Re: The Definition of IDM?
Kent Williams <chaircrusher <at> gmail.com>
2005-11-03 19:50:04 GMT
So, this comes up fairly often, but IDM is only accidentally a genre,
and perhaps the first genre label coined from the name of an internet
mailing list. Which is kind of cool in a nerdy way.
Of course there's the incestuous feedback effect of a lot of producers
who make IDM who are (or were at one time) members of the mailing
list, and a lot of music that sounds like it was made to sound like
something people on the mailing list would listen to. This hasn't
always been good for the music.
The term made more sense in 1994 than it does now, because a lot of
the stuff we lot were into had more direct links to the larger world
of dance music. At this point "Intelligent Dance Music" is a
misnomer, since a lot of what is called IDM is only danceable by
complete spazzes, and no longer follows the stylistic conventions of
any sort of dance music.
Plus the 'Intelligent' is kind of insulting to music that isn't IDM,
because there's plenty of House, Techno, Drum & Bass, Grime, 2-Step,
and whatever that is made with just as much intelligence and care than
IDM. Except that it is addressed at an audience that actually might
The original impulse for the IDM mailing list was extremely specific
-- to discuss music exemplified by the work of the artists on the
original 'Artificial Intelligence' compilations. What actually got
discussed -- beyond Aphex Twin, Muziq, Orbital, The Orb, B12, etc --
was determined more by the tastes of influential list members than by
any allegiance to that original intent.