Princess Stomper

Intelligent women – the best of IDM

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By Princess Stomper

Her Diary:

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much. I asked him what was wrong; he said, “Nothing”. I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can’t explain his behaviour, I don’t know why he didn’t say, “I love you, too”. When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me any more. He just sat there quietly and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep – I cried. I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

His Diary:

Day #16, I still can’t get that damn snare to sound right. I’m starting to wonder if this is why people turn to writing trance music …

Yes, I know it’s a loaded term. IDM. “Intelligent Dance Music”. It originated in the USA in 1993 with the formation of a mailing list regarding mostly English electronic acts, especially those who appeared on the 1992 Warp compilation Artificial Intelligence. Aphex Twin – one of the artists most associated with the term –  said, “I just think it’s really funny to have terms like that. It’s basically saying, ‘This is intelligent and everything else is stupid’.”

Perhaps it’s true – as he said, nasty to everyone else’s music – but it’s hard not to regard the music of, say, David Guetta as being that little bit moronic.

That’s the IDM bit. Call it “electronica” if you prefer.

The “women” bit was that while I was giggling at the joke, I was thinking about whether the joke would work if the genders were reversed, and then realising that I couldn’t think of a single woman making that kind of music.

It was pretty easy to find some examples after a quick Google. There were recurring names – Mira Calix for one – though I didn’t particularly connect with her music. I was looking for that “wow” moment, and found it, again and again. Intriguingly, my search also answered my other question: why do they all seem to be British?

Zavoloka, for example, is from Kiev.

Kateryna Zavoloka also works as a graphic designer for her label, Kvitnu Records. Her dreamy strings-infused sound is a realisation of her desire to express “purification and self-actualisation” through music. “Human beings are an integral part of the universe. The universe itself is magical. Breathe!”

(continues overleaf) 

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