Big Fish Audio | Keyboard Magazine John Krogh | click. Product Review
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Reviewer: John Krogh Back to click. product details

If you're not familiar with glitch music, let me try to explain: This lesser-known style of electronica is a type of found-sound music at the foundation of which is a fertile collection of digitally-manipulated beats and textures. Producing glitch takes time, experimentation, and twisted tools such as NI's Reaktor. The result is not unlike the stuttery, random skips of a scratched audio CD. You can hear examples of glitch from Telefon Tel Aviv, Prefuse 73, to name a couple, and on Bjork's Vespertine. Or you can just go pick up a copy of Click from Big Fish.
This aptly-named title comprises a number of rhythmic and ambient loops along with miscellaneous sound design elements. Loops aren't presented as construction kits, which makes sense, because in many cases the loops don't necessarily resemble anything as conventional as a two-bar drum groove. Sometimes a digital clip-like noise is used for a snare, other times what sounds like a vinyl click holds the backbeat. The producers call this "the sound of the digital error."
Samples are divided into categories - dub, beat, cinematic, jazz, lo-fi, and so on - to help you narrow your search. The rhythmic material includes dramatic electronic kicks, twittery hi-hats, and granular-like buzzing noises; just the kind of thing you'd hear coming out of the studios of Hollywood's top young film composers. Second-listener Ken Hughes said, "The variety within this tightly-constrained style is excellent."
Because these samples are highly stylized, I found it hard to use them as-is in existing tracks. I had the best luck slicing and dicing them to create new sonic events, or by taking more ambient elements and layering them underneath "normal" drum loops. Samples in the Cuts folder, for example, work beautifully for this. Check out the audio examples online. Ken liked them raw: "Raw and wriggling, to quote Gollum. I like that they sound like alien pop music when you use them 'naked,'" he said.
This library might not have the kind of instant-gratification factor of a breakbeat CD, but that's not the point. These are cutting-edge elements that both inspire and educate. If you're looking to add "underground glitch" to your repertoire of styles, there's no better place to start than Click. JOHN KROGH

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