Humans are obsessed with labelling things.
From jam jars to sexual preferences to sub-genres of music, everyone and everything winds up packed and pigeonholed for easy digestion. Sometimes labels can be helpful (E.g. POISON, do not drink), but others can be so unnecessarily cringeworthy that they make you want to consume a whole bottle. Case in point: music genre names. Sure, the common overarching ones like Rock, Pop, and Hip Hop might serve a purpose, but how ’bout Lowercase, Cuddlecore and Harsh Noise? Utterly useless. And very, very silly.
According to my sources (we meet again, Reddit and Urban Dictionary), Bro-step is a relatively new sub-genre of dubstep with no emphasis on soul. This makes sense, because every bro I’ve ever met was born without one. It would appear that the goal of bro-step is to make music that is as fast and furious as the films its namesake tends to enjoy, without any regard for the quality of the sound nor depth of the bass. The emergence of bro-step and its aggressive and ‘ratty’ sound has caused great agitation amongst OG dubstep fans, who see the ‘very American’ interference as uncalled for, much like the people of Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, and Palestine.
Guess what IDM stands for? Intelligent Dance Music. Come on, people. This is the very definition of not okay. People who walk around referring to themselves as Intelligent Dance Music listeners are akin to those who talk about how crazy they are in their Instagram bios—i.e, the most basic people of all. I once read a shitty bumper sticker that said, ‘People who say they’re crazy are harmless. It’s the quiet ones you have to look out for’, and ever since I have been watching my librarian like a hawk. Anyway, I think the same concept applies to IDM fans. ‘The dance music listeners who say they are intelligent are usually the dumbest shits of all.’
I used to know a guy who refused to use uppercase in his correspondence with me. He ignored caps lock when typing my name, beginning a sentence, or using proper nouns. At first I thought it was a quirky ‘schtick’ of his, but soon I realised that it was because he was scared of making a mistake. If all his grammar was bad, then it was on purpose—he was an infallible narcissist. I didn’t just come to this conclusion out of nowhere, though. It was after I found out he was engaged, talking to minors on Skype, and emailing at least nine other women the same lowercase lies. The obvious joke here would be for me to say he must have been a fan of this kind of music, too, but he was in a band that played emo rock accompanied by lyrics about Christian guilt. Anyway, Lowercase (which ironically, is capitalised) is a subset of minimal ambient music that is characterised by quiet periods and ambient field recordings that invite the listener to scrutinise every tiny detail, and is best heard through quality headphones. Ever been stuck in a room with an invisible fly and spent 20 minutes trying to locate the buzzing sound? Then you’ve listened to Lowercase before.
Yes, this genre of music is as annoying as it sounds. A sub-genre of indie rock, Cuddlecore (my fingers just puked) is used to describe music or songs that are cutesy and sweet, with vocals reminiscent of your least favourite classmate in primary school. Another term for this style of music is ‘twee’, and basically sounds like Belle & Sebastian made a Hillsong record for all the cool youth worshippers whose ripped Ksubi jeans are the only thing allowed out of the closet.
Also known as music for serial killers, Harsh Noise is an extension of noise music ‘that seeks to take the genre to its natural limits, resulting in hugely aggressive walls of sound that assault the listener.’ The main point I would like to make about Harsh Noise music is that nobody enjoys listening to it, and if someone tries to tell you they do, they are either lying, or a serial killer. Either way, you don’t need that person in your life anymore. In fact, every job application, reader survey or general questionnaire should begin with the question, ‘Do you like Harsh Noise music?’, and if anyone replies yes—knock, knock. Who’s there? It’s the FEDS.