All of our daily recommendations in one weekly, RSS feed friendly, round-up:
sungjae son - near east quartet (ecm)
On repeat this morning is the evocative oriental folk, jazz, electronic soundscape fusion of Koreas's Sungjae Song on ECM Records.
moontribe - moontribe (fortuna)
Lose yourself this weekend with Moontribe as he/she/they present the cosmic sounds of the African diaspora past, present & time concepts/ dimensions as yet unknown with this mesmerizing, hypnosis inducing percussive suite for Fortuna Records.
alabaster deplume - the corner of a sphere (lost map)
I'm overjoyed to have finally picked up on the warm, whimsical, worldly, wobbly, weirdy, wordy, winking, wayward jazz poetry of the wonderfully named Alabaster dePlume on Lost Map
dakota suite, dag rosenqvist & emanuele errante - what matters most (karaoke kalk)
I'm unfailingly happy to welcome Dakota Suite LPs into the world and the latest, fittingly collaborative effort, musing on those that you love and "who save you from being less than you otherwise would have been" is no exception. Beautifully melancholy, ambient, post (sofa) rock from Karaoke Kalk.
mutual benefit - thunder follows light (transgressive)
Check out the utterly charming, nicely orchestral, gently electronically kissed, indie folk pop of Mutual Benefit on Transgressive. Lovely stuff.
dengue dengue dengue - semillero (on the corner)
Forget the shower and a coffee, start your week in an ayahuasca addled, percussively charged, bass powered, Amazonian tribal haze with the sounds of Dengue Dengue Dengue courtesy On the Corner.
john carroll kirby
Polish your crystals, get your joss sticks fired up and go all new age of New Age with the meditative, all is love, ambient electronic sounds of John Carroll Kirby. Sunday healing music on Leaving Records.
All of our daily recommendations in one RSS feed friendly round-up:
grand river - pineapple (spazio disponibile)
The very European Grand River invites us into her world of subtly edgy, occasionally dramatic, often cinematic, inventively sculpted, creatively sound sourced, soul stirring, ambient electronica on Spazio Disponibile.
various artists - nouvelle ambiance!!! (nouvelle ambiance)
Despite revealing one of my DJ secret weapons, Esa's "A Muto" I suggest you funk up your Friday with the Rumba, Bikutsi & Soukous sounds of 80's Paris. Pan African dancefloor delights start to finish. Big up Nouvelle Ambiance for digging deep & sharing.
Okamotonoriaki - iiko (white paddy mountain)
Great ambient adventures, dreamy textures & nice vibes over a range of beat excursions ranging from the catatonic to frenetic IDM courtesy of Noriaki Okamoto for Japan's White Paddy Mountain.
mabuta - welcome to this world (kujua)
Another welcome addition to the new wave of global musicians making jazz interesting again is South Africa's (Shane Cooper driven) Mabuta and their excellent, astrally inclined, stylistically meandering new LP.
marble - diego (not not fun)
Currently digging into the Mårble back catalogue & having my mind blown by his last LP for Not Not Fun Records. Field recordings, ambient, spiritual jazz, ethno explorations, electronic experimentalism & more in one big old beguiling fusion. Just check it.
knivtid - skogarna ar redan svarta (purlieu)
Ease your way into the week with the day dream inducing ambient soundscapery and reality suspending ethereal beats of Knivtid on Purlieu Recordings. Monday can be your friend.
various artists - dialog tapes ii (dauw/eilean rec)
Strength in numbers & through co-operation, not to mention perfect Sunday listening, as two of my favourite labels Eilean Rec. & Dauw pool resources & bring their artists together to produce 2 great albums of contemplative electro-acoustic ambient assistance.
Horizontal, ambient and neo-classical vibes kick the show off before things get a bit weird with some far outernational jazz fusion before some psychedelic dub and Balearic vibes normalize things just in time for some Afrofuturism and a deep lazy house finale.
