Pop Glitch Is No Glitch

And that isn't a bad thing – witness Ed Apollo

A pop electronica track built of stuttering glitchy goodness says much about the prevalence of glitch, the way the once disruptive musical approach has been subsumed into everyday, general-interest listening. It also says a lot about the whole idea of disruption in general. One day’s disruption is the next’s foundation. It is all less a matter of the revolution being televised as it is of the revolution become a television mini-series. Yesterday’s ruptures become today’s comfort — or, more to the point: today’s points of cultural-geographic reference. Ed Apollo’s “Breathing Lessons” is instrumental electronic pop in which the castanets are virtual things, forged from snippets of tossed aside older tunes; the vocals are fractured like a splintered mirror. True to glitch’s origins, it all still sounds like a broken CD player. The sense is reinforced by the occasional guitar, which sounds like it’s playing alongside the busted stereo. The difference may be that when glitch originated, it was finding errors inherent in then state-of-the-art audio technology. Now, the CD is itself antiquated: no one expects it to work particularly well; its failings have been well documented. (Perfect sound forever? Please.) There is no telegraphed tsuris over data loss, no commentary on the fracturing of media, no concern about the diminishing presence of physical activity in culture production. Apollo’s “Breathing Lessons” is never anything less than refreshing. So, what does one call glitch when there is no glitch, when glitching has become a norm? Or does one just adjust one’s definition of glitch, and accept that commentary has become flavor?

Track originally posted for free download from the SoundCloud account of the Bad Panda Records label. More from Ed Apollo, who is based in Briston, England, at twitter.com/edbidgood and soundcloud.com/edapollo. There’s a edapollo.bandcamp.com account, but for the time being the cupboard is bare.

One thought on “Pop Glitch Is No Glitch

  1. Brian Eno’s observations on “Axial Thinking” seem relevant here.


    “This is a transition from polar thinking – the kind of thinking that says, ‘it’s either this or it’s that’, or ‘Everything that isn’t clearly this must be that’ – to axial thinking. Axial thinking doesn’t deny that it could be this or that- but suggests that it’s more likely to be somewhere between the two. As soon as that suggestion is in the air, it triggers an imaginative process, an attempt to locate and conceptualize the newly acknowledged grayscale positions.”

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