media, music, remix

ArtCore and the New East Asian Beats

Every now and then, you stumble on something amazing. I like hearing ethereal, epic, Japanese-sounding music, so while checking out some recommendations on Youtube, I learned about an awesome “new” genre of music made possible by a collage of global influences and technological inventions (a long way of saying “synth” and “drum machine”). Introducing “artcore“. Of course, I’m alittle behind in the labeling because there’s quite a bit of this stuff, supposedly starting in 2004 with Narcissus at Oasis by Ryu but finally jumping the ocean enough after a decade to stand out on its own.

The style is familiar yet unique. Admittedly, it’s an evolution of things we already have: electronica, game, and folk music. Based on how music has been trending, it’s not surprising this stuff has arisen. The folksy style I’m referring to is Asian, not hill-country. Imagine sitars and speedy drum rolls and you’re about there. Many of the works are based on Touhou (video game) melodies, hints of which you can hear scattered at various intervals (depending on the song) but without the dark eerie tones the source music conveyed… and much better in audio quality I might add.

Enough delay, here’s a large sampling of stuff that takes its own liberties with the genre (note: I can’t say all of it is “artcore”, but I post a video of an album by sakuzyo later that primarily is):


Obligatory historical piece: The song that started the genre: Narcissus at Oasis. It sounds kind of bland at first until you get close to the 2-minute mark where it takes a pleasant turn.

Select Artists

I’ve selected some artists I want to remember. (This list may grow as I find people I like.)

The Soundcloud accounts of these artists don’t contain everything they’ve done, and of course, not all of it is Artcore either. You’ll have to explore Youtube changes and check out their online store pages to see what else they’ve made.


Chronos Record

This particular artist hails to John Powell as a source of inspiration, and you can tell in some of their work. I checked out “Dawn Flyer”, “El Gigante XFD”, and “Original Epic Main Theme 001”, none of which I’d call “artcore”, but the artist is worth keeping track of.

I plan on adding to this list as I find people, so stay tuned.


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