IDM (“intelligent dance music”)–the awkwardly named electronic music genre encompassing ambient-tinged techno and eclectic instrumental beats–was defined between 1992 and 1995 by labels like Warp, Rephlex, Planet Mu, Mille Plateaux, and Rising High.
The genre's sonic range was broad, taking in techno-driven artists like Air Liquide, B-12, and Aphex Twin, minimalists such as Germany’s Oval and Pan Sonic, and pastoral productions by The Black Dog and Plaid. Throw in hard to categorize acts like Gas, As One, Marc Broom, and The Sabres of Paradise, and you get an idea of why this expansive electronic vein is revered and often imitated.
Since the mid-'90s, several forward-thinking American labels have helped redefine and invigorate IDM, including M3rck, Schematic, n5MD, Ghostly International, and dozens of others. IDM’s sound now embraces post-Dilla beats, indie-folk motifs, shimmering guitars, and sophisticated computer wizardry. It’s far from your average dancefloor fodder.
Adding to the milieu, Brooklyn and LA-based Ghostly-affiliate Moodgadget has been quietly issuing some of the electronic underground’s most intriguing new artists. The label's recent comp, The Synchronicity Suite, solidifies the mainly online operation’s reputation for discovering fantastic fresh talents.
Synchronicity highlights include The Reflecting Skin’s epic shoegazer instrumental, “Cavedweller,” Praveen’s folky, piano-led numbers (“Buddy” and “Slip Slop”), and Warez' glitchy pop. Also in the mix are Ghotstly experimental ambient producer JDSY, Portland’s Small Sails, delicate designer Benoit Pioulard, and indie rockers Brael. “We have upcoming releases by Jimmy Edgar, Seth Troxler, and the Mux Mool LP, with a Eliot Lipp remix,” reveals Moodgadget co-founder Jakub Alexander. Sounds like IDM’s future is in good hands.
01 Small Sails "Somnambulist"
02 Mux Mool "10"
03 Tonight "When Galaxies Form"
04 Andre Obin "Angel Dust"
05 Scott Brandon "Voyage Into The Dark"
06 The Reflecting Skin "Cavedweller (Instrumental Version)"
07 Grey Electric "696 Bandit"
08 Praveen And Benoit "Death As A Man"
09 Elm From Arm "Pretty Take"
10 Brael "Blue Field"
11 Praveen "Slip Slop"
12 Matters & Dunaway "Memorial"
13 D. Gookin "Glad I Met You"
14 Wisp "Across The Pale Sea"
15 JDSY "Vehicle"
16 Warez "A Song For Justus"
17 Outlier "Motive Utilitarian"
18 Touch Base "Gloveblocks"
19 Tridact "Light Minute"
20 Praveen "Buddy"