June 26, 2019 / 3:00 PM

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Spotify Goes Crazy, Lists 50 Weird Music Genres, Including Nerdcore & Vegan Straight Edge



Genres at their best are broad classifications that help us categorize the vast pool of music our culture produces, and at its worst incoherent adjectives that can't be defined by the musicians who ascribe to it or the fans who follow it. Which is why it's so crazy that Spotify gives credence to 50 horrible genres.  From nerdcore to vegan straight edge, to catstep, Spotify is determined to amuse you are make you mad enough to want to throw your iPod.

Some of them are funny like catstep, defined by Spotify as "This particularly-aggressive filthstep ... promoted most enthusiastically by the label Monstercat" (not to be confused with deep filthstep). Or we can laugh at skwee music, which is defined by musicians trying to squeeze the best sounds of a synthesizer. I thought that was the general idea of working with an instrument in general but sure, associate a sound with your particular category of music.

Others on the list are just maddening. Vegan straight edge is a hardcore punk style that promotes a vegan and drug free life style - so it's not punk? There's also nerdcore, which Spotify describes as hip-hop music created by nerds, but is more accurately described by Paste as "A desperate attempt by white people to make hip-hop lame."

Perhaps the most absurd is wrestling, which is literally just the sound of wrestling stars.

Spotify describes how they come up with these genres from its data.

"... Our system reads everything written about music on the web, and listens to millions of new songs all the time, to identify their acoustic attributes," the post reads. "This enables our genres to react to changes in music as they happen. To create dynamic genres, we identify salient terms used to describe music (e.g., "math rock," "IDM", etc.), just as they start to appear. We then model genres as dynamic music clusters - groupings of artists and songs that share common descriptors, and similar acoustic and cultural attributes. (And in the somewhat rare cases when a music cluster appears without a name, we come up with one.)"

Spotify also explains that the genres are often geographically linked.

It may be all in good fun, but it's hard to escape the annoyance of this unhelpful categorization process.

You can view the full list here and below is the only video that should be considered catstep.

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