“This explicitly glitch- and error-driven scene rapidly became assimilated by the wider fields of electronic and popular music production, in their perpetual search for sonic novelty. The techniques developed in the late 1990s are now a common part of contemporary production.”
Today, glitch aesthetics transcend genre. In fact, many contemporary electronic musicians explicitly reject any sort of genre classification; however, many fans refer to various music that features heavy use of glitch aesthetics through “micro-genres” such as “hyperpop” and “glitchcore,” music that often combines elements of traditional pop and EDM music.
As the name indicates, contemporary glitch music is made of chaotic, broken sounds, with heavy use of autotune, distortion, and other jarring electrical sounds. It's exaggerated, maximalist, and flamboyant: a satirical spin on popular sound. The aesthetic’s dominance in online spaces, such as TikTok, and its common usage alongside distorted, gender-bending aesthetics have made the genre a particularly inclusive space for LGBTQIA+ artists, creators, and fans, with many artists openly identifying as gender non-conforming wether they be non-binary, transgender, gender-fluid, agender, or one of the many other possible assemblages of gender-identity. In particular, glitch’s rule-breaking and genre-defying sound also allows many people freedom of sonic expression that deconstructs various normative institutions of race, gender, and the body.
“Composers of glitch music have gained their technical knowledge through self-study, countless hours deciphering software manuals, and probing Internet newsgroups for needed information.”
The contemporary use of glitch aesthetics marks an increasing accessibility to musical production technologies, as well as the ongoing simplification of these production techniques both through software updates and the proliferation of educational information, often on websites and platforms such as YouTube, Reddit, Discord, etc. While the ease with which glitch aesthetics can be created can take little technical knowledge, this is not to say that glitch producers don’t understand what they are doing. Instead, ease of use means that now more than ever, younger musicians, marginalized musicians, and musicians without classical or traditional music training are breaking into the glitch music scene.