Monday, 7 October 2013

7 Big New Genres in Electronic Music

Human beings have always had an OCD tendency to label things into neat little categories. Since 2010 there has been a rise in new music genres. The revolutionising seems to all be happening in the electronic music scene. Here are a few new supposed genres that are being proclaimed as “the next big thing”. Whether they will become the next big thing is a subject of debate. Personally, I reckon half these genres will be buried and forgotten in five years time. Still, knowing about them is fun.

Trap               

Run da TRAAP! Damn son where d’you find this? Trap is probably the biggest, most popular, most credible genre on this list. You remember that little thing called the Harlem Shake?





Instrumentally speaking, trap is a mid-tempo dance genre characterised by its use of skittery hi-hats and deep, resonant bass drums. 2013 has seen the genre particularly take off with acts like Baueer and Flosstradamus spearheading the movement. Many are heralding it as the new dubstep.

Trap began as a form of hip hop in the noughties. American rappers employed bassy, obtrusive beats to accompany their aggressive, drug-addled lyrics. This style of trap rap has also seen an upsurge in popularity this year. Notable artists include A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Denzel Curry and Wokka Flokka Flame.





Chillwave

I’ve heard people describing this as a hipster genre but I suppose people will prescribe that term to any new musical genre that thinks outside the box. The moment I heard chillwave was a hipster genre, I stopped listening to it, because I’m no hipster. I WAS INTO CHILLWAVE BEFORE IT WAS COOL. PERFECT MUSIC TO LISTEN TO ON THE WALKMAN WHILST TAKING THE SEGWAY TO THE THRIFT STORE

Anyhow, Chillwave (also known as glo-fi) is a smooth, electronic, synth-heavy genre often smothered in effects processing to create a glossy, ambient feel. Its stuff to chill to, as the name chillwave suggests. Dance music meets lounge music. Notable artists include Toro y Moi, Washed Out and XXYYXX.

Give this track a whirl. It’s the bomb!





Future-garage

Counterculture’s response to all that noisy dubstep and glitch-hop stuff. Future-garage places melody over trying to be loud and in-your-face. It’s a cool, new dance genre that takes influence from deep house, UK garage and trip hop, throwing in a bit of a retro vibe.

You’ll find a million debates online surrounding what and what isn’t future-garage. Other names for the genre include Chillstep and Post-dubstep. Pedantic dance-music-Nazis will argue that chillstep and post-dubstep are separate genres. Some artists that I personally think fit the bill include Disclosure, Burial, Joy Orbison and SBTRKT.





Again, this is being labelled as a hipster genre. I’LL START LISTENING TO IT WHEN ITS NO LONGER POPULAR #past-future-garage#irony#i’m so ironic that I no longer know what ironic means

Witch house

This is where we start venturing into the less credible genres, the genres that are unlikely to build up any Beatles-sized following, the genres that - as a principle - just sound stupid.

Witch house is occult themed house music with a dark ambient feel. Artists use pretentious Unicode symbols in their names such as and in the hope of keeping the genre underground. It’s a silly genre that comes across as a little dull to me. Hype over the genre seems to have already faded suggesting the microtrend is thankfully already on the decline.

Notable artists include Salem, oOoOO, AIMON and †‡† (Ritualz).





Vaporwave

Cheesy sampled music taken from eighties TV ads and video game menus, looped and screwed with a bit. Its blatant nostalgia, slightly slowed down and distorted to sound a little bit more nostalgic. Tim and Eric spoofed this kind of music in their comedy TV series and now there’s a serious genre for it.

Some artists include Internet Club, James Ferraro and Mackintosh Plus





Seapunk

Contradictory to what you might expect, Seapunk contains no elements of punk whatsoever. More of a fashion fad than a music genre, fans of seapunk dress in aquatic colours and worship Ecco the Dolphin, a 90s Sega Genesis character of whom I’m too young and baby-faced to remember. Musically, the genre is a blend of 90s house and garage with lots of trap-influenced sub-bass thrown in. Many songs have lyrical themes centred predictably around water and the sea.

Notable artists include Zombelle and Drexciya. Rihanna and Azealia Banks have even given the whim a go.





Slimepunk

Seapunk's bastard son. Fans dress in shades of snot-green. The music sounds like seapunk but slimier.


As for snowpunk, well, let's not even go there.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Review of "Nostalgic 64" by Denzel Curry


Forget those dumbed-down dudes in A$AP Mob. This is how trap rap is done properly.

Up-and-coming, Floridian rapper – Denzel Curry – manages to pinpoint the niche between high brow and low brow. Beneath lashings of ultraviolence and excessive barrages of n-bombs lie moments of clever imagery that prove Curry is more than your run-of-the-mill Lil Wayne. Not only does his lyricism demonstrate this, but so does his flow. He has speed, clarity and more importantly rhythmical variation. The instrumentation, however, is what really captivated me on my first listen. Creepy horrorcore meets Nintendo, topped with skittery trap drumming. The first half of the album tests the subwoofers. Bass drums are left to resonate like muffled explosions. The second half meanwhile takes the listener above the clouds, incorporating sweet chords and distant, echoing synths.

This is an album that I can see myself being hooked to for a while. I think Curry shows real potential. If he can improve upon his vocal tone, which has a slightly generic feel to it, he could really make a name for himself. 


TRACK TASTER:

Friday, 4 October 2013

Review of "AM" by the Arctic Monkeys



At first, I thought this album was dull as dishwater. Now, I’m kind of on the fence with it.

The Arctic Monkeys' debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, was a blissfully unrefined, primal guitar banger that took an angst-ridden, realistic perspective on the club scene. It was gritty music to fuel a bar fight. AM, contrastingly, is music to fuel a hangover. It’s not music to groove and party to. It’s lazy background music with tight plodding palm-muted riffs. Some of the tracks like, No.1 Party Anthem, do nothing for me, carrying all the mind-numbing properties of general aesthetic. However, there are other tracks that have for some inexplicable reason burrowed deep into my brain e.g. Why D’you Only Call Me When You’re High.

Writing unromantic, brutally honest lyrics is the band’s masterful speciality and I think that is where this album's strength lies. For me, it fails instrumentally on many tracks. Enough palm-muting already. 


TRACK TASTER: