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Knob Twiddlers
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    Birch Cottonwood

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  1. @chenGOD thanks so much, that sentiment means a lot. it was difficult to stay motivated most of the time as so many have realized - things are harder now that I'm looking for work. had to move out of the city bc of the pandemic circumstances also, @Brisbot really cool that you are reading through it, very much appreciated. an idm book would be sick, especially in a collaborative style (chapters from multiple authors, also a chapter 'from the fans'/community would be exceptional imo). you might find Ishkur's guide to electronic music amusing, or this active fan website which lists nearly 300 idm artists. oh and the musicmap, pretty cool an artists iconography and how they are sensationalized seems to influence their role/genre in popular culture, and it's especially interesting when those artists blatantly reject the mainstream way of doing things. anyways, I am working on publishing portions of my thesis, motivation is just a bit low these days. that being said, your responses have been inspiring
  2. thanks so much -- my contribution is significant to the scholarship on idm, particularly in regard to subcultural capital theory and online social formation, yet several others have written about idm to explore critical social theory and popular music if you're interested, Ramzy Alwakeel writes about idm as a cultural text, discussing how afx and autechre perform their identities as popular electronic musicians; Thomas Brett writes about autechre fans as productive 'technogeeks' and how idm is about the creative music-making process itself; Mark Fell describes idm as 'post-techno' or, exhaustively, 'unusual electronic music typically without academic affiliation', essentially describing idm as incongruous with normative music-making practices; Ben Ramsay offers a fantastic history of idm, especially in from an American perspective, and traces idm from its roots in uk rave culture/chillout scenes. I really like this article; and Mimi Haddon gets some great interviews with Warp in the context of idm as a technogeek culture, also love that article also, Simon Reynolds has three chapters dedicated to idm/braindance/drill in his book Energy Flash, and Joanna Demers briefly describes idm in her book Listening Through the Noise, I recommend both of those books to any and all electronic music fans tbh
  3. to me, whatever idm culture *is* includes a sense of humour, something generally lacking from the despicable egotistical ethos found in the ivory tower that can be higher education. certain aspects of my research are serious, such as how mainstream/underground ideologies form around groups of individuals, or how individuals form communities online based on their own self-identity and understanding of their own cultural value. idm was a great case study for approaching these ideas, I think. I'm most interested in pop culture and how idm fits into it in regard to the citation practice, since you guys are members are part of the community I am researching and have online identities that correspond to your cultural practices (making music, discussing idm), your activity is forming the very culture in question. this is valid from an ethnographic POV, and a lot of worthwhile questions are raised: why would you lie about something you are passionate about? what separates the validity of your responses to my research in comparison to a peer-reviewed scholar? everyone has their own agendas in scholarship, too. there is a sizeable amount of poor scholarship, who knows where I sit on that spectrum, but I try to approach research with at least a fkin dash of humility
  4. hahaha so yeah, def wanted to drop a quick note to say this: I have a lot of gripes with academia, specifically regarding how my ideas as a students were influenced by my supervisors and the wider values of the academic community at the time (mostly American influences). also I realized by the end that many admin just want students to finish so they can tick another box from their list. incredibly impersonal for such a social-based practice. online school prompted by COVID didnt help much either tbh. anyway, basically these little ridiculous phrases are me poking fun at my committee. as if they didn't even question it... I find it hilarious -- to me it shows the gap in our cultural awareness between me and my supervisors, or maybe a sense of humour lost -- I also cited a reddit user named "peepeeland" who offered some decent material hahaha - passages like these aren't supposed to be taken seriously imo, in fact, these 'reactions' are never mentioned again that reminds me @zero, I think since I approached the community and discussions posted on watmm/reddit as if it were discourse (eg. artifacts of cultural behaviour, activity, values, interests, etc. that represent a community of people), my citations of random internet strangers are framed differently than if I were to approach the forums as public discussion. the interesting thing to me is that anonymity doesn't necessarily mean the 'truth' is hidden. I mean, I'm not looking for the truth - I'm looking for an interesting history in a music culture that has large-scale influence. so even if everyone I spoke with was full of shit and having a laugh, in a way that response also describes the community. in other words, there is no guarantee that speaking with each of you in-person with full identification will warrant truthful/useful/accountable responses either
  5. hi guys, around this time last year I reached out to the forum while conducting my thesis research to try and better understand the history and online essence of idm culture I framed idm as a disorganized online idm subculture, situating its history in rave culture and the impact that the UK rave movement and internet had on the formation of similar communities. I talked about self-identity, authenticity, social capital, cultural practices, the mainstream & underground, and some critical issues in race/gender inclusion that are quite general in the context of popular electronic music I'm happy to share this final product with you - I graduated in september and I am in the process of publishing portions of the research (primarily the social theory aspect of it). also, surprisingly there is not much scholarly research pertaining to idm and its culture so there may be interest in the international academic community in retrospect there are a lot of elements/approaches I would change if I were to do the project again, specifically with how I presented the project to you and reddit, but I am happy with it. any and all feedback is appreciated and I'm happy to chat about it too, so thanks again!! PNicholls-MastersThesis-2021.pdf