Ekin Fil - Maps (The Helen Scarsdale Agency)
Long Arm - Darkly (Project Mooncircle promo)
Helios - Upward Beside The Gale (Ghostly International)
Møster! - Mystere (Hubro)
Marble - Para La Olimpiada (Not Not Fun)
Zerox Dreamflesh - Squids Can Fly (Efficient Space)
Nostrum Grocers - Where'ing Those Flowers (Alpha Pup)
Lexx/Open Space feat. Harriet Brown - Hot Weather (Phantom Island)
Teleseen - Bronze by Gold (The Slow Music Movement)
Jlin - Blue i (Planet Mu)
Vakula - New Sensations (Apollo)
DJ Normal 4 - Aeo feat. Aenx, Rhythm Mix (Second Circle)
Autre - Frigo (ESP Institute)
Test Card was responsible for the first release on The Slow Music Movement record label so we thought we'd interview him and find out a bit more about the man behind the music. First off press play on his wonderful EP and then get reading.
So Lee first off it's a pleasure to work with you and have you kick start the TSMM record label with a great big super chilled Balearic bang - you've got the label off to a wonderful start.
Thank you very much. I'm very excited to be working with you and The Slow Music Movement.
So let's find out a bit more about you. Perhaps to get things rolling you can tell me a bit about how a young lad from Folkestone got into music and ended up in an Indie band in Preston?
I'm not sure what got me into music. Subliminally it was probably my Dad. He was in a couple of bands as a sailor in the Royal Navy and at home we had an upright piano under the stairs, and a banjo, both of which he played passionately. He and my Mum would often duet on the piano together and I would sit on the stairs and listen intently. As a kid my Dad wanted me to learn the piano but I stupidly rebelled and picked the clarinet. The lessons did not last long. To this day I regret not learning the piano. The clarinet?! What was I thinking (sorry, I mean no disrespect to clarinet players). Then one day I was rummaging arond in my sister's wardrobe and instead of finding Narnia I found an acoustic guitar. I went to the local library and borrowed some Beatles song books and that started my path to learning the guitar. Years later I went to University in Preston and joined the Student Union's Entertainment Committee which was in charge of putting on gigs and club nights. I met a bunch of like-minded people on the committee some of which had recently formed a band called Formula One with ex-Cornershop drummer Dave Chambers. They needed a singer and one day they asked me if I could sing and I said no way and they said great see you tomorrow at 7pm at our rehearsal room!! Needless to say, upon finishing university the prospect of being in a band seemed like an attractive option. Then things really took off. Next thing I know Martin Carr from the Boo Radley's is producing our demo, we're on a UK tour, and we're playing at Reading and Phoenix Festivals.
I was researching your first musical project Formula One and found a reference to you playing the Hacienda in the 90's, were you immeresed in the whole UK rave/Madchester scene at the time or quietly doing your thing on the periphery? If you were raving are there any war stories you'd like to share?
I was still living down south in the late 80's when it was all kicking off up north. Sure I bought baggy jeans like the Happy Mondays, and the Stone Roses debut album is still in my top ten most influential albums of all time, but I never did go to the Hacienda in its heyday of acid and house music. At the time it probably seemed to far to get a train from Folkestone to Manchester!! In fact the only time I did go to the Hacienda was to play that gig which must have been in 1996 or 97. I do remember going to a few raves in random countryside fields in Kent when acid house swept the nation but in all honesty I really didn't get into rave culture that much. It wasn't until I was a university student in Preston in the early 90's when I started going to techno clubs in Manchester, Liverpool, and in particular Leeds, that I really started to appreciate dance music.
Now the only Formula One music that I could find online had you vocalising in Spanish so it seems like you have previous Balearic form! I'd be interested to hear more about that as it was a bold move for a singer from the North West of England back in the day plus I thought everyone in the UK learned French at school! Tell me more.
Ha! Only being able to find one song online goes to prove that we were a pre-internet band!! I don't even think we had an email address. Anyway, my Dad got a job in Spain in 1979 so he took the family with him and we lived in Madrid for three years. I was 10 years old and at that age a person soaks up a new language like a sponge. Besides, if I wanted to hang out with the kids in the neighbourhood then I had to learn Spanish fast. I didn't learn it so that I could be bilingual, I learnt it because I wanted to have friends and play. I have no recollection as to whose idea it was for me to sing that Formula One song in Spanish. It was probably mine, but truth be told I was never really that enamoured with the result, but it ended up being our first single on Kooky Records and John Peel played it on his show whilst commenting positively about the Spanish aspect, so I ended up liking it!
