Turn On To Glitch With 10 Underrated Clicks & Cuts Classics

The thing about “clicks and cuts” is that it never really existed as a genre; it was a marketing term that described works by artists who became bored with digital perfection. These musicians used bits of distortion, random noises, popping clicks and other sonic errors as a way to create electronic dance music, minus the dance. The results ranged from gentle electronica to rather stern sound art, from hip hop-infused beat science to washed-out ambient endlessness, from proper pop tunes to the beginnings of micro house. The omnipresent sharp-sounding clicks tie everything together with a futuristic pulse that’s only possible in the digital realm.

Click and cuts turned into an international phenomenon thanks to a string of albums and compilations released on Achim Szepanski’s Mille Plateaux label. Some called it the future; some called it glitch; others despised it as “gallery techno.” What it really was, though, was a sign of the times. By the early ‘00s digital technology had become so pervasive that artists stopped marveling at it and began to work on hacking it. The following tunes are some of the essential results from their efforts.

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