Spotify’s 50 Weirdest Music Genres

Back in the day, it was easy: rock, pop, country, R&B, jazz and classical. But as time went on, each of these genres fractured into sub-genres, sub-sub-genres and eventually sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-genres. Madness.

Spotify feels our pain. It has just released a list of the 50 weirdest sub-genres in their system. It starts like this:

abstracto: It’s like complextro, but more abstract than rhythmic.

aggrotech: This is electronic music that fuses elements of electronic body music, industrial, noise, trance, and techno. Aggrotech typically features distorted and pitch-shifted vocals, militant lyrics, and a fast, danceable beat.

aussietronica: It’s electronica. From Australia.

beatdown: Beatdown is type of hardcore punk characterized by a more aggressive sound and vocals that are shouted, screamed, or growled. Emerging in the ’80s, beatdown has slow, chugging breakdowns and later influenced the development of metalcore.

black sludge: A combination of black metal and sludge, the music.

brostep: Brostep is a variation of dubstep that some view as “Americanized dubstep.” It emphasizes the middle register sounds as opposed to the sub-bass content that dubstep accentuates. Brostep has more robotic sounds with a “metal-esque” aggression.

bubble trance: Bubble trance is bright, upbeat trance music.

catstep: This particularly-aggressive filthstep variation is promoted most enthusiastically by the label Monstercat.

crustpunk: Crust punk has a fast, dirty sound influenced by anarcho-punk, hardcore punk, and extreme metal. The style evolved in England in the mid-’80s and often has lyrics with a dark perspective on politics and social ills.

deep discofox: An goofily earnest genre featuring slick techno-disco and the occasional video.

deep filthstep: Only the true filthstep fans know their way around these more exploratory, sometimes lesser-known filthstep musicians.

deep liquid bass: Deeper cuts from liquid bass (for the serious enthusiast), which combine the sleek synth lines of liquid genres with the bass from drum and bass. If you like to crank up the bass, check out this list of songs with good bass.

deep psychobilly: Deeper cuts from the psychobilly genre, which draws heavily on rockabilly and punk.

destroy techno: An invented name for a particularly hard-to-describe experimental techno cluster.

drone folk: It’s like drone music made with traditional folk instruments (guitar, banjo, strings, and possibly hurdy-gurdy).

It keeps at this level of weirdness. Gauze-pop. New weird America. Something called “solopsynthm.” Even “unblack metal.”

For the full list (and samples of each), go here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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