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…

What’s it all about?
When did it start?
How did it start to get popular?
Why is Glitch Hop so frickin’ ace?
Where can I get it?


What’s it all about?

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.


When did it start?

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.


How did it get popular?

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.


Why is Glitch Hop so frickin’ ace?

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.


Where can I get it?

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

Bip-Hop Generation, Vol. 4

Anything important and influential to Glitch Hop I missed out? Know of any good Glitch Hop CDs? Share it in a comment below!

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6 Responses to “What is Glitch Hop?”

  1. We seem to be on the same wavelengths… I discovered Dubstep and Glitch Hop shortly before you featured them on your site, respectively. Freakin’ awesome music!

    In any case, four of the biggest names in Glitch Hop have formed a collaboration – The Glitch Mob:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jztRZ34AEcY

    However, if you want to hear some of the best Glitch Hop you’ve ever heard, pick up a copy of edIT’s “Certified Air Raid Material” album.

  2. Hellz yeah! Here’s me thinking I’ve heard it all and then these intense new genres pop up all over the place proving me wrong. I love it!

    That’s a hilarious and awesome video haha! Love it, especially that old guy who clearly is the be all and end all when it comes to defining talent.

    Nice one on the album suggestion too!

  3. [...] interesting glitches can be hard work, so I’ve put together 50 (!) of the glitch hop-iest glitches together for you to wet your appetite in the big new genre that’s sweeping the [...]

  4. [...] discovering the genre I’ve wanted to make a Glitch Hop song, but wasn’t sure where to [...]

  5. [...] so this whole week I’ve been blogging here on boyinaband.com about the amazing genre Glitch Hop and I figure a nice way to end the Glitch Hop week is to link you to a site where you can hear more [...]

  6. The band “The Glitch Mob” have already been mentioned but you can download a free album of theirs (the mix you linked is a shortened mixed version) on their site http://www.theglitchmob.com/ (just scroll down to the middle of the page and its called Crush Mode).
    Also a band that may not strictly be glitch hop but has strong elements would be “Bass Nectar” (youtube their stuff)

    And also a Artist that does some would be Renard from LapfoxTrax http://lapfox.tumblr.com/
    All his work is avalible for free listen and he has a bunch of free stuff…
    and Check out his youtube page for some of his songs that arn’t part of his albums. http://www.youtube.com/nsrrenard
    Renard does stuff from all different Genres of Electro music so not all of it will be Glitch Hop…

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