every noise at once

I am notoriously bad at describing music.  When people ask me “what are they like?” in response to me mentioning a band or artist there is a lot of “ummmm…” and “erm…” and “well I guess they kind of sound like rock, but also pop, but not really…”  I really don’t know my genres very well at all.

Behold Every Noise at Once!

This is an algorithmically-generated non-analytical map of the musical genre-space. Genres and artists are positioned by code and data, adjusted for legibility, but the underlying vectors are less interesting than the juxtapositions and clusters that they produce, so the axes have been deliberately left unlabeled and uncalibrated. You are invited to imagine your own qualities and magnitudes that the geometry might be expressing.
Yeah I don’t really follow the description either, but the site itself is super cool and easy to navigate.
Musical genres are laid out in this cluster map based on similarity of sound … maybe (see the quote above).  You can click on any genre to hear a song sample which embodies that sound or hit the >> icon to see a map of the artists falling under each category.
Very cool stuff!

One thought on “every noise at once

  1. Bruce Springsteen does a really funny bit on the proliferation of pop genres near the beginning of his 2012 SXSW keynote address.

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