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5 Most Hilarious Obscure Music Genres

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Hey, you know that post-Marxist-afro-cuban-experimental-Wiicore band you always reference when you're trying to impress people with your obscure taste in music? Cut it out, everybody knows it doesn't really exist. Maybe next time, try referencing one of these hilariously obscure (and real) genres instead.

  • 5. Spacesynth

    What Is It?
    If you're already familiar with Spacesynth, then you don't need me to tell you that it originated in the mid-1980's. If you haven't heard Spacesynth before, just imagine taking the nerdiest and most horrifyingly cheesy elements of 80's synth music and listening to them all at once...while in outer space.

    To put it more exactly, according the the folks at spacesynth.net, "Spacesynth...is instrumental upbeat synth music that focuses on melodies instead of rhythm. Driving basslines, catchy synth riffs, sci-fi influences and futuristic track titles and album covers have always been a major part of spacesynth."

    Although not listed, living in your mother's basement and a lifetime of being ignored by women are also dominant elements in Spacesynth. Probably.

    People Actually Listen To This?

    Spacesynth has certainly lost a large chunk of its mid-80's heyday fanbase. It's unclear whether this is an indictment of the quality of the music or just something that was bound to happen once people stopped wearing pastel suits and snorting lines of coke for breakfast.

    With that said, after a long absence throughout most of the 90's, some small labels such as Alpha Centauri have once again begun releasing new Spacesynth releases.

    Hear It For Yourself:

    Laserdance were, arguably, the biggest Spacesynth band ever. The video below is for a song called "Powerrun." That sounds like some sort of class you would take at Bally's Fitness. You know what song would be playing during that class? This one.

  • 4. Epic Doom-Metal

    What Is It?

    According to the scholars at Wikipedia, "for the uninitiated, distinguishing epic doom from traditional doom may be difficult." Thanks for the help! Apparently, epic doom is just like regular ol' vanilla doom, except the dudes sing in clean, sometimes operatic voices as opposed to leaning on the "holy shit that guy sounds like Cookie Monster" style employed by some modern doom bands. It all sounds very fancy.

    People Actually Listen To This?

    Epic doom has a fairly decent following, mostly amongst Europeans and kids who shoot up schools. Some epic doom bands have had quite lengthy careers, most notably Candlemass, who are set to release their tenth studio album in 2009. But my vote for most awesome epic doom band ever goes to Doomsword. Check out this list of past and present Doomsword members: Deathmaster, The Forger, WrathLord, Sacred Heart, Nightcomer, The Guardian Angel, The Guardian Angel II and Dark Omen. I don't care what they sound like, I'll check out a band with names like that any day.

    Hear It For Yourself:

    While this video from Candlemass is certainly full of doom that one could only describe as epic, it's also chock full of epic hilarity. Do yourself a favor and forward to the 1:30 mark. That's when the lead singer hops out of a coffin and his quest to melt the heart of a young maiden begins. Hilarity and Ozzy Osbourne worship ensues.

  • 3. Lowercase

    What Is It?

    Silence. That's what lowercase music is. It's silence. Silence occasionally interrupted by brief moments of barely audible noise. It's apparently an offshoot of ambient minimalism. Ambient music focuses on sound more than notes. Basically, lowercase does that too, but the sound it focuses on is silence. Sounds pretty rocking, no?

    How boring is lowercase music? The album that pioneered the lowercase movement was Forms of Paper, a recording by a man named Steve Roden. It consisted solely of recordings of Roden handling different forms of paper. While he was high on crystal meth. Sorry, the crystal meth part is a lie. I'm just trying to make an album of paper shuffling sounds seem interesting.

    People Actually Listen To This?

    Oh yeah, of course people listen. If you'd like to be one of those people, head to the website of raster-noton, a label that currently publishes lowercase music. Fittingly, the website is a blindingly stark white background with tiny little font that you can barely read.

    What Does It Sound Like?

    Like soundtrack music for the most boring acid trip ever.

    2. Bitpop

    What Is It?

    Alright Blur fans, read that slowly before you take to the comments. It says BITpop, there's no R. Speaking of no R, there is no reason why anyone should ever openly admit to listening to Bitpop. Basically, Bitpop takes all of the ecstatic joy that came with playing old school video games and removes the playing, gaming and video aspects from it.

    If this sounds a bit on the geeky side, that's because it very much is. Don't let anyone tell you any differently. Slipping a bitpop reference into a conversation at a party will not make you seem edgy and underground. It will make you sound like someone whose itch for entertainment can be scratched by music meant to blend into an 8-bit background.

    People Actually Listen To This?

    It's got its own record label. Somebody must be listening. Bitpop pioneers Welle:Erdball played the Arvika Festival in Sweden in 2005. Festivalgoers able to recited the Konami code at the gates received free admission. Or at least they should have.

    What Does It Sound Like?

    Um, like a video game?

  • 1. Nintendocore

    What Is It?

    There are about fifty-thousand different obscure genres that end with the word 'core'. Delving into all of the ridiculous ones would have made this list about sixty entries too long. But after scanning through them all, none stuck out quite like Nintendocore.

    I don't need to even tell you that this is another entry from the video game music files. But instead of focusing exclusively on 8-bit sounds, Nintendocore mixes in elements of metal, black metal, death metal, hardcore, hardcore metal, metalcore and metal metal.

    People Actually Listen To This?

    According to its Wikipedia page, Nintendocore is in the "near mainstream" category. That sounds like a bit of a stretch, unless there is a separate, specific mainstream in which people who rock to video game sounds rule the land. One band in particular though, HORSE the Band, have a fairly decent following. They have released several albums and have toured the world.

    What Does It Sound Like?

    A video game. A very angry video game.