Last century’s journalism had a very particular obsession: pigeonholing every single thing into categories. Nowadays, people still joke about those publications that would catalogue every single album into the most sophisticated label possible without even noticing how that kind of sophistication was reaching new absurdity levels. Post-doom-Balkanic pre-communist metal? Uber-clubber-nighter electro-Baleriac-house? Absolutely not. Music is music, and one of the best things that the 21st-century has brought us, is the conception as music as something that is fluid, never still. Something should and must flow from one genre to another without any prejudices or pre-conceived notions.
FIVE ARTISTS WHO ARE PROOF THAT MUSIC IS POST-GENRE
Arca has become the spearhead of a kind of disruptive movement which, in the most natural way possible, is destroying all types of frontiers. For starters, the frontiers between musical genres, but also everything else that is related to gender and/or genre identities. But, obviously, Arca isn’t the only one in this scene… Who are the leaders of post-genre music?
That’s why, for example, we’ve been fascinated by Arca in the last few years, as she takes the fluidity of the musical genre and applies it to her own aesthetic imagery. There’s also Miley Cyrus who’s explaining why she doesn’t feel comfortable labelling her sexuality, or Sam Smith stating that they’re gender fluid. Two cases that maybe are a bit less interesting music-wise, but they’re very relevant when it comes to them supporting the healthy mainstream trend of getting rid of labels, both in the musical sense and when it comes to gender identity.
But, then, who are the leaders of this post-genre era? We’re about to identify (and celebrate) five of them.
ARCA. Whoever has seen one of Arca’s live performances, will have perfectly understood why the future has no genres. And why, in fact, it almost doesn’t have a body. Alejandra Ghersi’s own body is a sticky and viscous fluid that adapts itself to Jesse Kanda’s visuals and dons a belligerent post-fetish uniform. If the future’s going to be like that, we’ll gladly live in it.
MYKKI BLANCO. We first met Mykki Blanco as a queer rapper, and later as a brave person who admitted he had contracted HIV and, finally, as a fascinating figure that flows from one genre to the next whilst defending that hip-hop doesn’t have to be a minefield of purely toxic masculinity.
SSION. Traditional genres can be shown as fluid, and SSION (pronounced like shun) is proof of it as he’s in charge of queercore, a movement that works to redefine punk from an LGBTQI perspective. His transvestite participation in one of Ariel Pink’s most glorious and recent music videos is already a post-genre classic.
YEGUA. Spain is also permeable to the post-genre era, and Yegua is proof of it, Jose Cascajo’s project sounds like Arca but holds many more visual similarities with Matieres Fecales. The result of this concoction is equally as disturbing as it is eloquent, but, above all, he’s a young promise in a future that is quite scary.
CHRISTEENE. Christeene defines herself as a dragterrorist: in a drag world obsessed with beauty, she decides to take the audience to the extreme in performances from which you want to turn away from but you can’t seem to get your eyes off from. But the final result is unclassifiable.