Genres You Should Really Try No.4: Glitchtronica

Aphex Twin - Come To DaddyOk, I may have made this up (or I read it in some magazine, I forget) but I use the term Glitchtronica sparringly. It's really easy to go and give different types of electronic music different names, purely on scenes created by magazines (electroclash, big-beat etc etc) or simply by the types of technology used. It's a bit short sighted, but I suppose it keeps people happy.Glitchtronica is probably one of the most non-maintstream trypes of music you could imagine, considering it consists of music made from all manner of clicks, glitches and other various electronic noises. So how come the world has heard of people like Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and Matmos?

It is kinda strange how music this extreme has found it's way into some areas of the mainstream (Aphex Twin has had his music featured on a Mercedes Benz commerical). The big one for me was "Come To Daddy" by Aphex Twin. I saw the single in HMV and thought "What the fuck…?". It was an instant purchase although I had actually bought the single that had a crappy demo mix and the video on it. The video was one of the funniest things I'd seen and it got Aphex Twin a lot of mainstream attention. He'd been recording for ages, since 1992 and has just released singles and mixes on vinyl whenever he pleases. He seems to skirt between pleasant minimalist techno and complete screeching headbanging electro. Case in point: "Come To Daddy" which was the EP that got him a lot of attention. The title tracks is a cacophony of harsh, scattershot beats with a voice screaming "I want your soul/I will eat your soul,". The other tracks on the EP, including remixes of the title track are simplistic, melodic electronic pieces that bear almost no resemlence to the title track.

Other artists like Squarepusher have added elements of jazz into the electronics (Squarepusher is infamous for long bass solos), where as Matmos created insteresting fusions between traditional instruments and electro beats, they ended up working with Bjork. Prefuse 73 has elements of hip-hop in his music and Four Tet and Manitoba have embraced acoustic instruments to create the awfully named "folktronica". 

If you like the sound of this you can try:

  • Anything by Aphex Twin, but Druqks and I Care Because You Do are great.
  • Squarepusher –  Ultravisitor
  • Four Tet – Rounds
  • Prefuse 73 – One Word Fireextinguisher. 

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