They call it, “Glitch”.
Luna Records was the record store straight out of my vinyl dreams(cape); the shop seemed to be born out of an espisode of Sprockets. Undeniably hip, aesthetically German and, well, pretensious as fuck. What can I say, I loved it.The bins filled with the most esoteric selection of avant-garde music in the Detroit area. An open minded music lover could spend endless hours investigating the inventory (And I did). Better still was the amazing music the shop owner would strategicly play over the in-store sound system. Standing always with dark sunglasses on, the well-dressed man at the counter rarely spoke and never said more then a word or two about the music playing. When asked directly about the amazing crackling noises coming from the speakers, he simple said, “They call it, Glitch“. Glitch?
There had never been a sound like it. Seemingly random samples of textured noise that still manage to sound organized and composed. At the time, I wasn’t sure if this “Glitch” was actual music. But it didn’t matter because I was hooked. For better or worse, Glitch was a sound that couldn’t be ignored and required a deeper study. Reluctantly, the shop owner pointed me toward a few key albums that proved extremely helpful; Oval’s Systemisch, Autechre’s Tri Pepetae and Jan Jetinek’s Loop-finding-jazz-records. I was grateful. And the shop owner was unimpressed. Perfect.
A word (or two) about that interesting album title. Firstly, loop-finding-jazz-records has absolutely nothing to do with the sound of 50’s Jazz Music or any kind of jazz. Not a single (blue)note of Bop to be found.Although it’s worth mentioning that each compositions was built on the sound of deconstructed samples of jazz records from Jelinek’s own collection. Secondly, Loop does have everything to do with the philosophy of Jazz music. That is, a fundimental willingness to experiment with sound and structure. Building a foundation on the theory of improvisational jazz and free jazz, Jelinek uses those ideals to created a wall of sparkling, randomized sound. And the result is nothing short of an intellictualized beauty. Or a sound that is appealing to both the heart and the head. An odd statement for electronic music? Maybe. But the music found on loop is never cold or robotic. An important point to understand if we are to appreciate this unique approach to music. The opening track, Moire'(piano organ) immediately presents us with those ideals. Moire‘ creating an warm, organitic sound full of liquid color and texture that seems at times so near as to be touched. A remarkable accompaniment for music produced on a Ensoniq ASR-10 music sampler and nothing more.
Jelinek simply reject’s the idea that his music is from another world or another time. Or developed for a detached and dystopian soundtrack to a corportized future, a la Blade Runner. Refusing the popular stereotype that glitch is a novelity science fiction sound for Star Wars fans. The emotional impact of Loop is earthly and human. And it never falls into that trap of cool detachment. Jan Jelinek’s loop-finding-jazz-records is minimal and experiemntal muisc with an easily accessible sound palette. Rich with the details of human emotions and creative birth. It’s also a brillant introduction to the development of a unique sound and an important subgenre of electronic music.