By Cole Epley
Feeling tribal at times and like a motion picture score at others, The Glitch Mob’s latest album release of Drink the Sea (on Glass Air Records) is a slab of powerfully dramatic electronic poetry in motion. Integrating their Puritan-shaming work ethic into a debut album effort, The Glitch Mob retain the core their unique signature sounds while astutely expressing their continuing evolution and near-domination of the West Coast electronic scene. To fuse genres is one thing, but to completely defy the boundaries of electronic nomenclature is something in and of itself. Perhaps one of the strongest and most memorable assets of Drink the Sea is the harder-than-ever battery of percussion: controlled chaos would be one way to describe it. The trio, comprised of Boreta, edIT and Ooah, seem to have transcended to a plane of something much larger than themselves in masterfully producing and blending each of their distinct-yet-similar styles of electronic fusion of glitch, hip hop, breaks and a driving rock element into a living, breathing electronic epic.
To its categorical advantage, the 10-track, nearly hour-long foray into the depths of an ever-changing scene provides ear candy whether you listen to it on a stereo or with headphones. A guest appearance in the middle of the effort features ethereal vocals by Swan and is sure to send chills down even the sweatiest of spines. Drawing on the power of The Glitch Mob compilations and mixes that preceded it, Drink the Sea is likely to be the conversion point for ‘on-the-fence’ electronic fans or even those who have never seriously listened to anything electronic before now; clever crescendos and decrescendos abound throughout the work to send any listener into uncontrollable fits of foot-stomping, if not heart palpitations. Forte percussion arrangements give way to piano synth tones at the drop of a hat, and before you know it, you’re right back into the heart of battle and dancing to save your life.
This is music that is inexplicably emotional and quintessentially epic, due in large part to the fact that TGM constructed Drink the Sea as a purely creative work—not a single sample is to be heard throughout the 10-track span of the album. Listen closely, and you’ll stumble across live snare, string bass and searing guitars. If you don’t believe it, read up on the latest Glitch Mob biography: “We made this album with very little, if almost none, of our traditional studio production tricks…We wanted it to sound like us, but without gimmicks—no glitches, crazy edits or bizarre effects. There aren’t even any samples—all the sounds were created by us making them,” remarks producer and instrumentalist Ed Ma, a.k.a. edIT. No matter what they have or have not done, an even brighter future lies ahead of the California trio. Says Boreta, commenting on the scene, “The great thing about the scene we came out of was that it defies labels…We all seem to want to break boundaries, but everybody has their own lane, which is what makes it so exciting.” By all indications, that lane sounds like the fast track to continued innovation and notoriety among the masses.
The musical acumen of The Glitch Mob is superseded perhaps only by their integration thereof into their awe-inspiring live performances—check their profile page to see when you can catch them tearing up a club near you. Drink the Sea, released on The Glitch Mob’s own Glass Air Records, is available now for purchase either on their home page or through the following online retailers: iTunes, Amazon, Beatport, Rhapsody, Juno and Shockhound.
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