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Quora Answer : What is your favorite genre of music and why do you enjoy it?

May 30, 2018

It's increasingly hard to say what my favourite genre is.

I listen to so many kinds of music.

But I think there's a kind of "spirit" or "vibe" I'm increasingly looking for in music. That doesn't really correspond to what we currently think of as "genre". But which does encompass much of the music that I fall passionately in love with.

How can I characterise that spirit?

Well, it's sort of spiritual, in some very general sense. It hints at, talks about, something beyond just music. Something mystical. Or religious. Or "New Agey". Or occult.

Which is weird, because I'm not religious, mystical or new agey at all. And I don't want or intend to be. But I still think this kind of mentality imbues music with a certain quality. A richness and "seriousness" that I want.

At the same time, it's "low key". Possibly lo-fi, amateurish, "outsider". Not that it can't be technically skilful. But that isn't the point. What it isn't is dramatic. Or showy. It's not sturm und drang. Except when it is.

It looks both backwards and forwards. All good music does this, of course. But this is a music where you can clearly hear the synthesis of folklore and tradition with experimentalism and futurism.

It technological and organic. It can be made with samples, synthesizers, "real instruments" or just people chanting. Autotune. Or ancient flutes. It always sounds a bit organic. But it revels in the ability of technology to bring the unworldy and uncanny.

It's melodic. Except when it isn't because it uses strange scales and harmonies. Or just white noise.

It cuts across what you normally think of as "genre". I find it in jazz. In electronica. In psychedelic and prog and folk rock. In post-punk / industrial / darkwave / noise / vaporwave / witch house / hauntology. In ambient. In avant metal.

And yet it's none of those things. Because 90% of the music in those genres, even great music that I also like, DOESN'T have this quality without a name.

I guess now you want to know what it sounds like, right?

Well, it sounds like La Monte Young :

And Alice Coltrane :

And Jon Hassell :

And Bobby Beausoleil :

And the "England's Hidden Reverse" post-punk / industrial / apocalyptic folk scene, from Psychic TV :

to Current 93 :

through to Threshold Houseboys Choir :

It's in new-agey vaporwave / plunderphonic artists like Lifemod : H2, by LifeMod and Treasure Hunt : One Fungi, by Treasure Hunt

And witch-house / contemporary darkwave acts like Sofia Reta :


and J J Brine :

And Hauntology :

and a bunch of other weird ethno- psychedelic- hypnagogic - cosmic unclassifiable

Lucky Dragons (epilepsy warning, this video flashes) :

Arrington de Dionyso

Right the way through to the wonderful Giuseppe Iacono's "Stations of the Cross" True mystic noise.

So, yeah. Whatever the hell all that is, that's my favourite genre.

You could, I guess, call all this "psychedelic" at a pinch. But a hell of a lot that's also called psychedelic doesn't sound like this, and has a completely different spirit and isn't what I want to listen to at all.

Quora Answer : Why do you like the music you listen to?

May 27, 2020

Well, because I listen to the music that I like. :-)

But what do I like about it?

I'm looking for three things in music, any of which will probably make me like a track, but if it has two of them then that's better, and three is best of all :

it successfully creates a mood

it has a good tune. (I like melody. I'll forgive anything else in music for a good melody.)

you can hear the "joy of discovery" in the music. The musician is discovering something. Maybe it's a new sound no-one ever heard before. Or perhaps it's nothing more than discovering "I can actually do this". Or even "this is what I want to say".

All the music I love and want to listen to has at least one, and hopefully more than one, of these elements. (I quite like a good funky rhythm too ... )

In the last 24 hours, I've been very happily listening to :


Every one has the ability to create a mood, a distinct climate.

The ones that aim for tunes have great tunes.

And every one feels like the musician has gone somewhere new. Even if it's just the artist taking their existing aesthetic to a new level or enjoying playing with a new technique.

Quora Answer : What is your favorite genre of music?

Mar 12, 2019

Pretty much any genre of electronic music which is under 3 years old.

Why? Because most of the innovation in a genre occurs within the first couple of years. After that people just keep repeating the ideas of the innovators. Weird and "out-of-genre" experimentation dies away and you're left with the genre distilled down to a few clich\xc3\xa9s and a tired going through the motions.

Moribund genres rarely come back to life, and normally when they do, it's because new ideas have successfully invaded them and then people need to invent a new genre name to describe this collection of ideas.