Help me find the names of new, emerging micro genres in music.
April 28, 2005 7:36 AM   Subscribe

I need help in finding the names of newer music genres. Especially those with interesting names. Examples of this would include "Screamo" (Hardcore Emo) or "Math Metal" (Metal written around complex rhythmic patterns).

I have been picked up as a contributing music writer to a new local free press and we have decided that a fun "evergreen" (little side columns written well in advance that are not time sensitive) would be to list three or four of these a month, similar to Wired's "Jargon Watch." I just need help finding these new styles though. Does anyone know of an online rescource that deals with this sort of thing? If you happen to know of any of these genres off the top of your head I'd be happy to hear about those also.
posted by sourwookie to Media & Arts (31 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If you feel like making one up, that is cool too. Should any of this hits print, I plan on giving credit if so desired.
posted by sourwookie at 7:40 AM on April 28, 2005


Freak Folk, Glitchno, Clickno, Soft Metal, Slow Core...

However, I think the the majority of the new "categories" are idiotic and I stop reading journals who use them. I wouldn't doubt that a lot of people do the same. They are the refuge of music journalists who can't write.
posted by dobbs at 8:00 AM on April 28, 2005


If you click the various genres listed at mp3.com, several of them list subgenres that seem like they're rather new and unusual.

The "old" mp3.com (years before they were bought up) had a HUGE list of genres and subgenres that would probably give you a huge feast to dine on. I'm not sure if their old lists would be accessible through that internet "wayback" site that shows how websites have looked in the past (and whose name/url complete slip my mind right now...)
posted by NewGear at 8:49 AM on April 28, 2005


A friend is a bigwheel in the related sub-sub-sub genres of klez-pop and heeb-hop.
posted by docgonzo at 9:11 AM on April 28, 2005


This one is really cringe-inducing, but "nu-gaze" (or newgaze), like, new bands making shoegaze style songs. Like the genre but gosh, what a terrible name.
There are so many esoteric sub-genres of electronic/dance music...my favorite one of those is "illbient." Like ambient, but, "ill."
And then there's "sadcore" for bands like Low, etc.

Also, if you're a Soulseek user, check out the room list for some superwacky genre names. UK Grime! Ragga Jungle!
posted by capnsue at 9:12 AM on April 28, 2005


They are the refuge of music journalists who can't write.

For the most part, I agree. The bulk of my responsibilities will be to cover the regional music scene, review local shows and releases. Those duties alone will keep me overly busy.

These aren't really meant to substitute for substance, but merely to be "lighter fare," or to fill awkward real estate in print. Think of all the pointless side column stuff in the first third of a Maxim issue. Kinda the same idea.
posted by sourwookie at 9:32 AM on April 28, 2005


Allmusic Guide's old site had a huge list of genres in the worst web interface I have ever seen. You can see the list in thirty-odd pulldown menus here, but it's really only usable if you just view source.

As for new labels (which neither "screamo" nor "math metal" is, unless by "new" you mean 'since 1990 or so"), they tend to be coined on the spot when someone needs a label, regardless of whether or not anyone else refers to that music as that genre.
posted by mendel at 9:33 AM on April 28, 2005


I came up with the term broken beat to describe some glitch-filled hiphop that was being made here in Philly. The term made it on to various flyers but I haven't seen it since.

To be fair to music journalists, naming subgenres helps listeners as much as it makes editors happy. There's simply too much music out there not to catagorize or encapsulate it by way of a one- or two-word analogy.

Writing about music is hard work, and descriptive terms are a necessary evil.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:37 AM on April 28, 2005


"Freakfolk" really pisses me off.
Post-metal (bands like Isis or Mastodon)
posted by kenko at 9:56 AM on April 28, 2005


The latest Spin magazine has a nice little article by Chuck Klosterman explaining some of the newer genres (in nice satircial form).
posted by Mach5 at 9:58 AM on April 28, 2005


Rockdetector's advanced search option has a genre menu. There's no actual definition of the genre, but it gives you bands that play the material. It's a starting point.
posted by lilnemo at 10:02 AM on April 28, 2005


Or the good old wikipedia...

Math Metal
Screamo
posted by lilnemo at 10:05 AM on April 28, 2005


Mach5 beat me to it, but you should check out the Klosterman article to get, at the very least, some of the more well-known new genres. There was also an article that was reprinted in one of the Da Capo Best Music Writing books (2003, I think) that had to do with Music Snobs and the terms they use.
posted by rodz at 10:10 AM on April 28, 2005


You can pretty much just invent them on the spot. That's what everyone else does.
posted by cmonkey at 10:23 AM on April 28, 2005


Indie-tonk, a less embarassing way to say alt.country which is, in turn, just a way to say a mixture of country and rock without the baggage of the term country-rock.

