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Intelligent dance music

IDM, short for intelligent dance music, began as a style of Techno music in the early 1990s. As compared to the driving, pounding, sound of techno aimed at the dancefloor, IDM aims for the head, being a bit slower, more melodic, less aggressive, and more artistic, quirky and improvisational. It is sometimes informally called intelligent techno, listening techno or art techno.

The initials IDM appeared in music magazines during the genre's first wave in 1992-1993, but didn't really stick until the formation of the IDM mailing list, an email forum, on the Internet in August 1993. At that time, the list's focus was on the progressive electronic music of Richard D. James and the artists featured on the influential Warp label's Artificial Intelligence compilations. Among these artists were Black Dog Productions (members of which became Plaid) and B12/Redcell.

Lesser-known, but equally influential and highly regarded today, are the artists that were on Kirk Degiorgio's A.R.T. and Op-Art labels, and the Likemind label, including Degiorgio himself under various names (As One, Future/Past, Esoterik), Steve Pickton (Stasis), and Nurmad Jusat (Nuron).

Although all of the above artists hail from England, the progressive techno / ambient / IDM duo Sun Electric from Berlin are also early pioneers of the genre.

After experiencing somewhat of a lull in the mid-1990s, IDM is in resurgence, with an increasingly diverse array of styles being combined in innovative ways by a growing stable of artists. IDM also represents the most forward-thinking, experimental arm of techno, taking electronic music in entirely new directions, not just merging affectations of more "highbrow", established forms of music with dance rhythms.

Other notable IDM artists

External Links

  • IDM Warp Zone (http://users.skynet.be/idmwarpzone/) - a portal
  • IDM-L (http://music.hyperreal.org/lists/idm/) - the IDM mailing list

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