So after Preston it seems that Formula One split and you headed to the stony beaches of Brighton to form a new group Domestic4. Could you tell me a bit about the group and life in Brighton?
Formula One was a six piece band and we all lived in the same house kind of like the Monkees but Deepdale, Preston style! Towards the end of the 90's, for one reason or another, we started to fizzle out. The drummer moved out first, then the bass player moved to Brighton which left four of us who carried on writing songs but instead of drums, bass and guitars, we turned to samplers, loops, analog synths and drum machines. In the meantime our ex-bass player kept telling us how amazing Brighton was so eventually we packed all our gear into a van, got onto the M6, and headed south. We rented a flat, built a small studio, and Domestic4 became an entity. It was more for the love of making music than anything else but over a period of three years we did release a handful of records and CDs on various independent labels. Brighton was buzzing then, probably still is. It had a great music scene, lots of young people, plenty of parties and pubs, and a very liberal, almost bohemian vibe about it. Yeah, it was a good time to live there.
So during these years were you making a full time living from music or were you working on the side?
We were making a living (if you can call it that) when in Formula One and it was helped by the fact that you could get hold of really cheap beer in Preston, but when we moved to Brighton we all ended up getting 9 to 5 jobs to pay the rent and by night we wrote music as Domestic4.
So somehow from Brighton you ended up in Canada, did you take a wrong turn on the M23?
As not to bore your readers, here is the short version.... I eventually got fed up with Brighton, wanted to travel, got a job as an Adventure Travel Tour Leader in Guatemala for one year, ended up backpacking around Central & South America for four years, wound up on a small Mexican island in the Caribbean for two years, got offered a job in Canada, went back to the UK to get a work visa, moved to Canada. Next question!!
There have also been unconfirmed reports of you wearing lumberjack shirts and bare back moose riding. How is life in Vancouver compared to England? Any thoughts of ever going back?
OK, I admit to the lumberjack shirt thing, but bare back moose riding is nothing more than a vicious rumour!! Culturally speaking life here is very different to the UK. I do miss many things; family, friends, pubs, Branston pickle, Marmite, pork pies, and Question Time with David Dimbleby! I will move back to the UK one day that much is true. I just don't when.
It seems like you never stopped making music but there was some downsizing going on from Formula One & Domestic4 to your Future Peasants duo and solo projects Electrohome & laterly Test Card. Is there any reason for this more solitary direction?
I actually took a break from making music for about six years while I was in Latin America. It wasn't until I got to Canada and picked up an acoustic guitar that I started to write songs again, this time under the moniker of Electrohome. I then found out how far technology had advanced since I was last making music so I got myself a decent computer, an audio workstation, and a midi keyboard, and that's how I got back into it. Sure we were using those same technologies in Domestic4 but back then we would spend hours twiddling away on an Akai S3000 sampler trying to piece together loops and samples and working out which channels each sample would come out of or which bus each output had to be assigned to, and there would be leads and cables everywhere, it was crazy! Nowadays it's all drag and drop and presto; perfectly timed, auto-stretched loops by only using a mouse! So instead of hunting around for a band to join or form, I ended up hunkering down at home and worked out that I had everything I needed to be a solo musician. I also think the solitary direction is a direct result of the technology itself. Having access to multi-instruments and sounds means there is no need to be in a band with multi-members because I have all the instruments I need on my computer.
Now you've always been fairly relaxed musically but you seem to be mellowing even further with age, is this your back playing up, a conscious decision or have you got a death metal project I don't know about?
