Every Noise at Once: Finally Understand the Difference Between Dance Rock and Synthpop

May 3, 2013 | Andy Cush

Music fans have always been obsessive categorizers, but lately, the endless parade of genres, subgenres and scenes feels like it’s nearing critical mass. Fortunately, Massachusetts-based designer and developer Glenn McDonald created “Every Noise at Once,” an interactive musical map that covers everything, from new weird America to neue Deutsche welle. One click of a genre name reveals a snippet of a representative song, so you can hear exactly what it sounds like.

And if one snippet of a genre isn’t enough, you can open each to reveal a massive map of artists that operate within it, each with their own listenable clip. Eg., Cowpunk: Green on Red, Gina Villalobos, The Sadies. Gothic Symphonic Metal: Forever Slave, Mortal Love, Xandria.

The subgenres are algorithmically mapped (using an Echo Nest API, natch) along an invisible set of axes. “The underlying vectors are less interesting than the juxtapositions and clusters that they produce, so the axes have been deliberately left unlabeled and uncalibrated,” McDonald writes. “You are invited to imagine your own qualities and magnitudes that the geometry might be expressing.”

Via Waxy.