Are you bored of hearing the same half-whispered, vaguely English-sounding singer pronouncing each ‘s’ as ‘zsh’? Would you like to expand your musical horizons to the point where you might find yourself in another universe? Check out these fringe music genres, leave behind the notion that “current” and “new” mean “good,” and you may just find your newest old jam. This is not a suggestion that you eat twelve year old jam. Enjoy.
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Taking existing songs and reinventing them in a different, often older, genre has been an online view generator for a while now (see Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Jukebox Views). This trend is usually limited to recording contemporary songs and making them appear like songs of a 20th century style. What if we go back further? Much further? Welcome to the beautiful world of Bardcore.
Where nostalgia can be seen as the main driver of the success of the retrofitting of modern pop songs, who will feel nostalgic for music from the Middle Ages? In part, it’s the encounter with this little-known era and the accessibility of the modern song that allows listening to bardcore to be as much a journey of discovery as just listening to good music. Before long you will forget the original lyrics of Lady GaGa’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ and instead sing Hildegard von Blingin’s version:
“I want your horror, I want your design / you are a criminal while you are mine.”
This genre is great if you want to relax and fall asleep. It’s also great when you want to sit down and study. It’s also great to wake up to a high-pitched, ringing alarm clock. This genre is so chilled out, so laid-back that it’s hard not to like it. You can’t think of a person who really hates Chillhop (unless you don’t understand that definitions of art are not generated by a specific person). Conversely, it’s difficult to imagine a person whose whole life is defined by hearing this micro-genre like a punk or a metal head. That’s the beauty of Chillhop; Don’t think too much for a while, recharge your batteries, Wagner can wait. Now, put your earbuds in, hold your cup of coffee, close your eyes, and get ready for whatever comes next.
Let’s cut out all of that blissful ceiling look, shall we? Let’s pump some blood! Japan has a solid pedigree when it comes to extreme, avant-garde metal. This is most evident in the amorphous, ever-evolving genre of Japanoise (Japan – Noise).
Noise music is difficult to understand. Most people have no inclination to enjoy “extreme” genres of music. Japanoise bands have always felt a little more accessible to non-metalheads because of the value of musical expertise and innovation. Even so, it can be tricky when you want your grandma to listen. Try to imagine hearing bands like ‘Merzbow’ or ‘Melt Banana’ much like a good, haunted concept art show (they exist, promise). You don’t have to love it, but let the complexity and discord make you think.
7th Gypsy punk
If you listen to Django Reinhardt’s recordings, it feels revolutionary for the time. It sounds explosive considering that his music was released around the same time that Cole Porter and Bing Crosby were topping the charts. The withdrawn, free, joyful sounds that Reinhardt gave the world and which were based on traditional Roma music are still being knocked out and get people moving in the form of Gypsy punk.
The cultural influences go beyond Roma music – polka, klezmer, rockabilly, English folk, it really is the “world music” of punk. One of the main themes you will find is the idea that life is about looking for new experiences so that wanderlust can fuel your impulses. The next time you get married, make sure the band is a gypsy punk outfit and you can make sure the party will be remembered forever.
6th Traditional Georgian folk music
Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. With this centuries-old musical tradition, the beauty lies in the ear of the listener.
The history of polyphonic folk song in Georgia dates back to ancient times and dates back to Christianity, which came to Georgia in the 4th century. As early as 2001, Georgian polyphonic music was listed as one of the first entries in the UNESCO list of “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. Both Werner Herzog and the Coen Brothers have used the genre in their films, balancing their counterculture films with songs that not only sound like they were from a time before we knew what time it was, but also pretend to be it would be they come down from heaven. Hamlet Gonashvili, owner of one of the cutest voices ever recorded, was a huge star within the genre. In 1985, at the height of his fame and recognition outside his home country, Gonashvili died of a fall from an apple tree. If you listen to the atmospheric, tragic-sounding songs he recorded, you’ll see how aptly this way of dying seems.