I'm not sure if it was a conscious decision per se. Ever since my techno clubbing days I have always enjoyed listening to ambient/electronica which I think started with a lot of Warp artists such as early Autechre and Speedy J and the Artificial Intelligence series that Warp put out. But over the past 5 years or so I have gravitated towards more drone and neo-classical music. It just seems to push all my buttons at the moment. I also think it goes back to what I was saying earlier about the technology havng a direct effect on the music I make. For now I'm very happy being Test Card but who knows how far I can take it. Having said all that, I am helping to produce a demo for a three-piece band who play traditional Scottish music with a fiddle, double bass and acoustic guitar. It's very uplifitng and worryingly infectious (I mean that in a nice way!) and is almost as far removed as death metal is compared to Test Card!
So the Test Card EP is about to drop and it has a warm, wistful air to it and is perfect for sea gazing in the sunshine and all sorts of relaxed and horizontal activities. Could you tell me a bit about what was going through your head during the making of it?
Recently I've been rewinding my dusty, disintegrating memory tapes to summers of old when I was a young boy kicking a football around with friends in grass-stained jeans late into the summer dusks and then hearing Mum in the distance saying it was time to come in for supper. The sounds, smells, and even the colours seemed so different then. So this EP is dedicated to the memory tapes playing in my head of summers gone by.
One for the geeks and muso's now, where was the music recorded and what type of gear are you using these days?
Everything was recorded at home in Vancouver, Canada. My basic set up is Ableton Live Suite 9, a midi keyboard, and an audio interface. Then I have a Fender Telecaster electric guitar which I tend to record through an Alesis Quadraverb GT, a Seagull acoustic guitar, a Fender bass guitar, a Theremax Theremin, a Zoom H4n Pro for field recordings, and a good handful of VST Analog Synths such as Synth 1, Minimoog V, Podolski, Max Synth Latte, and TAL U-No 62. I strongly recommend to any musician who uses VST's to subscribe to a blog written by Tomislav Zlatic called Bedroom Producers. It has all the latest information about VST's and Tomislav really knows what he's talking about. Take a look https://bedroomproducersblog.com/.
You've lived through some serious changes in the music industry since you started out. You've gone from releasing vinyl on UK labels to the brave new digital world and popping out releases for Japanese, Greek and now Portuguese based labels.
What's your take on where music is at these days - is it working for you? Yes absolutely. Firstly it has allowed me to easily contact and work with record labels regardless of their location, and secondly it has allowed my music to be accessible to anyone, anywhere. For example I know for a fact that the majority of listeners streaming and downloading my music from my Bandcamp page are not located in Canada. The majority are coming from the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia, which would never have happened had my releases only been available in a physical format.
So what are your future musical plans? Is Test Card going to see you out or are you still evolving?
Well I never planned to be in an indie band in Preston, and I never thought I would be twiddling knobs on analog keyboards in Brighton, and I never imagined I would be creating droney electronica in Vancouver. I honestly have no idea if this is it or if there's more morphing to be done. Whoever's driving this bus hasn't told me where the next stop is!!
Thanks for your time Lee and thanks once again for the EP, I really couldn't think of a better way to kick off the label.
Thank you James.
nick malkin - slow day on brilliant drive (geographic north)
Firstly, BIG up Geographic North for it's 50th release. Secondly BIG up Nick Malkin, responsible for said release's micro managed, patiently patched, musical instrumentation, future jazz & abstract ambience.
various artists - two niles to sing a melody: the violins & synths of sudan (ostinato)
The music of East Africa is some of the most evocative in the world so sail into the weekend with some bygone Sudanese soul and swagger courtesy of another incredible compilation from Ostinato Records
mocky - music save me (one more time) (self released)
Check out this wonderful collection of newly available, digital mixtape gems and hitherto Japanese only releases of beautifully arranged, cinematically inclined, progressively retro, signature sounding soulful pop from Mocky.
mark mcguire - the broken home (self release)
Nice to see Mark McGuire back with his most structured, vocal work for a while and a quality set of plugged in but off the grid Americana, stoned rock and acid folk.
marijus aleksa - maps (yam records)
Great EP of deep, pleasantly leftfield, nicely jazzed, melodic Afro house mutations from from Marijus Aleksa MAPS on YAM Records
scott xylo - find us when u get there (black acre)
Kick off the week off with the bumping, Afro dipped, peyote powered, future soul sound of SCŌTT XYLO. on Black Acre. Super fresh.
helios - veriditas (ghostly international)
Late night electronic meandering that will soundtrack a contemplative Sunday nicely. Check out Helios' unhurried, free ranging, ambient musings for Ghostly International
The clue with chill hop is right there in the name, it's no more than a fusion of chill out music and hip hop. A playlist is worth a thousand words so the newly minted "Slow Hop" playlist is right at the bottom of the post but there is something I'd like you to read and listen to first.
