Slutwave, Tumblr Rap, Rape Gaze: Obscure Musical Genres Explained

From LA Weekly:

Music geeks take pride in name-dropping (and coining) exceedingly obscure handles to describe sound. Which is why, below, we’re giving you entree into this exclusive, nerdy club, offering explanations of eleven of the most strangely named musical genres. Thanks to Jena Ardell for her illustrations, and to rape gaze for already having gone out of vogue.

This strain of soupy, sometimes bracing and gorgeous alternative rock was born of yes, mopey Brits staring at their feet. They were probably doing so because of flagship bands like My Bloody Valentine and Ride’s walls of echoing noise. (Fortunately, the music is equally ideal for gazing at your naked bedmate as much as bunion-watching.) At its deepest, shoegaze sounds like great songs dunked in water and fed through some kind of sonar tracking device. On Slowdive’s seminal “Alison” for instance, the effect is disembodied androgynous voices, or something akin to whale songs. -Dan Weiss

Tumblr Rap
Tumblr rappers barely exist outside of their namesake social networking site, where teens decamped after their parents discovered Twitter. Starry-eyed adolescents upload videos of themselves rapping in their bedrooms; Odd Future paved a path, but many in this subset have never played an actual show in their lives. The genre’s budding star is Kitty Pryde, a disarmingly earnest 19-year-old Florida white girl rapper, whose lyrics are like a cross between a diary and a scrapbook — confessional yet full of references to The Ramones, Waka Flocka Flame, and the Powerpuff Girls. She’s a breakout success, and has even played a real concert in New York! It’s enough to get A&Rs sifting through Tumblr memes. -Rebecca Haithcoat

Chillwave is dream-pop that’s been floating in a backyard pool and left out in the sun to dry off and fade a little. As its name suggests, synths and eroded samples flutter up in waves to resemble seafaring movements or glistening waterfalls, with hazy vocals struggling to be made out clearly. Home-recording practitioners like Ariel Pink, Washed Out and Neon Indian play EZ-listening muzak and synth-pop as if you’re hearing it through an old VCR or Talkboy tape recorder. Branded “glo-fi” and “hypnagogic pop” early on, it’s really just new age with a nostalgia fetish. Grab an NES controller and buckle up. -Dan Weiss

For some extreme metal bands, it’s not enough to pummel you into submission with down-tuned guitar riffs, jackhammer beats and constipated-demon vocals. They need to add a little death, dismemberment and decomposition into the mix, too. Welcome to goregrind, a subgenre of metal with lyrics and album art so disgusting, it makes the Saw movies look like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Goregrind classics include such gut-churners as Carcass’ “Vomited Anal Tract,” Repulsion’s “Splattered Cadavers” and Cattle Decapitation’s “Writhe in Putrescence.” -Andy Hermann

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