artificial intelligence

In July of 1992, Warp Records released a compilation, the first of a series, called Artificial Intelligence. This record would go on to create a genre (IDM or “Intelligent Dance Music”), spawn a mailing list that’s still active today and would ultimately become the lens by which every other electronic Warp release would be viewed. 22 years after it’s release, the influence from this release is still undeniable. Many artists featured on this record have gone on to become international electronic music stars. Artists featured on this record include Aphex Twin (under the moniker “The Dice Man”), Speedy J, Richie Hawtin (under the moniker “Up!”), Autechre and The Orb’s Alex Patterson. These artists were individually exploring new territory in techno, and this was really the first time they’d been featured on one record. But there was something else, something very special about this release that has given it it’s mythical status among electronic music heads.

Up until this release the concept of “electronic listening music,” or techno that wasn’t for the dance floor, had very little visibility in the zeitgeist. The sound had been championed by acts like The KLF and Future Sound of London, but there wasn’t a cohesive statement about what was happening. This record served as the manifesto for this sound, it was the blueprint of what electronic music could be when it escaped the confines of the club. The sounds were lush, textured and psychedelic. There was as much emphasis on melody as there was on a driving beat, and in a world of generic and utilitarian 12” dance singles, Artificial Intelligence demanded to be treated more like a piece of art.

Every detail of the record, from track sequencing to the packaging, was a deliberate act of creating a singular statement. It was a message to future producers about an intelligent vision of the future of electronic dance music. 

Here are the tracks from that seminal release.

The Dice Man – Polygon Window

Musicology – Telephone 529

Autechre – Crystel

I.A.O. – The Clan

Speedy J – De Orbit

Musicology – Preminition

Up! – Spiritual High

Autechre – The Egg

Speedy J – Fill 3

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