The old cliche goes you have to know the past to understand the present so, if you're interested, let's take a brief look at hip hop's early days and the origins of chill out music to fully understand how chill hop came about and got to where it is today.
what is hop hop?
Hip hop is many things to many people. From backpack to drill, trap to hip life, gangster to golden age and now the chill hop sub genre but let's go back, all the way back, to the roots of hip hop before we look at the present. Hip hop was spawned in the late 70s when DJs like Cool Herc started using two copies of the same record to extend the drum break in a track. This is the part of a song where all or most of the instrumentation stops playing except for the drummer. Herc wanted to extend this section because this was the part of the track when the dancers went really crazy. Those drum breaks mostly came from classic soul and funk records and for many years those drum breaks were the backbone of hip hop, sampled by thousands and heard by billions. Check out this nicely put together selection of some of the most famous hip hop drum breaks:
So there you have the original back bone of hip hop - the drum break. I'm guessing if you've been checking some chill hop it sounded familiar. Would be hip hop producers checking out the early DJs duly noted the power of a drum break and, luckily for them, music technology was quickly developing and subsequently becoming more affordable. A basic E-mu or AKAI sampler and a basic Roland drum machine was now within financial reach of your average wannabe producer. So not only did they start programming and sampling drums they also started sampling other breaks, maybe a trumpet, guitar or vocal from all sorts of records to add some melodic interest and hooks to give their chosen MC a good ride. This next video perfectly illustrates this as it first plays the part of the original song that was sampled and then straight after plays the hip hop version using the original samples.
If you want to explore this phenomena more then I suggest that you kick back for an hour or so one day and listen to the following mixtape from Arthur King & Uncle T, two great French hip hop DJs. This is an incredibly skillful mix and, though many have tried, one of the best ever mixes of original breaks and the hip hop tracks they inspired. I can't tell you show many times I've listened to it:
So the above process is not only the roots of hip hop but also chill hop. In many ways chill hop is a regression to hip hop's early days. Nowadays a hip hop track can be and often is completely synthesized as legally clearing samples costs money. Different rhythms have evolved in different parts of the world - grime in the UK, reggaeton in Central and South America and a lot of what are now called urban artists are even making songs with EDM producers over cheesy dance beats. But chill hop is keeping it simple, it is focusing on the those classic laid back hip hop style drum breaks or close approximations to them and introducing a chill out element.
so what is chill out?
Before you get reading I've pulled together another playlist of some classic and personal favourite chill out tunes to accompany this next section. I've put a few thoughts on the playlist in it's description if you want to know some of my thinking behind it. It's a work in progress and will be developing beyond recognition in the next few weeks but it's a good start.
Chill Out music's history is as long as the history of music itself. Ever since early man started making drum sounds I dare say there were always times when a slower rhythm prevailed, even if it was just because they needed a rest. Chamber music, monastic choirs, classical, jazz, in all this different music there has always been quieter pieces. It certainly wasn't called Chill Out music then, it was just plain old music played at a slower pace. The obsession with genre classification is more a late twentieth century phenomena. This is also the time period I am going to focus on in my brief history of the roots of what we today call Chill Out music and for good reason.
The 60's are the roots of modern culture that we know today. Post war society started to get a big rethink, mainly due to the efforts of a group of acid inspired hippies in the West Coast of America. Free thinking was encouraged, new ideas about sex, literature, religion, war and gender equality were discussed, rules and norms rewritten and different approaches promoted. The rule book on so many things got torn up and music was not left unscathed. Things got really cooking in the second half of the 60's as the movement grew and spread across the world.
