Glitching to the beat of its own drum

Electronic threesome The Glitch Mob rolls into The Blue Note.

By Alex Smith | Aug. 17, 2010

Tags: Band interviews Music

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Trying to pin down the sound of The Glitch Mob, one of the hottest electronic groups in America, is like trying to explain “Inception” in five seconds: the task is nearly impossible, and if completed still does not do justice to the subject.

Even Mob member Justin Boreta is slow to come up with an answer. When prompted to list the group’s influences, he thinks for a good ten seconds, then blurts, “Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, Ratatat—they’re all groups we like.”

He stops for a moment. Then, as if to clear up any doubts concerning originality, states matter-of-factly, “But no one is doing what we’re doing right now.”

The Glitch Mob’s dance-heavy live show recently finished a run in Europe, where the band shared stages with heavyweights such as Jay-Z and LCD Soundsystem, and on Aug. 24 is headed to The Blue Note. If you’re looking for an energized, nu-discotheque night of laptop funk in a state chock-full of blues music, this is a great way to begin the semester.

“We’ve switched up our approach a little bit for this tour, trying to create a better live experience,” Boreta says. “We’ve updated the material, but it’s not all about pushing the current CD.”

The Mob will have its hands full on stage the next couple months, as the band will be joined by—among others on various tour stops—Chiddy Bang, Memory Tapes, Delorean and the walking misdemeanor herself, Missy Elliot.

When talking about the origins of The Glitch Mob and the group’s aspirations, Boreta notes, more than anything, the Mob gives members Ed Ma, Josh Mayer and Boreta time to put out full-length releases and focus on the music.

“The weekend DJ world is a grind,” Boreta said. “There’s not much time to write material and work on it. With the Glitch Mob, there’s an environment of creative, talented people working together, and we get to take a few months off with no shows to make a record.”

Boreta understands recording an album is an “immersive experience,” and the band’s hard work in the studio resulted in Drink the Sea, a ten-song romp that debuted at No. 5 on the iTunes album chart in June.

The Mob hails from Los Angeles, which is known for its members in the beat scene. Fellow So-Cal electronic artists Nosaj Thing and Flying Lotus are making names for themselves alongside Boreta and company, and the area has the feel of a grunge-tastic early-'90s Seattle, ready for a spark to set off a sonic movement. Boreta quickly downplays any talk of world-changing developments, though.

“There’s no goal,” he said. “Just making music. We want anyone to be able to pick it up an enjoy it, and we understand that that’s not necessarily possible at this point.”

So, no dreams of mainstream domination?

“There’s no way of knowing what will happen next,” he said. “We just want to keep it interesting for ourselves and for anyone who comes along for the ride.”

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