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Top Ten: Obscure music genres

by The Concordian November 1, 2011
Top Ten: Obscure music genres
10. Contemporary Death Metal – This is nothing like Slayer’s Reign In Blood album that your mother picked up in ‘86. The beast that Death Metal has evolved into is faster with lower-pitched vocals, death growls and guitar breakdowns tuned so low it makes you wonder how the human ear can pick up the frequencies. 

9. Deathstep – This genre is based on a simple premise: take a death metal song, slice and chop it up for samples, and create dubstep from it. Some talented producers can execute the concept quite tastefully; however, even as a fan of dubstep, I find much of it is offensive to the ear.

8. Psybient – For the sake of my own description, I’ve dubbed this sub-genre “new-age drug music,” even though that could describe half of the sub-genres in modern electronic music right now. Psybient takes elements of ambient, psychadelic and chillout music, rolling them all into one. Groovy, dude!

7. Skweee – Originating in Sweden and Finland, you’ll be able to recognize this genre with its minimal-techno style, simple synth, and funky R&B bass building throughout songs. Yet I can confidently tell you that unless you’re a hardcore fiend for electronic music, you’ll never need to recognize it; obscurity is the understatement of the year for this genre.

6. Folktronica – While this genre was thrust into the mainstream spotlight in 2001 with the emergence of Badly Drawn Boy, it has since devolved back into the relative obscurity that the genre was ultimately destined for. What can you expect when you combine folk and electronic music?

5. Black Metal – This genre, signified by high-pitched guitars and shrieking, satanic vocals has been marred (or strengthened, depending on your perspective) by a laundry list of disturbing events by the genre’s most popular bands: several church burnings, a guitarist’s suicide (which led to pieces of the skull being made into a necklace by a bandmate), and the abduction of patients from a mental hospital are just a little sampler.

4. Christian “Life Metal” – Other than the sound of the music, this genre is the polar opposite of the one above. Life metal rejects the idea that all metal must be about despair or evil and darkness, instead praising the idea of hope and perseverance through tough times. As counterintuitive as it seems, there’s a surprisingly large market for it.

3. “Pure” Electronic – “Pure” electronic takes the idea that “music has become too artificial” to the extreme, being comprised of no actual musical elements whatsoever. While it’s technically more of an informal sub-genre of minimal electronic, “pure” electronic is a term used to describe music created with short bleeps, static, and white noise, composed using primarily mathematical algorithms.

2. Khoomei – And now for something completely different. Khoomei, or “Tuvan throat singing,” is a form of singing originating from the Central Asian region. What’s special about this type of singing is that those who have mastered the skill can sing five to six notes at once, across two or three octaves. Probably not something you’d put on your iPod, but it’s worth checking out solely because of how unique it is.

1. Neo-G-funk – While just a term to describe certain styles of dubstep that a few producers created, neo-G-funk is by far my personal favourite. The style includes masterful keyboarding and heavily distorted bass lines with an “underwater” feel that makes speakers sound like jell-o. Whenever one of these songs pops up on my iPod, I find it hard to stop myself from dancing along.

 

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