Again, as with hip hop, technological innovation played a massive part and the incorporation of synthesizers, effects pedals, tape machines, theremins and echo chambers into modern music is a key moment in the history of chill out. It just so happened that a lot of the effects you could get from these machines sounded really good to your average, frequently stoned, hippy, so bands like Donovan, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Steve Reich, The Grateful Dead, Terry Riley all started to record long tracks with weird effects that sounded great to this new generation slumped on their Afghan rugs and bean bags smoking bongs. Another thing these artists, with their newly opened minds, did was to incorporate drones into their music. Drones are long sustained notes that were originally found in Australian Aboriginals' use of the didgeridoo, it was also a technique found in South Eastern Asian music, well before the 60's. It was hugely popularised by The Beatles, early psychedelic adopters and musical adventurers that they were, when they used the technique in a few of their songs. Naturally with such advocates it wasn't long before it became widely used by musicians and producers the world over.
Perhaps the first chill out record though can, as with all things arguably, be traced to a man called Eden Ahbez and an album called Eden's Island that he recorded in 1960 that incorporated a lot of dreamy moods, drifting sounds and ethereal vocals that would come to help define what we know today as Chill Out music. It might not sound quite so ground breaking today but if you research what most people were listing to in the late 50's and early 60's then you'll soon realise how far out and progressive it was.
Music changed as the 70's progressed and the hippy dream faded. It got a bit darker and heavier generally but the cat was out of the bag and bands kept developing these new electronic and chilled ideas with Europe arguably leading the way. People like Popol Vuh & Tangerine dream as part of the Kosmische scene in Germany, Brian Eno in England and the incredibly influential Vangelis from Greece. Progressive soul, jazz and funk groups incorporated synthesizers into their setup to push their sound in new directions. Progressive Rock certainly loved a synth and the developing soundtrack industry also kept the electronic and chill out seed alive and watered. Meanwhile on a little island in the Caribbean dub was being invented and consequently spread across the globe by the Jamaican diaspora. Little did they, or anyone in fact, know that dub was going to play such a massive part in not only chill out music but dance music as a whole.
Along came the 80's with its further technological developments and consequent musical equipment price drops and suddenly every pop band in the game had a synthesizer but it wasn't until the dance music revolution and the early days of acid house that modern Chill Out, the daddy of Chill Hop, was born. As part of the UK's dance music movement some pioneering artists, a bit like their 60's hippy forebearers decided a chill out room at a rave and Chill Out music during the post rave come down was a good idea. Step up The Orb, Mixmaster Morris, Jose Padilla, KLF, DJ Food and Biosphere to name a few pioneers. Chill Out, Chill Hop, Downtempo, Chill Step, Lo-Fi, Trip Hop, Chill Wave - call it what you will, had well and truly arrived. It even got it's own name, back then it was simply called Chill Out.
A lot of these artists were coming at chill out music pretty much like the early hip hop crews, without formal music training, just passion and vision. They started using the ever cheaper music technology to cut and paste samples, pretty much like the hip hop pioneers ten years before, although their influences tended to be more esoteric and wide ranging, driven by their differing agenda. Their mission wasn't to make people dance or produce beats for rappers, it was to provide people who wanted to relax with ethereal head music to do so. The drums got a little slower, the textures softer, psychedelic twists and the ever effective dub effects all helped turn the chilled, spacey atmosphere up to 11. Now who's got some papers?
so we know what hip hop is and what the history of chill out is. So what is chill hop?
OK so there are hundreds of playlists promoting Chill Hop and most have a slightly different musical agenda. No one is right and no one is wrong, it's all points of view but here is how I see it. Chill hop has essentially been named, not invented, due to the popularity of hip hop culture. From it's underground New York roots, hip hop has grown into a global phenomena that has been bossing the charts for decades now. It's the musical soundtrack of a generation or two and with any movement so large it's cultural impact on many areas is inevitable from fashion, art and right through to hand shakes. So hip hop has molded chill out music in its own image.
