Genres come and go. And if one ever seemed ripe to go from the get go, it was glitch. Sure, certainly from early on, glitch was something to behold, especially how Markus Popp managed to make the desecration of CDs seem like a fine way to spend a Saturday, how he literalized the extent to which super-fragile ambient music was dependent upon a digital medium and its tabula rasa of silence. Popp also managed to turn those broken fragments into things that, while never melodic in the traditional sense, had the comfort of song.
But how long could it last? How long could the mistakes inherent in digital music continue to sound fresh, how long before they were superseded by new mistakes — maybe a dual-sided 20-gigabyte DVD simply sounds different when it dies?
Well, Erik Levander‘s music suggests glitch has a ways to go before it dies, that’s for sure, at least judging by his late-2004 album, Tonad, on the Neon label. Four Tonad segments on erik.levander.dk twist and twirl in a way that push glitch’s envelope just far enough to suggest the comfy confines of a proper genre. More than anything, Levander has a deep sense of tone, never betraying his work with a preset sound or an undercooked sample. Yet all the familiar flavors are here, from the arachnoid whirs to the aquarium gurgles to the particulate hazes to the way instrumental moments, like bells and plucked strings, are warped back on themselves in a manner that confirms suspicions we had about the nature of those elements, suspicions that only advance audio processing could confirm.