Hyperpop is a loosely defined term, often used to describe new-wave or minimal music styles. Artists commonly labeled with this label typically incorporate several pop and electronic sensibilities, borrowing ideas from hip-hop, techno, and indie music alike. Influenced by artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Disclosure, and the Arctic Monkeys, many mainstream acts have also been enlisted as performers, including the Rolling Stones, Weezer, and Pharrell Williams. Since the conception of this music style, the genre has evolved and expanded, garnering popularity in both major markets (i.e. North America and Europe) and local markets (i.e. South America).
PC Music, sometimes referred to as “P” for Pure PC Music, was actually the brainchild of London producer, Matt Correze. Inspired by the noise culture that dominates the city, he created an eclectic blend of pop and electronica. Although it has become an alternative and independent act, PC Music has always included samples of more mainstream acts. For instance, Juicy Couture frequently uses sampling from the Beatles.
Since its formation, Hyper pop has undergone several changes and variations. One distinction is the use of a synthesizer, rather than a guitar or keyboard. Although PC Music artists still typically perform using keyboards and synths, the increased use of a synthesizer is indicative of a new genre. Another notable distinction is the use of a “pop guitar.” Unlike other new genres, which are largely a result of lyrics, this new genre is characterized by its production and performance. The term was coined by Matt Correze, the founder of the band LCD during the late 1990s.
There are several sub-genres of hyper pop. One is the pop/rock hybrid. It is usually identified as a subgenre of hip-hop or pop music, but has been noted to have roots in indie music. The other sub-genre is the post-punk/post-grime hybrid, which is also sometimes identified as being independent or even experimental. A third variation is the techno/art fusion.
Bubblegum Buttstock is sometimes called PC Music, due to its frequently performed performances on television and in live venues by artists like LCD, minus the keyboards. Although its roots can be traced to the hardcore/punk/surrealist movement, it is now often identified with breakcore, which features an emphasis on complex beats, drum programming, samples, and electronic experimentation. PC Music artists sometimes refer to themselves as bubblegum rappers, as well. The genre is sometimes considered as a new style of music, distinct from pop.
The PC Music aesthetic is characterized by the complex use of distortion, drums, keyboards, samples, mixed with spoken word. The production is often very distorted and droned, featuring distorted vocals and guitar solos. PC Music artists like the band vocality (aka Ulterior Motive) often put a distorted vocalist at the front of their songs. Other characteristics include the use of complex drum programming, samples from different genres, sampling from a wide variety of sources, the use of complex beats and layers, and the inclusion of a complex guitar melody. Some PC Music artists like the band Sligo Breaks put a distorted female vocals on their songs.
The term “hyper pop” was first coined in 1985 by the British writer David Caves, although he referred to the style as “a kind of over-commercialized hardcore.” Since then, many other artists have come to identify it as a separate style of pop music, often lumped together under the umbrella term “pop.” However, despite this loose grouping, the Hyper Pop style does have some distinctive traits. As Caves would put it in Hyper Pop Confessions: “The big thing about it is that it’s over-commercialized… The problem with that is that it destroys the real artifice of music, because it just becomes, well, a commercial product.” The goal of a successful pop song should be to appeal to as many people as possible. Hyper pop artists need to create an audio product that isn’t diluted by its commercial appeal.
In the past few years, hip-hop and rap have experienced large transformations towards more edgy and mainstream sound, but they still retained many of the characteristics of the pop music arena. The music and the style remain consistent. The differences between the two styles came about because artists saw differences that could be exploited to make their music more edgy. Today, those same elements are incorporated into hip-hop and rap music, but with elements of pop to make it mainstream and appealing to a wider audience.