10 Wild, Bizarre and Obscure Music Genres

Music is one of the most important elements of culture, and has existed for countless centuries, in a variety of forms and genres, with many different instruments and artists.  While everyone tends to have their own favorite genre or two, the musical realm is full of many genres to appeal to different people.

So, it would only make sense that there are some strange and obscure genres of music out there, and there definitely are.  From the comparatively normal music made on a Gameboy, to just outright strange ‘Danger Music’ which can literally be designed to make the listeners suffer embarrassing accidents, you’ll love these genres.

1. Mathcore

Mathcore is a rhythmically complex and dissonant style of metalcore.  The term mathcore is suggested by analogy with math rock. Both math rock and mathcore make use of unusual time signatures. Math rock groups such as Slint, Don Caballero, Shellac, and Drive Like Jehu have some influence on mathcore, though mathcore is more closely related to metalcore. Prominent mathcore groups have been associated with grindcore.  When referring to Mathcore, Jacob Bannon of Converge stated, “I really don’t know what mathcore is. Converge is an aggressive band. We have elements of hardcore, punk, and metal for sure. But I think trying to define our efforts and other bands with a generic sub-genre name is counter productive. We all have something unique to offer and should be celebrated for those qualities rather than having them generalized for easy consumption.

2. Chiptune

A chiptune, or chip music is music written in sound formats where many of the sound textures are synthesized or sequenced in real time by a computer or video game console sound chip, sometimes including sample-based synthesis and low bit sample playback.  This is most often accomplished on Nintendo Gameboy devices, thus leading to an associated genre called Nintendocore.

3. Lowercase

Originally coined by minimal artist Steve Roden, lowercase is an extreme form of ambient minimalism in which very quiet sounds bookend long stretches of silence. To call lowercase minimalist would be a massive understatement. Imagine the sound of high school detention, with a couple of delinquents passing notes back and forth occasionally.

4. Schranz

Schranz is a European hard style of techno music. It is typically played at around 150–170 beats per minute (BPM) but can also be slower. Schranz is based on massive kick drums, driving percussion, and distorted, looping synthesizer noises.

5. Crunkcore

Crunkcore (also called crunk punk, screamo-crunk and scrunk) is a musical genre that combines crunk hip hop with elements of screamo. The Boston Phoenix described it as “a combination of minimalist Southern hip-hop, Auto-Tune croons, techno breakdowns, barked vocals, and party-till-you-puke poetics.”

6. Spacesynth

Space disco, also known as sci-fi discoin North America or cosmo-rockinside USSR and former Eastern Bloc countries, is a subgenre of eurodisco music that first became prominent in the European disco scene around 1976–77, before considerably declining in popularity and morphing into an Eastern European cult movement by the early-1980s. Space disco was inspired by both disco music and notable work of sci-fi film directors such as George Lucas (the Star Wars saga), Andrei Tarkovsky (both Solaris and Stalker) and Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind).

7. Epic Doom Metal

Yes, you read it right. Epic Doom Metal. Not much more of an explanation is needed, with a title like that.

8. Bachata

Bachata is a genre of music that originated in the Dominican Republic in the early parts of the 20th Century and spread to other parts of Latin America. It became popular in the countryside and the rural neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic. Its subjects are often romantic; especially prevalent are tales of heartbreak and sadness. In fact, the original term used to name the genre was amargue (“bitterness,” or “bitter music”), until the rather ambiguous (and mood-neutral) term bachata became popular. The form of dance, Bachata, also developed with the music.

9. Russian Chanson

Russian chanson is a neologism for a musical genre covering a range of Russian songs based on the themes of the urban underclass and often criminal underworld. This song style, called blatnaya pesnya (“criminals’ song”), has been popular in Eastern Europe ever since its first appearance in the beginning of the 20th century. Chanson can be seen as one of two genres stemming from 19th century Russian city romance songs, the other genre being the author song. The two genres are now quite distinct, but have overlapped significantly throughout the 20th century.

10. Danger Music

Danger Music is an experimental form of avant-garde 20th and 21st century classical music. It is based on the concept that some pieces of music can or will harm either the listener or the performer. Since the performances must nearly always be canceled before they can be performed, danger music can also be thought of more as a philosophical or political statement than as a composition of music. For instance a piece could be written in which the volume of the music steadily increases causing the audience to fear that it will make them defecate in their trousers (search for ‘Brown note’), although it might never reach that point.

  • Lolz

    You missed out Time Lord Rock! 😛

  • Fsdsdf

    seriously, you put bachata on this list!?

  • Exxe

    About bizzare you forgot Harsh noise, well the danger music example is a harsh noise song.

  • Electronic Music

    This stuff isnt all that bad. Though Mathcore and “Danger Music” (the example was Noise/Harsh Noise) are quite unique, you really need an ear for that stuff.

    Well looking off my iPod, here are some wild or otherwise bizarre genres (all electronic genres fyi):
    Glitch, IDM, Breakcore, Speedcore, Splittercore, Extratone, Power Electronics, Rythmic Noise, Noise, Harsh Noise, Power Noise, Musique Concrete, Industrial

    Power Electronics is probably the most bizzare imo.

  • Potato Of Destruction

    Motherfrooking Breakcore! It is LITERALLY the weirdest most bizarre form of music i’ve ever heard. If you can even call it music…

  • Mark Topping

    Acidhouse x forget guitars and conventional mainstream music, research TB303 synthesiser and youll find that Acids the strangest music going and the best!

  • Spoder Man

    How is epic doom metal weird?

  • fsmythe

    Psyberdelic Psyberdelix!!! fyi try Squiggle Blorp…

  • Tarra.exe

    Every genre of music has sub genres and these are no different than most. I study music when I can and I love to understand how a lot of these come to light so to speak. things like danger music, schranz and lowercase will never make sense to me. They aren’t even honestly music. Now, this is subjective cause I love all sorts of music but when you listen to something like lowercase and realize it could literally be anything from a person typing on a keyboard slowly or tapping of a pencil at random, it’s not really a “beat.” Every bit of music, normally has a beat that makes sense and is easy to listen to. Even minimalism has a simple beat that you can drone out too. I’ve caught myself falling asleep to hardstyle back in highschool.

    You have to really want to try something new when you’re completely bored of everything else.

  • Pixc

    I’m pretty sure someone has used the typing on a keyboard in a pop song or something similar and its called sound design, though yes it might not be everyones cup of tea, if someone who studies it doesn’t see that well i’m surprised, we are always learning mind

  • Tarra.exe

    Oh sure, yeah. Maybe I’m not mean to understand it.

  • jw maine

    hurdy-gurdy howling

  • Schploink!

    when I think “bizarre” I usually think “ominous” or inhuman in a way… I like the following “bizarre or unsettling” groups: This Mortal Coil, Clock DVA, …And the Native Hipsters, early techno was unsettling because of it’s alienation. Quadrophonia comes to mind, but it’s no longer provocative. I also think Aphex Twin would have been considered quite bizarre at some point. They (He) still stands up as quite brilliant, but not always provocative. So maybe: unsettling, bizarre, provocative would be a true standard here? Forget punk by the way it’s mostly passe.