Words: Janice MacGregor
The Glitch Mob are one of those rare acts who have managed to achieve mainstream success while still holding on to their underground credibility. They have licensing deals with brands like GoPro, Audi and Amazon Echo, and have achieved chart success on the Billboard Independent and Dance/Electronic charts (their combined album sales total over 300,000 to date). Not too bad for an act who is credited as starting up the Los Angeles beats scene and also breathing life into the then unknown genre of glitch-hop.
Yet, when you take all of the above into consideration, they have never really achieved the lofty popularity heights reached by their successors: TOKiMONSTA, Flying Lotus, Gaslamp Killer and Shlohmo all seem to have a bigger profile (well, in Australia anyway). That could be due to The Glitch Mob not being the only project its three members focus on. Boreta moonlights as Slidecamp, edIT is… well edIT, and Ooah produces under PANTyRAiD. With production knowledge like that to draw from it is no wonder that a newly released Glitch Mob album always cause a stir. ‘See Without Eyes’ is no different.
Across 11 tracks the LA-trio work their way across crystal-clear sound design, which is as impressive as it is immersive. Massive stadium-sized dance music melodies are offset by huge organic bass lines and immaculate beats; in fact, the whole album sounds like it was done by a live 4-piece band.
‘Take Me With You’ starts off as an upbeat and inoffensive number with a sugar-high melody and pitched vocals before breaking down into a percussive jam. Same goes for album opener, ‘Enter Formless‘, which perfectly sets the mood for what’s to follow. On ‘Go Light’ we are treated to another full scale production class, and another reminder to why we missed TGM so much.
‘Disntegrate Slowly’ is probably the most aggressive track the album, and to these ears it might just be the album highlight too. If Queens of the Stone Age made dance music this might be the result. A huge distorted riff antagonises a melancholic synth before breaking out into slow 4/4 beat. It all evolves into an orchestral string orgy before the end. Adventure people, this is what we are dealing with here.
It’s not all epic strings and arrangements though. On ‘Interbeings’ TGM jams lightly with there instruments which gently skips along to a proper glitch beat, and ‘How Do I Get to Invincible’ is a soulful-sounding jam featuring vocalist Ambre.
‘See without Eyes’ is most definitely a welcome return for The Glitch Mob. With their live show which seems like a visual extravaganza, The Glitch Mob are truly are back with a vengeance. This could turn out to be one of 2018’s best releases.
The Glitch Mob ‘See Without Eyes’ is out now.