TEN CRAZIEST MUSIC SUBGENRES
Yo, it’s hard out there. We get it.
It’s a timeless tradition, as old as music itself— You’re out with some new friends and they know more about music than you ever thought was possible— you feel left out because Future Bass is about as far as your genre lexicon goes and even though you like all kinds of music you have literally no idea what the hell these people are talking about.
They’re name-dropping genres like Clowncore, Techno Gospel, Drum & Ska and of course Terminator 2: Judgement Pop. They’re weaving between them like it’s no big deal and there’s some sort of Coachella that highlights one of each of these acts, that they’ve been to for the past forty years and haven’t told you about.
It sounds something like this, right:
“Personally my favorite Broadway-Psych-Punk is the Me Hungry & The Tummy Yummies cover of the Hamilton soundtrack.”
“I prefer the Parody-Hop of MC Weird Y’All Out-covitch as I’m more of a Trip-Glitch guy myself.”
“Oh, I love that Beard-House rework of that Yacht-Grime remix of ‘Come Sail Away.’ They totally re-reinvented that song.”
Why the hell do people even know about Juggalo-tendo?
What could New-Wave-Breakbeats even be?
ASMRstep sounds like a thing I just made up right now for this article, doesn’t it? (its not) (or is it?)
Well, we’re here to help. Sort of.
I don’t know if these are songs you are going to necessarily enjoy, but we sure enjoyed the hell out of curating them for you. Enjoy We Are: The Guard’s guide to the Top Ten Craziest Sub Genres.
** WITCH HOUSE
SALEM - KING KNIGHT
The classic of the classics. Salem might not have invented the lo-fi goth house genre, but it sure feels like they did. While Witch House may still be alive and well in Russia, we haven’t heard much of it over here outside of the transcendent debut release from Salem. There are plenty of underground tunes released every day, but it’s “King Night” that really felt like a moment. This droning, dark, moody electronic tune brought together all kinds of people and for a second (and thanks largely to Hipster Runoff’s Charles) the phrase Witch House was on everybody lips.
RUSKO - WOO BOOST
Brostep has come a long way since Rusko and Caspa invented it eight years ago, turning Skream & Benga’s more melodic dub into something that was festival ready for America. We can thank Skrillex for making it the absolute biggest thing in the world for a spell and a number of other artists for taking it even further (check out Snails’ Vomitstep for the furthest extension I’ve ever come across). Credit goes where credit’s due as Rusko’s “Woo Boost” still might be the finest example of Brostep in existence. Heavy Bass, ramping the wubs well past any point they’d been to that point. This sound was so massive sounding when it first came out, and over the years the bass keeps getting bigger and bigger. HOW BIG CAN IT GET?! WHEN WILL IT STOP!? This song is a certifiable classic and if whipped out in any heavy bass set today it would still bring the house down.
** ACID IDM
APEX TWIN - DIGERIDOO
UNICORN KID - NEED U
Oh man it would be too easy to just go with chiptune, so we went a little left of center on that. Chiptune is largely defined by 8-bit sounds, distinctly Nintendoesque music, created on, by and for lo-fi equipment. Trance is sped up etherial madness that hits hard with its 8 on the floor drums and doesn’t relent for a second. While both of these genres (and their many subgenres like psytrance, nintendocore and chip hop) deserve to be highlighted in their own right, I’ve chose chip trance because of just how frigging rare it is. Up until this year, with the emergence of Porter Robinson’s Virtual Self alter-ego, Glasgow based producer Unicorn Kid might have just been the only artist making chiptune-influenced-trance in the entire musical universe. Though you can’t deep dive into this genre like you can with the other nine, it is worth mentioning for these two groundbreaking artists alone. Unicorn Kid was sort of a big deal for a second circa 2012-2013, even booked on a Coachella lineup that he didn’t even show up to play at. That just shows you how much of a mark he made in his brief window of existence. A mark that Virtual Self is certainly picking up the mantle on. For more chiptune check out Anamanaguchi. For more trance check out Armin Van Buuren. For something in between, welcome to chiptrance.
** NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL
BURZUM - DUNKELHEIT
Norwegian Black Metal is more metal than any other kind of metal. While everybody else is just talking about violent behavior, these dudes literally burned churches and murdered each other. Sure, other metal sings songs about decapitation and slaughtering lambs, but has any other band actually ever did it? Varg Vikernes, frontman (and only member) of the seminal band Burzum, and the man he murdered, Mayhem guitarist Euronymous, are the literal spokesmen of nordic doom and gloom. Euronymous was no saint himself, helping to invent Corpse Paint, the black face paint that was actually terrifying (unlike KISS’s Starchild and Cat-Man) and photographing the dead body of his bands lead singer for the cover of their live album. Norwegian Black metal consists or majorly heavy reverb, intense drone, satanic influences and the kind of misery that really will make you consider murdering your friends.
