Kawaii Metal and Schranz: are you familiar with these strange musical genres?

Kawaii Metal and Schranz
Are you familiar with these strange musical genres?

Babymetal are one of the representatives of Kawaii Metal.

© Stewart Marsden /

There are countless styles of music around the world, including numerous curious genres: Do you know Kawaii Metal, Schranz and Co.?

Music genres are a dime a dozen and more and more are being added. Music styles such as techno, electro, pop, rock and metal keep creating new subgenres. On World Music Day on October 1st, it is worthwhile to delve deeper into the subject. The “Every Noise at Once” project has set itself the task of categorizing all music styles in the world – including audio samples and the most famous representatives. More than 5,500 genres have already made it to the site, including curious genres such as Kawaii Metal and the tongue twisters like Nitzhonot and Suomisaundi.

Kawaii Metal is, as the name suggests, a sub-genre of Metal and developed in the early 2010s. Two apparently completely opposite phenomena collide: The concept of kawaii, which means something like “cute” or “delightful” in Japanese, meets the hard and loud music genre of metal. Babymetal fans, for example, know what the result is: the singers Suzuka Nakamoto (23) and Moa Kikuchi (22) bring together metal and J-pop with their backing band. The two stand out in their appearances on stage through elaborate choreographies. In the meantime there has been a real hype about the young women, their albums are also in the German, Austrian and Swiss charts.

Trance styles for tongue twister fans

Nitzhonot, or “Siege” in German, is a form of trance music that developed in Israel in the mid-1990s. Pulsating basses combine with eastern melodies that are reminiscent of the Indian Goa trance. In Israel, the genre of music celebrated great success in the early 2000s, especially the artist Eyal Barkan (51), for example with his hit “Voyage” (2000). The well-known DJ Astrix (39) also produced some Nitzhonot tracks at the beginning of his career in the late 1990s.

Suomisaundi, which means “Finnish sound”, is also part of trance music. As the name suggests, the style of music originated in Finland, similar to Nitzhonot in the late 1990s. Suomisaundi dates back to Goa trance music, which was named after outdoor trance parties in the Indian state of Goa in the late 1980s. The performers of the genre include the musician duo Texas Fagott, who are known not only in Finland but also in Japan, Israel and Australia, and the music producer Luomuhappo (* 1982).

Schranz and Aggrotech: Machines and Aggression

Let’s move from the atmospheric carpets of sound to a genre of music that is mainly known to techno lovers: Schranz is a type of electronic dance music that makes use of noises and machine-like sounds. This is embedded in repetitive and distorted percussion elements. The genre of music originated in Germany. In 1994 the term Schranz was developed by DJ Chris Liebing (52), among others. Hard German techno is now known around the world as Schranz.

If you are looking for something to let off steam, you might find what you are looking for in the Aggrotech genre: Electro music with a strong influence of techno and trance is characterized by aggressive screaming, distorted percussion and is therefore not for the faint of heart. In the German-speaking world, the genre is also known under the terms Hellectro and Brachial Electro. Well-known representatives are the German band Agonoize or the US-Norwegian band Combichrist.

A genre of music with just two letters

Fans of the occult will get their money’s worth with the music genre Witch House. Electronic music emerged in the late 2000s and features distorted hip-hop sounds and vastly altered vocals. The genre also has a lot to offer visually, as hidden messages are just as much a part of aesthetics as photographs and works of art that are inspired by witchcraft and shamanism.

Oi! is a genre of music from the skinhead and punk scene. If you take the term as an exclamation, you are not entirely wrong: In English slang, “Oi” means something like “Hey”. The genre developed in the UK in the early 1980s. It’s punk rock aimed at the youth on the street. Subjects such as everyday problems, unemployment and crime are the subject of the lyrics. Well-known British Oi! Bands include The Business, Cockney Rejects, Cock Sparrer and Sham 69.


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