Chime Hours

Memotone, 2016

Tracking developing subgenres is a thankless task nowadays. By the time anyone like me catches wind of something, it's likely been steeping in its internet micro-community for years already. Even still, it feels like there are (again, finally) pockets of music that even more informed experts are having a hard time pigeonholing (yet).

I've often wondered if we're reaping the eventual payoff of the everything-all-the-time-ness of our streaming and reissue culture. Some have argued there's too much past cluttering up our present. For a while, it seemed like they were right, as artists blithely repurposed their latest discoveries as if we didn't have the same subscriptions they did. Much like the the British Invasion started off as wan English white boys ripping off black, American r-n-b before it became something more, perhaps we needed some time to assimilate all that was being thrown at us—room to adjust to the pace, volume and content. We're starting to see signs of music that confounds our collective, preconceived notions and boundaries.

Memotone might not be blowing things entirely apart, but placing it squarely in any one camp is fool's errand. It takes in multiple electronic trends, from industrial grit to micro-house precision, along the way roping synth-pop, indie rock, found sound and musique concrète. It's most direct inheritance is, perhaps, the post-rock genre of the 90s, but the sum total of that scenes' complex diversity more than any individual artist.