NK’s Genre Journeys – What Is Nightcore and Why Are There Bugs In My Brain?

Welcome to NK’s Genre Journeys, where the Negative Kitty shares her thoughts on genres that catch her fancy. This month’s genre: Nightcore!

Nightcore? Slowcore? Daycore? Breakcore? What the actual heck!!???!!!

Meow there Kitizens, do you find yourself wondering what the deal is with Nightcore? Fear not, the all-knowing Negative Kitty herself is here to explain everything to you, and maybe even make you a fan!

Ok so like, there’s about a million billion genres that end with –core, which really just denotes a sub-genre, niche, or fusion of some aspects of genres. That’s how you get an aesthetic like Cottagecore (denoting an extreme devotion to a cute and soft cottage-y aesthetic), or one of my personal favorite music genres, Mathcore (Math Rock x Hardcore).

Nightcore is also the name of the Norwegian duo, Thomas S. Nilsen and Steffen Ojala Soderholm, who made the first “Nightcore” tracks – for a school project believe it or not. Probably like, one of the only times in recorded history where homework was quirked up and cool af. The duo themselves said  “Nightcore means that we are the core of the night, so you’ll dance all night long” and they ain’t wrong – Nightcore makes the buggies in my kitty brain foxtrot, and makes my bootington mcjiggle!

But what IS Nightcore? How can we define it?

Well, most Nightcore today is the result of producers taking a well-known pop or dance track and cranking up the speed and pitch, thus creating the “Nightcore version.” The songs are usually made more than 30% faster, and in some cases additional percussive or melodic aspects are added.  Which means it’s even catchier and groovier and hits you in the face with vibes before you can see it coming. Supersonic kitty dance party heading your way meeeeoww!

If you’ve been on the internet or YouTube for a lil’ while you probably have seen how relevant Nightcore is, especially within anime or otaku culture. Nightcore is used heavily to accompany a variety of videos within this type of content as background music. Anime art influences Nightcore too, serving as the cover art for plenty of music vids within Nightcore, and conversely, Nightcore has dethroned Linkin Park as the soundtrack to many an AMV in our modern era! Many people sort of see the super high-pitched vocals within Nightcore as representative of how your fav waifu might sing. 

Now a lil piece of Nightcore history: One of the first major Nightcore videos that helped it get popular was a Nightcore-ified version of the song Rockefeller Street, originally performed by Estonian singer Getter Jaani at Eurovision 2011. This became a huge part of Nightcore lore and an equally large part of memes in the early 2010s. 

Now the original song is a perfectly fun Europop track that has a delicious thumping beat. 


But THIS… THIS is what we like >_>

Nightcore itself falls under a variety of genres such as electronic music, dance, and trance. This all depends upon the OG source of the material used to create a Nightcore track.  

Now for some Negative Kitty Nightcore recs, coming right up!

Just listen to this and try to tell me this is not seriously so good. The source is a real cool down-tempo rap song, but this version is hype AF.

This track right here is an undeniable classic and a great song that makes me vibrate and frickin’ explode on the dance floor.

Now you might be asking yourself, what about the other related -cores? Well let’s get straight to the “-core” of the topic. Let’s go!

First up, we got the complete opposite to Nightcore, “Daycore”. This –core is considerably moodier and slowed down, instead of sped up with the pitch increased like in Nightcore. Daycore is nowhere near as popular or well-known, but it still hits hard!

Here’s a more well-known example of what Daycore sounds like. Isn’t neato?

Another -core that gets thrown around on the internet quite a bit is Breakcore. I kinda think it deserves its own blog tbh lol >_< 

Breakcore has been around a lot longer than nightcore, and unlike it, is a whole genre on its own that arose from the hardcore, jungle, and drum and bass scenes of the 90’s. Complicated and intense break beats meld with heavy sampling all at a blistering pace. Breakcore is THE music to chase and torture mice to! Ehe, sorry. Intrusive thoughts. O_o

Speaking of sampling, let’s sample some of the most delicious breakcore offerings:

Starting off with one of the GOATs of breakcore , Christoph De Babalon’s “Expressure”.

“Expressure” off of the groundbreaking album, If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It, by Christoph De Babalon, keeps the breakcore “pressure”, dancing between acid-soaked beats and seriously grooving snares and tabla.

The next track sees us venture into the freshest from the genre, stretching breakcore’s boundaries. This track is a delicious meld of old school Japanese jazz pop over breakcore beats. Pure awesumsauce my dudes.

The last rec comes up straight from down under, and is gonna melt ya face I swear. 

Melt Ya Faces by Passenger of Shit (I told ya he was Australian) is the crazy and technical side of breakcore at its finest. Passenger of Shit is an incredible band if you love technical and complex music that happens to be batshit crazy and humorous. I really happen to love them too!

Sometimes it can be confusing to parse the differences between the varieties of -core genres. Each one can be addictive and entertaining in its own way, and you can always count on Negative Kitty to guide you through the rabbitholes! Nightcore is seriously such a fun way to cool-beanify an already delicious track.

Negative Kitty gives Nightcore an EPIC NUGGETS.


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