In fairness, I did make this term up.
posted by stet at 10:28 AM on April 28, 2005


I came up with the term broken beat to describe some glitch-filled hiphop that was being made here in Philly.

unless you came up with this term earlier than 4 years ago you're not the originator, and it previously has had a different connotation. Broken beat is a typical dnb break with noise/static interludes. DJ Scud is a good example of brokenbeat. Panacea, a german artist, was probably one of the forefathers of this genre, although I've heard he's switched to a more straightforward dnb.

Glitch and broken beat emerged around the same time, although I remember hearing broken beat tracks a few months before glitch got really popular (at least in SF, where a lot of glitch started, due to the big MAX/MSP influence there etc).

a good place to learn/find out about the myraid silly electronic subgenre's is Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music which is fairly accurate.

The best way to find out about those genres before they're dead, however, is to participate in the newsgroups and mailing lists that talk endlessly about the artists actually creating these new tracks. If you want good new genres, you're going to have to do some digging -- especially if you want to present 4 new ones each month.
posted by fishfucker at 10:39 AM on April 28, 2005


actually, four years is too short -- i originally heard broken beat used to describe the sort of hardcore jungle/dnb we were selling around .. '98- '99, must've been.

anyways, subgenres are really just good reasons for music fans to argue with each other over trivial differences, and exclude and intimidate the layperson.

(that said, i'm totally right on this one, alex. sorry).
posted by fishfucker at 10:40 AM on April 28, 2005


Forgive me for mentioning shortcore (songs less than a minute long).
posted by Polonius at 10:44 AM on April 28, 2005


(that said, i'm totally right on this one, alex. sorry).

I can assure you I used it in an original context over here. Its use for a subgenre on the west coast would explain why I'd never heard its use before. I'm not sad that it was used elsewhere, though.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:54 AM on April 28, 2005


glitch hop, backpack.
this is dumb.
posted by mike_bling at 11:14 AM on April 28, 2005


I recommend you check out some bands in the melodeath (melodic death metal) category: "Whoracle" by In Flames is a good place to start. Then check out bands like Children of Bodom, Norther, Kalmah, Dark Age, Diablo, The Black Dahlia Murder, Darkest Hour, and Arsis. This genre has much of the rhythmic complexity of mathcore, except that songs are built with extremely intricate, harmonized melodies (a good example would be "Dialogue with the Stars" and "Jester Script Transfigured" by In Flames).

Also, there's some really good prog-jazz-metal out there by bands like Gordian Knot, Cynic, and Dillinger Escape Plan (highly recommended if you like technical music).
posted by baphomet at 12:20 PM on April 28, 2005


Nintendocore - Really just HORSE the Band, but maybe the Minibosses or The Black Mages in a stretch. It's exactly what it sounds like.

I also have a distaste for subgenres.
posted by rfordh at 12:22 PM on April 28, 2005


I could see Isis or Pelican being post-metal, but Mastodon?

onkyo: one of the few (if not only) non-hyphenated names for a style of electro-acoustic improv made mostly by a bunch of Japanese musicians with a few Europeans and an American or two (North American, that is). Very very minimal--fairly user unfriendly.

You could also look in to noise as a genre itself. It's gained quite a bit of prominence lately, especially with Wolf Eyes' Sub Pop release Burned Mind. The Wire had a pretty good primer on it a few months ago.
posted by hototogisu at 12:47 PM on April 28, 2005


I can assure you I used it in an original context over here. Its use for a subgenre on the west coast would explain why I'd never heard its use before. I'm not sad that it was used elsewhere, though.

YAY A DICK SWINGING CONTEST*

* 2001. None the prominent "philly" in the subject line. Breakcore/Hardcore/Broken beat. I seriously doubt the guy is playing glitch-hop.**

** but really, I don't care that much. It's just that i'm totally right. and i'll admit that a google web search seems to associate broken beat with jazz/hiphop things, oddly enough. this is a recent development, I'm guessing.

posted by fishfucker at 1:03 PM on April 28, 2005


anyways, subgenres are really just good reasons for music fans to argue with each other over trivial differences, and exclude and intimidate the layperson.

Oh, the irony.
posted by FreezBoy at 1:20 PM on April 28, 2005


but really, I don't care that much. It's just that i'm totally right. and i'll admit that a google web search seems to associate broken beat with jazz/hiphop things, oddly enough. this is a recent development, I'm guessing.

Heh. I don't care that much, either, even if Google backs me up on this side of things. ;)
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:27 PM on April 28, 2005


glitchhop
dorkwave
drill n bass
posted by headless at 3:27 PM on April 28, 2005


snugglecore
stoner metal
posted by euphorb at 4:17 PM on April 28, 2005


Bearing in mind, of course, that Ishkur's guide is written with some extreme prejudices and biases.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:13 PM on April 28, 2005


Do read up on the Grunge slang hoax.
posted by dhartung at 1:14 AM on April 29, 2005



Bearing in mind, of course, that Ishkur's guide is written with some extreme prejudices and biases.


personally, having played during the time that many of these genres were named, i have no problem with his guide. However, maybe i'm just down that he gives props to some of our homeboys. who knows?
posted by fishfucker at 2:29 AM on April 29, 2005


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