I love the Internet. It’s probably the best thing that humanity has come up with aside from Doritos Locos tacos. I love it because it’s given us a whole rush of new and interesting music by making sharing so much easier. Anyone with an Internet connection can go about re-editing their favorite music into something completely different — for better or for worse.
That frequently results in the rapid creation of new “genres.” Now I know a lot of musicians hate to be pigeonholed in a single genre as a point of personal pride. The truth is there’s so much wild new music, so many explosive approaches to old sounds, and so much raw creativity that the only way I’d be able to recommend musicians to other people without using genre distinctions would be by offering full-blown sonic breakdowns. In the words of the eloquent Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” So many minds to free and so little time.
The following are a few genres that I figure people who don’t spend every waking moment listening to music on the Internet might have never heard about. In all honesty, they’ll probably be dead by the time you’re done reading this. That’s the beauty of the Internet, though. There’ll always be something new to replace them.
Does anyone still remember seapunk? That weird combination of hazy, corny electronic music and bad 3D renderings was the talk of the Internet until Azaleia Banks and Rhianna ruined it. Vaporwave is (was?) in a lot of ways the natural successor to that already passe label. The difference being that vaporwave is less about turquoise dolphins and more about parodying corporate consumerism. I just think it sounds like the music from Sim City, which I guess is a view of the world through a funhouse lens anyway.
PrismCorp Virtual Enterprises’ album Home™ is pretty much a solid hour of Windows 95, MIDI-powered slow jams. Other artists in this little community of oddities include Macintosh Plus and t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者.
This entire thing is the fault of Lil’ B. See, way back in 2008 Lil’ B gained a lot of attention by rapping well about incredibly stupid shit. At one point, he decided to lay verse after verse over Clams Casino’s “I’m God.” That mixture of Clams Casino’s heavenly production and straight rap was good enough to lay the foundation for an entire sub-genre of rap.
Despite myself…I kind of like it. The 808s and Dark Grapes II mixtape from Main Attrakionz in particular is actually pretty good. Well, the production is awesome anyway. Young Lean’s latest “Kyoto” is also worth checking out if you want to be on the cutting edge.
A dead genre, but it’s still one of my favorites. What defines “night bus” music is pretty simple. Essentially, it’s whatever music fits the setting of riding a bus, through the city, at night. Of course, this is horribly vague and a terrible “genre” when you’re using it to try to organize music by its structure. By its nature it’s subversive to the whole idea that genres have to be static and impenetrable. In the case of night bus, it’s more of a descriptor than a boundary, but it is more fun thinking about music this way.
Typically the music is softer in tone, often times hazy and slow. CFCF made this excellent mix for Fader a few years ago that’s pretty much the epitome of the movement. If anything, consider it a new way of looking at the capabilities of genre.
Jersey club is what happens when trap music decides to drop molly and reminisce about Aaliyah and Timbaland. Okay, that’s not entirely fair. The truth is that Jersey club music did evolve as a genre back in the ’90s in New Jersey clubs. It didn’t really make it outside of Jersey until recently when it gained awareness thanks to the Internet-fueled trap explosion of 2012-2013.
In a word, it’s bouncy. The kicks come in quick triplets amid a rush of squeaky bed samples and ruthlessy chopped beats. Taking this music seriously is a mistake. Approach it on its level, though, and it is very, very fun. Recently, Ryan Hemsworth, Trippy Turtle, and DJ Sliink have been getting pretty popular. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing this sound in a club near you soon.