Of all the acts currently corralled within the American "Intelligent Dance Music" community, Richard Bailey's Proem is perhaps one of the oddest fits. Known for his dexterity, a lone Proem "song" can offer more breakdowns than a Pinto and as many hairpin turns as a Porsche. To dance to Proem would require suffering from a disease as yet undiscovered. The body would need to jitter as if electrified and the ears would require cauterizing to keep the brain from wafting out dreamily into space. To Bailey, it is "industrial without words" in which "the intensity of death metal" is captured through "geeky electronics." Namedropping comparisons to 90s Autechre, Public Energy-era Speedy J, Amon Tobin and Clark work. But with a catalog of over twenty EPs, LPs and 7" singles, any comparison is temporary. One consistency throughout Proemland is the calculated puzzle that comprises each work. The job of the listener, even for his dark ambient works, seems to involve a dismantling of each work in the opposite order of its construction--to find the essence or initial muse amid an unpredictable web of rising and failing repetition, scattershot rhythms, voluminous ambience and grinding electronics. Yet for those willing to accept Bailey's vision as-is, the ride can be just as easily savored as surgically dismantled. 2019 finds proem celebrating his 20th "Proemversary" as he puts it. A satisfying and steady two decades of musical experimentation. Lets hope for many more to come!