Recently, I've seen a bunch of people throw around the phrase "moombahcore" to describe various electronic music songs. The songs themselves are usually pretty good - I'm especially partial to Downlink's remix of Porter Robinson's '100% in the Bitch'. However, the term "moombahcore" is a shaky one at best. It's true that a lot of new electronic music listeners tend to shy away from excessive genre classification. And, yes, music is inherently enjoyable no matter what kinds of genre tags people are putting on the songs, and I realize that a lot of people might view this post as pedantic. That said, there's arguably a great deal of value behind learning a bit of the history behind genre terms and, therefore, understanding which ones are worth using to classify music and which ones are not. We at The 405 implore you to view this as less an attack on anyone personally and more as a lesson on electronic music terminology.

Typically, if a genre tag is generally agreed to have some sort of legitimacy, its growth is well-documented. For example, the Wikipedia article on dubstep is comprehensive. The style's roots, expansion, and current state are traced carefully, and it's clear a lot of work has gone into the article. It's worth noting the citations are both numerous (upwards of 100!) and from well-documented sources, such as Pitchfork, FactMag, the BBC, and countless others. Moombahcore, on the other hand, does not have an in-depth page. There are some dodgy claims with numerous "citation needed" flags (not least of which is using the term "moombahstep" with a straight face), and the whole article is approximately two paragraphs long. Most importantly, there's absolutely no source for any of the article's claims. There are a total of two citations, one of which leads to a 404 error and the other of which leads to a page of ostensibly "moombahcore" songs from "EDM blog" This Song Is Sick, a blog unfortunately known for minimally-researched articles and poorly-written song features.

But, obviously, Wikipedia isn't the be-all end-all for the legitimacy of a genre. So, let's examine what exactly gives a "moombahcore" song its name. As far as I can tell, the original song utilizing this tag was Munchi's remix of Datsik's 'Firepower'. It's possible to glean from the shitstorm of the YouTube comment section that "moombahcore" is a mix of moombahton and breakcore. And, yes, Munchi's remix does indeed subscribe to those two influences. The beat is very heavily reggaeton-influenced (pretty much the defining characteristic of moombahton - the genre's name itself comes from a mixture of the Chuckie song 'Moombah' and "reggaeton"), and the drum sounds and starkness of the piece are industrial-tinged, a staple of breakcore.

However, approximately none of the songs after that which call themselves "moombahcore" display any of those two influences. Let's do some analysis: take the first result for "moombahcore" on Youtube - Noisestorm's 'Wipeout'. It's immediately apparent that the beat has no reggaeton influence at all - it's as straight kick-snare 4x4 as they come. As opposed to the broken-beat dancehall-styled stuff present in moombahton (and breakcore, for that matter), it's a house beat through and through. What's more, there's none of the Latin American/Jamaican-styled and/or broken-beat/jungle/hardcore techno-influenced percussion or synths present in Munchi's original track. The melodies and harmonies are straight dirty electro, no bones about it. There's no moombahton influence and no breakcore influence. Hence, "moombahcore" is a totally incorrect term for the song.

So, then, what do we call it if "moombahcore" isn't correct? Easy - it sounds like electro house, it is electro house (If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck). It's got a house beat and distorted/wobbly synths - it's electro house, isn't it? Sure, it's slowed down 18 BPM, but that shouldn't make a difference in classifying a genre. What if it's sped up 18 BPM? Does that make it a totally new style? What if it's slowed down a further 18? There's no reason to call it something totally different if it's the same as something that already exists - "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Where am I going with this? I guess I'm trying to use this as some sort of education as to why a specific term is meaningless. I'm honestly not entirely sure why it's been appropriated in such a way - there's no documentation of its use, there's no reason it should be used, and yet poorly-educated YouTube channels still insist on using it. Feel free to continue using the term - if you've made it through this piece and still want to use the term, I can't stop you. Just be aware of what that term means.