In spite of its wildly ambitious, consciousness-razing rhetoric, minimal "glitch" electronica remains a hopelessly obscure movement that numbers its fans in the thousands only on a good day. Remove fellow artists from that fan base, and glitch would possess all the cultural solidity of snipes and phantoms. But as the scene wiggles its way toward relevance, the rewarding story of glitch is rewriting itself from the inside out. From the intricate sound design of corporate audio logos to the metaphysical hum of recent albums by Radiohead and Björk, the genre's influence has reached far beyond Oval fans and buyers of Clicks + Cuts compilations. Within the movement, a number of self-aware artists are energizing glitch by thinking of it less as a movement and more as a vital style that needn't be joyless to be progressive. Among the scene's best are the artists featured on Superlongevity and Tigerbeat6 Inc., two double-disc compilations that capture glitch breaking out in different ways. Comprising artists who record for the German label Perlon, Superlongevity trades on the die-cut snare taps and gummy grooves of microhouse, a genre that brings Germans' studious faith in mechanistic process to the spirited four-four thump of Chicago house. Across the set's 29 relentlessly inventive tracks, artists such as Dimbiman, Ricardo Villalobos, Pile, Pantytec, and Melchior Productions harvest the alien sound field of acts like Autechre, without falling prey to the "intelligent dance music" scene's ascetic posturing. On "1 Of Those Days," Pile stacks a dozen different rhythmic ideas together, splicing liquid bass kicks with swinging sonic hiccups and micromanaged cymbal crashes that sound like an itch made audible. While the artists on Superlongevity distill dance music into a glitchy style that begs for good headphones, the acts on the Kid606-compiled Tigerbeat6 Inc. poke at the genre's preciousness with glitch-translated gestures borrowed from punk, indie-rock, and hip-hop. On "Furcoat," Cex plays the glitch superstar, imagining a minimal, techno-invaded MTV awards show and praising himself as a "man with no clothes, underwear, fur coat, chillin' in the alley." The goofing on hip-hop spills over into Knifehandchop's "Sun Jammer Is My Favorite Pokémon Trainer," which runs a screaming DMX sample over a boot-stomping gabba beat. Alongside Tigerbeat6's prankish games, the glitch method informs pleasant loopiness (Ted Sulkowicz), nihilistic atmospherics (Kid606), and math-rock funk (Dwayne Sodahberk), while applying the good old-fashioned pleasure principle to the genre's aesthetic fetishism.

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