Anyone who’s ever asked someone in a band what kind of music they play knows the kinds of pretzel-twist descriptions musicians will often come up with to avoid having to label their art. By and large, there are always at least one or two modifiers added to any genre they name, simply because most people feel insecure applying as generic a term as “rock” to whatever they’re doing. (Though it’s also a pretty unhelpful term, given that it includes both R.E.M. and Limp Bizkit.) But even if their style of music is easy to label, very few musicians would cop to a description as honest as, “Do you know what Primus sounds like? Then you know what we sound like.”
That’s why the Twitter bot Genre Masher makes for a fun tweaking of an old predicament: It tweets out random fusion subgenres, compiled from terms and slang that describe existing subgenres. The results can be pretty great: “Pirate Latin” is almost definitely a label some aspiring art-school kid has applied to their music at some point. “Gothic Elevator Grunge with R&B influences,” by contrast, is just something we want to hear for curiosity’s sake. Also, the bot has a remarkably prodigious output. New genres come multiple times every hour—and sometimes, hilariously, it even lands on a real one. But mostly, the subgenres are something still encountered only in dreams.