Jens Nockert

Nightcore

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I discovered Nightcore in the deeper ends of Youtube the other day, a fascinating sub-genre of trance that seems to be mostly based on and around Youtube, and where the defining quality of the genre seems to be remixes of popular songs with an increased pitch and tempo.

“Monster” by Skillet

While every Nightcore song seem to contain stills of Japanese anime, Vocaloids or similar, almost all songs are western, and it being based on Youtube also implies that it is a phenomenon mainly based in the US or Europe. If I had to make a more precise guess, I would guess that the epicenter of the phenomenon is in the US, mostly since I find relatively few remixes of very European music, and with the obvious exceptions, relatively few Nightcore remixes in languages other than English.

“Nyan Nyan” from Macross Frontier

The core of the Nightcore fans seems to be born in the nineties, based mostly on the year-markings in the usernames posting remixes and comments, but also because most of the remixes of “older” music, is music from the mid-to-late nineties. With a small part being remixes of very popular songs, like this rock classic,

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

What makes it interesting (for me) is that it is a genre that I cannot really imaging existing, a genre that seems to be almost entirely lacking of original music and seems to be based on remixing popular songs according to a relatively fixed pattern.

“Dam Da Di Do” by Unknown, possibly original Nightcore

But on the other hand, it might be exactly this that makes it interesting for the fans. That you can find a Nightcore remix on Youtube, and then 10 minutes later know the formula and then create a Nightcore version of your own favorite songs. Or if you hear a song that they like, they can instantly imagine how it would sound as Nightcore.

“Not afraid” by Eminem

The formula really seems to be that simple, and quite possibly it acts as a gateway to more complex types of remixes, there seems to be a lot of references to “Happy Hardcore” possibly being such a genre, but while it seems to have a similar beat, it seems to lack the distinctive high-pitched vocals and seems to be much more limited in scope than Nightcore, which

“My Oh My” by Aqua

does not really seem to have any limits on the source, everything from rock to techno to metal to musicals to pop to rap gets remixed, hinting that it has fans coming in from almost every popular music genre, and is not based in a specific culture.

“The Bad Touch” by Bloodhound Gang

And like I hinted, not only western remixed, Otaku culture is of course in no way immune to the Nightcore treatment, as the remix of this classic Touhou arrange proves,

“Bad Apple!!” by Alstroemeria Records.