  6. @Alcofribas and @dcom, yeah, I think what you guys are referring to is "cultural omnivore" theory, where elitism is based on eclectic tastes that don't really concern whether the cultural texts being consumed are from 'popular culture' or the 'avant garde' I'm drawing on ideas like that for this paper I'm nearly done writing on idm.... thanks again for your inputs on that
  7. https://geometriclullaby.bandcamp.com/track/b-ss-cop NMESH going nuts
  8. Agreed. The back of my head tingles when an awkward silence turns into a comfortable pause between me and someone else, it is incredibly relieving. Reminds me of that Pulp Fiction scene with Uma, "why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?" always think about that line... I think this discussion is pretty cool. Sometimes I wonder if this digital age will push the majority of society towards a frustrated, anxious, depressed, and anti-social mess that's ripe to be controlled easier through media and misinformation. Yet I hope it leans more towards a knowledge-generating society that uses our skill for thinking to learn better treatment of each other and become aware of our shortcomings. Humans have really progressed pretty quickly in terms of tech and intellect (for the most part) since the industrial age
  9. I've been playing M4 Lema exclusively when walking around outdoors, epic af
  10. hey WATMM, thanks for your help and interesting ideas about IDM/braindance the last time I posted a topic. The feedback was humbling for the research, plus the sarcasm and general lels were pretty helpful too lmao If you are interested in helping further, I put together a quick, structured form to more easily track some community data for both idm/braindance related queries and representational data: https://forms.gle/zdNSAgEuoEjkJYNc9 If you choose to participate, you can be sure that all of the data is anonymous and no information is tracked beyond your answers (no emails, names, anything that specifically identifies you). Since this project is limited in its scope, WATMM is one of two online communities associated with idm/braindance/post-techno, whatever it may be called, to be analyzed for this research. The other is r/idm on reddit, mostly because these two forums are the ones I have most experience with/are most active. Plus, any more thoughts or questions on the research are more than welcome in this thread If you're curious to know where my research has taken me since I last engaged with you: The topic of what 'IDM' is became more necessary than I had intended, mainly because, as many of you pointed out, it's exhausted but there is still obvious uncertainty. I have come to the conclusion that while 'IDM' was historically used to classify certain artists and post-rave, explorative techno music, its definition has changed in the last twenty years to more accurately represent a philosophy behind making electronic music, or as some people have noted "a way of life". Not to mention 'IDM' was coined by Americans in an interpretation of what Warp was doing with AI. The tongue-and-cheek just got out of hand in the mainstream ('mainstream' being the commercial sector of widely accessible music, image, and other media). The term has controversy, and discussing it is exhausting, but it's still used popularly and has an interesting history to it. but enough of that There is much more to the research, mostly exploring how 'popular music' is much different today than it was 10, 20 and especially 30 years ago. There is some rave history involved and the transition from subcultural movement to commercial enterprise (raves > clubbing), and how electronic music blew up mainstream. Also I touch on online fandom and 'prosuming', as today us as fans add to the narrative of artists and engage with them in the digital space. if any of this interests you, feel free to comment or PM anyways, thanks again
  11. @cwmbrancity btw Microgravity by Biosphere is said to possibly fit under the same movement/era with acts like Coil coming out around '91
  12. Hard to say in terms of music style, I'm thinking about Love's Secret Domain, but it could be considered 'IDM' before IDM was introduced as a descriptor, by that I mean a real exploration of what the tech and other music influences had to offer. I believe the first documented mention of 'intelligent techno' is associated with Coil's The Snow EP, and that's dated 1991. It seems that incredibly adventurous forms of techno emerged around the early 90s. I believe the term electronica came later. To get away from IDM as a genre/style term, I'm re-framing it differently. It's important to remember that IDM is from an American perspective, too. @Zephyr_Nova brings up a great point, since the community is so scattered it's difficult to define it as an ethos. Maybe a philosophy works better? I believe IDM describes something beyond the music itself, whether it's an approach to making music or something else. Whatever it is, it has stuck around for 25+ years for good reason, and has been used in popular culture but not appropriately. I think it can be argued that it might represent [Edit: the values lost in the rave subculture with the commercialization of electronic dance music*], but I'm still wondering how you guys might also re-frame it. @chenGOD Yeah I see what you mean. I've been dying for AFX to release the "old saw era track" he played at Field Day 2017 (I find the brief stop at @2:40 so cheeky, pulls great energy from the crowd). An untouchable era. The late 80s and early 90s also saw the rise of electronic music 'auteurs'. Aphex may as well be considered something of the sort, same with Mike P, Luke V, Squarepusher, Autechre, the lot of them. Bedroom studios helped in that regard
  13. Yeah, good point there. I don't think the intentions of the music are to make statements or send political messages, but I do think the popular image that has been constructed for IDM involves the values I outlined above. There doesn't have to be intent behind music to give it meaning, especially in popular culture. Aphex has mentioned that he felt the public just wasn't ready to hear some of what he's made, I find that interesting from a commercial and artistic perspective. @cwmbrancity yes that's a good read, I support that recommendation to anyone interested in this kind of discussion. Alwakeel offers interesting theories on IDM and the continuous variation of its identity, as well as its dynamic rejection of any norm. My work builds on his breakdown of IDM from a popular music perspective. As a "minor language," IDM cannot be defined as a static entity, for its very nature is dynamic and evolving. Humour and playfulness are key ingredients to its success. But it's clearly more than just a style of music
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