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Glitch (also known as Clicks and Cuts from a representative compilation series by the German record label Mille Plateaux) is a genre of electronic music that became popular in the late 1990s with the increasing use of digital signal processing, particularly on computers. The music is focused on rhythm and is sometimes considered a sub-genre of intelligent dance music.

Glitch is often produced on computers using modern digital production software to splice together small "cuts" (samples) of music from already recorded songs, with beats made out of erroneously produced short clicks and bits of noise as well as skipping CDs. The genre is thus named after the use of digital artifacts and noise-like distortions (see "glitch"). These glitches are often very short, and are typically used in place of traditional percussion or instruments. However, not all artists of the genre are working with erroneously produced sounds or even using digital sounds.

Popular software for creating glitch includes Reaktor, Super Collider, Ableton Live, GleetchLAB, MAX/MSP, Miller Smith Puckette's Pure Data, and ChucK. In the hardware realm, glitch music is generated through circuit bending.



Though Glitch developed in the 1990s, there were earlier precedents. Glitch is influenced by Musique concrète, techno music, industrial music and ambient music. Active since the 1970s, turntablist Christian Marclay occasionally scratches or otherwise damages vinyl records to make music from the resulting skips and loops. The fluxus artist Yasunao Tone used damaged CDs in his Techno Eden performance in 1985.

The first proper glitch album is arguably Oval's Wohnton (1993). 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.

Notable artists

Alva Noto
Andreas Tilliander
Aphex Twin
Boom Bip
DAT politics
DJ Scud
Machine Drum
Erlend Oye
The Flashbulb
Kid 606
Pan sonic
Prefuse 73
Richard Devine
Telefon Tel Aviv
Venetian Snares
Vladislav Delay

See also


  • Cascone, Kim: "The Aesthetics of Failure", Computer Music Journal 24.4 (2000)
  • Sangild, Torben: "Glitch — The Beauty of Malfunction" in Bad Music. Routledge (2004, ISBN 0415943655)
  • Young, Rob: "Worship the Glitch", The Wire 190/191 (2000)

Home | Up | Folktronica | Trip hop | Bitpop | Chiptune | Downtempo | Glitch | Intelligent dance music | Post-rock | Uptempo

Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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