It’s hard to separate The Glitch Mob from its L.A. club beginnings with Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, and the rest of the city’s IDM/instrumental rap scene. As far back as five years ago, The Glitch Mob (then a loose group of five DJs) found common ground in what they were spinning. Now its remaining members – Ooah, edIT, and Boreta – are on stage playing way more than just a quick moment of MIDI keyboard melody live. In a sense, The Glitch Mob is a full-on “band” now.
In fact, the trio is a revered part of what today’s new electronic music is like. And it’s not going unnoticed by the mainstream: The Glitch Mob was featured on this year’s Tron Legacy: R3C0NF1GUR3D remix album and in a Captain America trailer this year. So how has this new exposure effected its output, if at all, on its latest EP, We Can Make the World Stop?
For one, the trio’s intent seems bigger than just moving booties or bobbing bespectacled heads on the dance floor. Take the EP’s title track, for example. Sure it’s pretty struttin’ but there’s a grandiosity not seen in The Glitch Mob’s music before. The trio seems intent on essentially creating scores to very short films (the brevity is noticeable here– the EP is just three songs, clocking in under 15 minutes) that don’t exist. But, man, they really should.
As undirected as its music is, I admire the fellas in Glitch Mob in no longer seeming content with the role of DJs, knob twiddlers, or idle laptoppers anymore. “Warrior Concerto” has a processed violin sound in its intro (hence the “Concerto” part, I guess?) which gives way to garbly synths and a slammin’ beat. Speaking of classical-influenced music, the sounds in the beginning of “Palace of the Innocents” sound like they’re pulling from Chinese or other Far East classical modes. I gotta give it to these three, they’re really making a run at bonafide artistry. But are they there yet? Not really.
The EP’s sounds come far too close to that of the trio’s obvious influences: Daft Punk’s clean rhythmic click, Aphex Twin’s off-kilter jags, Boards of Canada’s analog wash, and, perhaps most pronounced, the garbly thrum of Justice/Ed Banger Records-style French house.
Glitch Mob’s sound never gets too dirty-analog, it’s content to merely replicate or dance around that sound, and its raw elements never get into something terribly funky/hip-shaking or interesting/mind-stirring for too long but there is a distinct atmosphere and mood here. It’s just waiting for the right visuals, be it more like the Daft Punk robots or Captain America, to arrive.