Picking Genres From a Dictionary

Music genres come and go by the dozen, from emocore and screamo to nemocore, but what new genres lurk on the horizon? Will there be more amalgamations of current styles and trends (emoscreamonemocore?) or something so completely original and mysterious that it belongs in a class all by itself?

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Swedish tango, or Swedego as I like to call it, is still in its infancy. Possibly because most people don’t look further than ABBA for their Swedish music requirements. Well Anna-Lisa Ingemansson can belt out a yodel-tinged Fragrancia that would make you forget all about “Waterloo” in an instant. And she’ll do it all while still running a pedicure salon in Stockholm. A true multi-tasker. Sure it’s 34 years old, but people still haven’t caught on, and therefore it’s new.

» Listen to Anna-Lisa Ingemansson at WFMU’s “Beware of the Blog”

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Eastern European gypsy brass bands are big these days, what with American bands like Beirut importing those sounds to the States. It’s only a matter of time before somebody adds electronic sounds, Moog loops, and Drum n’ Bass rhythms to make it sound like a Balkan wedding invaded by alien organ harvesters. And they will call it Balktronica (as opposed to Turbofolk), and it will make you wonder what the original wedding music sounded like.

» Listen to Kocani Orkestar at Said the Gramophone

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Speaking of the Balkans and beat almalgamations, Balkan Beat Box have already started tempering the brass with pop beats and it sounds surprisingly like the Beastie Boys for some odd reason. Don’t ask me why.

» Listen to Balkan Beat Box at Moistworks

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International music started mixing up with electronic a long, long time ago, so in reality we can’t call it “new.” It’s already been through enough electrosmash, clash, and bash variations to fill a year’s worth of Village Voice columns—any new genre names will have to go into the finer details of the sounds. So instead of calling this CSS remix “Brazillian electropop,” it will now be called a “São Paulon 8-bit ditty.”

» Listen to CSS’s “Alcohol (Failed Rehab)” (3.2MB)

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Then there are other styles that have no locality, but mix so many things together as to make specific definition tough, like Black Moth Super Rainbow. But they can’t keep running forever; eventually they’ll have to repeat some aspect of style and we’ll get them in a box. For now, it just gets lumped in with indie-hiptronica.

» Listen to Black Moth Super Rainbow’s “Vietcaterpillar” (3.1MB)

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Then there are other sounds where I might as well flip open a dictionary and pick a word at random to try and codify. Most are metal and noise variants (dirgecore, staticcore). Tummult Records specializes in these new and unknown phyla for which you can flip through their recording samples and think of all the names yourself.

» Listen to artists at Tumult Records

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Of course genres don’t really need to change every five seconds to keep completely original, and people can still make music in established styles, like Afropop, that are unique in subtler ways without having to cram drum machines into the mix.

» Listen to Afropop at Naija Jams

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