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5 Witch house
This is what Blade holds onto after a long day of vampires full of silver. This is the music the CIA should be playing in buildings that house important targets that they want to flush out. Good God with a goat head, this music is disturbing. And yet…
The unholy connection of EBM (electrical body music), trance and industrial metal pursued in the truest sense of the word. Why is it so difficult to stop listening to this stuff? Perhaps it is interspersed with black magic that captivates your soul and ties it to the melodies? Or maybe, if you can get past the overwhelming sense of premonition and the uncanny, they are pretty good tunes. Great as a soundtrack for your next community sacrifice, goat, or baby!
A lot of people hate ‘prog rock’. People who love prog often claim that any hatred directed towards bands like ‘Emerson, Lake and Palmer’ or ‘Yes’ must come from a position of ignorance; you just don’t get it loser That elitism and apologetic embrace of intellectualism can put off the uninitiated, just as the bar-destroying, bad-mouthed and saliva-soaked crowds of weird-looking teenagers have been a hindrance to punk for many. The entry barrier into the subgenre ‘Zeuhl’ by Prog? Well, the avant-garde musician and writer Dominique Leone summed it up pretty well: ‘Zeuhl’ is about “how one would expect an alien rock opera to sound”. You are human, how can you maybe “get” it?
Zeuhl comes from France in the late 1960s and means “heavenly” in the language “Kobaïan”, an invented “foreign” language that was created by Christian Vander, a drummer in the band “Magma”. The vibrational characteristics of the music really conjure up a feeling of otherworldliness (or maybe that should be offworldworldiness) along with a feeling of vastness that reflects the boundlessness of the universe … or something like that. Cosmic.
3 Italian occult psychadelia
Horror is a genre that works well in literature. Horror arguably works better in film (considering that the goal of the horror genre is to create fear, the visual nature of the film makes fear get into the bloodstream faster, so to speak). It tends to suck in music. When a band wears the “horror” theme, it’s usually cheesy (excessive use of fake blood, crappy costumes, and moaning band names) or overly dependent on a sensual homage. It’s not scary.
The Italian occult psychadelia seems to have solved this problem. This music can be really annoying and even scary while avoiding loss of translation from the literary and cinematic tropes that shape the music, especially the work of legendary Italian film director Dario Argento, Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini, as well as the forbidden “cannibals” “70s and 80s movies and even spaghetti westerns. Either you’ll love hugging the chills that run your back up and down, or you’ll throw your earplugs against a wall and run and hide in a closet (that’s where the serial killer wants you to hide).
2 Time lord rock
When Led Zeppelin was heavily inspired by the work of JRR Tolkien, they opened Middle-earth to hordes of rock music lovers as a great accompaniment to their music, along with cannabis and without cutting their hair. Will bands like ‘Chameleon Circuit’ do the same for Doctor Who? Definitely not. But when it comes to IP fan music, ‘Time Lord Rock’ isn’t bad. Why does it hurt to write this?
The best way to enjoy this is to try to forget about Doctor Who (unless you are a fan then you are in heaven). It beats most other types of fandom pop in a cocked hat; These bands are pretty good. It also proves once and for all that Potterheads are the least creative, the least open to new experiences, and the least talented people in all of fandom culture.
1 Dark cabaret
This is perhaps the most commercial of all genres on the list (maybe) after it caused a sensation in 1998 with the hit musical “Shockheaded Peter” by the group Tiger Lilies, who sing about the crucifixion of Jesus (nervously!), Or the popularity of bands like ” “made the Dresden dolls. Still, it’s hard to imagine that this type of music would rank 10-1 on the Billboard table. Unless, of course, we go through some sort of Armageddon so that the new, dark troubadours can wander the wasteland and enjoy the folly of man with accordion-driven songs. So there is hope I guess.
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About the author: CJ Phillips is a storyteller, actor, and writer living in rural West Wales. He’s a bit obsessed with lists.