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There has never been a better time to reset the term IDM, welcome ELM


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Warp recently repressed the completion Artificial Intelligence Vol. 1, in their marketing they decided not to use the term IDM, but instead, electronic listening music

Yeah, I know... There have been many attempts to change the term "IDM" to something else, I'm far from the first. People have come up with lots of unique alternatives such as Internal Dance Music and Brain Dance, the latter being one that has been the most successful alternative. The term IDM has always been troublesome with a large amount of people, some people have accepted it, others question it, and then there are some people who outright despise the term, all of which are valid reactions to the term "Intelligent Dance Music".

Today, Warp themselves have subconsciously suggested a term they once used all those years ago by bringing it up once again, Electronic Listening Music. With the vinyl repress of the compilation that coined the term IDM 30 years ago. That's a long time for this term to have been in circulation, and I have a feeling it will remain there. However, I've made a conscious effort to start using the term ELM instead, and wanted to suggest this term to a few IDM communities.

I love the term "Electronic Listening Music", since it's electronic music for active listening, it seems to me that one of the only kinds of electronic music a large majority of the world pays attention to is Electronic Dance Music, or EDM. Having another genre called Electronic Listening Music, or ELM, makes a lot of sense. In the mind of someone who hears the term "Electronic Listening Music", they might imagine an album experience like Dark Side of the Moon, but made from Electronic Music, oh hey, would you look at that, on the floor? That one over there on the cover of Artificial Intelligence Vol. 1.

I imagine people would associate ELM with other types of listening music, not just IDM, but I think that's okay. That's the same issue I see with "Experimental Electronic", another term I've seen a lot of people use. But I think ELM is slightly more subgenre-able than Experimental Electronic. I mean hey, Kraftwerk aren't IDM, but I'd absolutely consider them to be ELM. I think it's fine to have a name like Kraftwerk under the same genre tag as Aphex Twin, in my mind they really work under the same umbrella.

I'm going to go with ELM from now on, Warp themselves said it about the exact same release they once used to coin the term IDM. The idea of getting the term ELM from the same compilation and label feels oddly fitting. I might be in my own little world here, but I'm going to make a conscious effort to say ELM instead of IDM. The fact that this compilation is what birthed the term IDM makes it the perfect excuse to change it, It's time for a hard reset.

This is just a suggestion, but I would love to see if anyone out there is willing to get on board. Posted this all over Reddit but thought I should come by and share here.
This is the mighty WATMM, I can't ignore you guys.

Edited by demo
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12 minutes ago, Taupe Beats said:

It doesn't matter

You're right, it doesn't. It's just a suggestion for those who might potentially enjoy using it.

34 minutes ago, demo said:

some people have accepted it, others question it, and then there are some people who outright despise the term, all of which are valid reactions to the term "Intelligent Dance Music".

It might seem like I have come across as someone who cares a little to much about something so small, but I thought I'd get my thoughts out there in detail. At the end of the day, I really don't care what term anyone uses, or if they even use a term at all.

Edited by demo
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I think "listening music" in general is silly. Music is always for listening. The actual differentiator of "listening music" is that you sit down while listening to it. So maybe call it "electronic sitting down music".

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ELM is a tree. E.L.M. is also Electronic Liquor Museum out LA back in the day. 

i just say electronic music because less pretentious/annoying sounding. then, if someone wants to talk it about it more i add details in the discussion. 

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There's also an argument that since most of it is done with computers now (even with hardware getting popular recently) it's not even electronic music (unless all recorded music is electronic by merit of the recording and playback devices being electronic).


I don't actually believe this/care, but I could absolutely make a good case just for the sake of being annoying.  Not before breakfast, though.

Edited by TubularCorporation
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3 hours ago, thumbass said:

I like to call it experimental electronic music

Or at least that's the term I coin when I talk about the music to people 

Exactly what I say. I’d feel a bit of a plum saying ‘intelligent dance music’ to a person, even if when I see the phrase used by journalists it doesn’t bother me. As X4creek says, the abbreviation itself sounds rather fine.

Edited by beerwolf
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for me, electronic listening music, *grin*

whats that?

*smirk* let's just say it's electronic music that rises beyond, ascends, and transcends the traditional electronic dance music, cerebralized beats and pads, soundscapes meant for listening of a stationary nature, one may not be prepared for such things unless your cerebrum is particularly large

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