Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) gets a bad rep because it sounds pretentious and twatty. From memory, the term comes from an early Warp records compilation (Artificial Intelligence) being reviewed in the beard stroking press, and it stuck.

And it’s a shame as it sort of encompasses everything from the origins of glitch, drum n bass, ambient, jungle, breakbeat, etc. It gave license for a bunch of artists to experiment and create more soundscape based music, rather than being focused purely on electronic music for the dance floor.

Perhaps it’d be fair to say it’s dance music for headphones.

Either way, I find mixes of the genre tend to wind up being a bit ‘samey’ – people tend to like the skittish drums of drill n bass / glitchy Venetian Snares style intensity, or lean more towards the cinematic and atmospheric Future Sound of London / Boards of Canada stuff.

I prefer a mix to take me places – I don’t want to turn it on and zone out as one track blurs into another, so hopefully give this a go if you want an IDM greatest hits ride that covers a fair bit of ground.

There’s a part two over here as well…