WHAT IS IDM???
IDM not to be confused with EDM (although its essentially all the same horse) stands for Intelligent Dance Music and after a brief conversation with a friend of mine just recently discovered i had no real idea how far that term stretched across the many different styles of electronica. I was familiar to various points of recognition within the genre but was unsure of its depth. So after a little research into this elusive term I thought id drop this insight here on The Submarine blog for anyone wanting to geek out on this phantom.
So to begin on an historic note, IDM loosely took root in the early 90's and was fortified by labels such as Warp and Rising High Records among others with artists like Autechre and Aphex Twin at the fore front of the birth of the term. With ambient house and techno as IDMs parents it was then in 92 that Warp Records released "Artificial Intelligence" and was marketed as "Intelligent Techno" from its original title of "Electronic Listening Music". So to cut a long story short, from that came the moniker "Intelligent" which essentially referred to electronica that went beyond just music for dancing while still being open to interpretation. Also not long after its recognition as a new contemporary genre bad press at the time of its conception arose due to the fact that many dance producers and fans whose exclusion from the community prompted the question of whether they produced/listened to "stupid" dance music. I remember hearing that argument constantly around the time my uncle was writing on Square Pusher type drum and bass back in 94 when we were living in a commune in the Nimbin hills with all the psy trance acid casualties.
So for me in the beginning I always likened IDM to artists such as Kruder and Dorfmeister, more chill/deep/abstract leftfield. And id put the "intelligent" aspect of it down to the more complex and thoughtful production techniques associated with that type of sound. Which for the most part is a warranted assumption and basically true of the style. But in reality, the extremely loaded term IDM stretches way beyond its 4/4 roots encompassing all sorts of sub groups born of the title with genres such as chiptunes, bitpop and mircosound to the more broken beat and downtemp approach that became known as trip hop, glitch, bliphop and the like. Its a real mine field of cross-pollination but the fact all these awesome and innovative styles simply just exist goes beyond any title or catagory anyways so get amongst it is my conclusion regarding the fact. Rad music is rad music and a horse is a horse..
So to sum it up briefly IDM i figure over the course of time has become a fairly elusive umbrella and term to a plethora of diverse and generally leftfield styles of music, but an umbrella none the less. And a de facto way if you will to describe your indescribable favorites!!!
artists of note:
Daedalus (our L.A. homie)
Kruder and Dorfmeister
Mouse on Mars
Boards of Canda
enjoy your IDM :)