Dance Music Explained: Electronic Listening Music


BPM 90 – 130

Repetition is the key to Electronic Listening Music (ELM), sometimes called Intelligent Dance Muisc (IDM), with looped machine rhythms, added textured walls of synthetic sounds, and continuous vocal samples. Generally there’s greater musicality and less reliance on the standard 4/4 dance grooves of techno. An early example of the genre is Berlin based Sun Electric who released “O’Locco” in 1990.

Other early exponents included The Black Dog who released the album “Bytes” on Warp Records in 1993. Here’s the lead off track “Plaid – Object Orient” from the album. Bjork sites it as one of her favourite records.

Another Warp release from 1993 was Autechre’s “Incunabula” LP which included the hit single “Basscadet”.

From across the pond, Detroit techno graduate Kenny Larkin released the “Azimuth” long player in 1994 which included “Tedra”. Larkin would also worked with another Electronic/Techno pioneer, Aphex Twin.

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