** DEEP ORGCORE
HOT WATER MUSIC - TRUSTY CHORDS
This one's not crazy at all, but it does crack us up. Orgcore is basically the normcore of punk rock, giving a loose organization to an otherwise broad collection of melodic punk bands. It’s derivative comes from the org in punknews.org. Yes, this is the bloghaus version of punk, mostly subsisting of artists that get featured heavily on the website. This one is for the guy with tattoos AND kids who goes out on a yearly pilgrimage to Fest or Riot Fest to relive his 20s, hollering lyrics out with other dudes with the same weight, age and receding hairlines. Now we’re not trying to hate on Orgcore, in fact we love it. We just didn’t know it existed and find the description very hilarious. For fans of: Punk, Melody, Pop-Punk, Emo, Guitar-Rock. Bands include every one ever covered on Punknews.org which leans heavily on Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker, The Lawrence Arms, Against Me and other acts that remind you of these acts. I hope fans of orgcore don’t take offense to any of this, but instead wear it proudly on their tattooed sleeve.
** CLASSICAL TRAP
BLUE CLAW PHILHARMONIC - SYMPHONY NO.5 (TRAP REMIX) [BEETHOVEN 5TH SYMPHONY MUSIC MIX]
Yes, this exists. We’re not entirely sure if this Blue Claw Philharmonic (Yellow Claw much?) is just engineered for the Spotify algorithm, or thrown together to make some easy cash on Beatport from budding DJs that think playing Trap remixes of Beethoven will really shake things up in their sets better than the “Harlem Shake” would for the hundredth time. But either way, there are thousands of songs like this on YouTube from fresh-faced producers who see the beauty in connecting orchestral arrangements and fat trap beats. Personally the video below is our favorite of the bunch. Trap Lord, bitch.
BROKENCYDE - GET CRUNK
As electro-funk and hip-hop influenced as hardcore punk, Crunkcore had a major go at it in the late aughts / early teens. Like the bastard children of Mindless Self Indulgence and From First to Last, this strange genre amalgamation came together at Hot Topics across the country. Electronic production found its way into the last place you’d ever expect it, hardcore punk. And the kids LOVED it. They in fact flipped a lid for it, and changed the landscape of Warped Tours for the next ten years. Bands like Breathe Carolina, Blood on the Dance Floor, and of course Brokencyde (the one our playlist) became bigger than many of their ‘core’ pioneers, forging a genre that has somehow yet to go away — and we’re waiting patiently for it do so. For a full exploration of Crunkcore acts please watch YouTube user loonooful’s “TOP 15 CRUNKCORE BANDS.”
** ASIAN UNDERGROUND
STATE OF BENGAL - ELEPHANT RIDE (RADIO EDIT)
Turns out MIA isn't the first artist to mix her Sri Lankan roots with dance music, but rather comes a long line of mostly British artists working in the genre of Asian Underground. Combining House, Hip-Hop and Drum and Bass with traditional South Asian sounds, a whole generation of displaced Indians, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan artists started turning the music they grew up with into a more modern dance club experience. Some of the most transcendent stuff comes from off Talvin Singh’s Anohka - Sounds of the Asian Underground. Incorporating scratch, trip hop and jungle, these artists made distinctly 90s British World-Music. My favorite of the crew is drum and bass act State of Bengal who features heavily on the Anohka compilation and even hopped on remix duties for “Inertia Creeps off of Massive Attack’s groundbreaking Mezzanine remix album. Finally, I get to write about some goddamn drum and bass for this website! This genre leans more heavily on jungle vibes than anything else. It’s incredible! Talvin Singh is no slouch himself, recording a more experimental approach with his sound. Singh’s debut record Ok is seminal Asian Underground and he even worked with Bjork on her debut records.
Asian Underground might have hit its highest marks with Cornershop’s hit single “Brimful of Asha” and the subsequent Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) remix. This song was absolutely inescapable in the summer of 97, adding just that extra push to the genre with this brit-pop crossover.
A genre so specific
From deep within the murky depths of the Los Angeles River emerged a creature: 50% raver, 50% comedian, 10% Robotcop. Kurt Kroeber doesn’t own a dog, operates Soundbleed (the world’s only dance party comedy talk show rave), and is down to party with you. Come up some time and say “Hey dude!” But definitely make sure to casually drop the secret Illuminati password.