, I have a feeling it will get considerably bigger over the next few years.
The genre is still, at the time of writing, an underground movement. Some artists such as MC Lars have ventured into a bit of glitch, but only fleetingly. No Full-on Glitch Hop artists have moved onto big record deals yet.
Though I noticed Glitch hop has started to break out into the mainstream – Heard Black Eyed Peas’ song “Boom Boom Pow”? Whether intentionally or not, this track has some very Glitch Hop-y sounds to it, most notably the excessive production of the vocals.
Is this the start of a wider apprecation for the genre? We can only hope.
Glitch sounds tend to be harsh, which means power. When used right, it can add such a strong backbone to the track. Mainly though, it’s just so freakin’ cool. It sounds like music we should be listening to in the future.
I don’t know if it’s just the tracks I’ve heard, but unlike most hop hop, it tends to have a lot of melody in it as well. Supersaw waves tend to pop up again and again, making for awesomely powerful music – powerful, circuit-bent beats supporting gorgeous synthlines.
So yeah, a genre that makes you nod along and smile at all the awesome stutters and glitches. It’s only a matter of time before this thing really takes off.
I’ve had a look around and amazon is very thin on the ground when it comes to glitch hop.
I only saw this “Bip Hop Generation” CD, which is a very experimental take on the genre. It’s not very accessible music, but have a listen to the samples on the page anyway – if nothing else it could help you think of ideas for your own, more accessible, interpretation of the genre!
“Bip Hop Generation Vol. 4″ by Various Artists
Anything important and influential to Glitch Hop I missed out? Know of any good Glitch Hop CDs? Share it in a comment below!