Chill Hop needs to have a recognisable hip hop beat to it. Nothing too fancy or boundary pushing, but something familiar sounding and mildly engaging. It also needs to be relaxing. Chill hop is not pre-club let's do some shots before hitting the town music. It's more, I need to study for 4 hours and need some background music that won't be distracting, I want to chill with my partner and need some nice vibes or I just want to kick back and not think too hard after a long day. So gentle sounds, soft synth pads, simple melodies are the order of the day. Nice and easy like Sunday morning.
To be honest most of the the Chill Hop on the popular playlists or Youtube channels sounds largely unadventurous and generic and I guess with a genre so influenced by the, now mainstream, money obsessed sound of hip hop there is an inevitability to that. It's a bit like what smooth jazz is to the jazz from the 60's or 70's, Coldplay are to Led Zeppelin or what Drake is compared to Milo or Rakim but it is what it is, does a job and I see the sense in it.
Anyway I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring and put out my personal take on Chill Hop. I'm aiming to cut out the overly generic tunes - you know the ones from producers that just copy what everyone else is doing to make some cash. It favours producers that are going deeper, doing their own thing and perhaps nudging the stylistic boundaries a little bit. Most of the tunes will have a bit of extra soul, hell I've even put in some live bands that sound right. Vocals are allowed but I'm keeping them to a minimum. I'm calling the playlist Slow Hop as, after all, this is The Slow Music Movement but if your vibing to chill hop I think and hope you'll appreciate it.
As for Lo-Fi, well that is a whole different story for another blog post. Putting a few crackles from an old vinyl record onto a Chill Hop track is not what I call Lo-Fi and I don't think it warrants a separate genre name. Why would you want two different names for essentially the same thing? So I'm currently putting together a Slow Music Movement playlist called, you guessed it, Slow-Fi. Be warned though it's not for multi-tasking and writing your thesis. It is an altogether more engaging, free thinking, THC saturated selection. One for the after party or those hazy nights on the sofa when you've got nothing much to do except talk rubbish with your friends and surf your cerebral backwaters.
emil abramyan - movement (kingdoms)
Check out the new album from multi-instrumentalist Emil Abramyan on Kingdoms. A really cultured blend of cello, electronics, keys, ambient, dub and subtle house flavours. A wonderful listen.
cale sexton - melondrama (butter sessions)
Cultured, stripped back, dubbed out, nocturnally synthesized ambient electro and late night head nod beats from Cale Sexton on Butter Sessions.
teleseen - lucia (the slow music movement)
Check out this stylistically ambiguous EP of soaring synths, jazz & dub tickled tribal futurism, tropical bass meets slow house, ayahuasca infused spiritual moombahton or just tunes. Call it what you will, you won't have heard anything like this EP from Teleseen.
various artists - antipodean anomalies (left ear)
A wonderful compilation of bygone Australasian musical oddities that defy genre classification besides DIY, Lo-Fi & experimental but encompass post punk, ambient, global, dub, folk & classical. Top class digging from Left Ear Records, a real ear opener.
bellows - sander (latency recordings)
Check out the lazy rhythmic pulses, layered analog depths, flickers of pleasing melodic light, bygone tape loop hiss, dub embelishments & general late night contemplative ambient hazyness of Bellows on Latency
unearth noise/dreamspeak - and the light beams will guide the way (lullabies for insomniacs)
A collaborative and mystical, Indo oriental electronic trip, spanning evocative ambient hazes to trance inducing rhythmic excursions from Unearth Noise & Dreamspeak on the ever interesting Lullabies for Insomniacs
phil france - circle (gondwana)
Perfect lazy listening as Phil France drops this wonderful minimal & classical infused electronic, Sunday & beyond, soundtrack for Gondwana Records.
Shameless self promotion, dub adventures old and new, Balearic sunshine nuggets, ambient pointilism, lazy beats and cosmic boogie, it's all here.
Test Card - Super 8 Sunset (The Slow Music Movement)
Munir - Balcony View (Dopeness Galore)
Cale Sexton - Speak Into It (Butter Sessions)
Annette Brissett - Betrayes (Wackies)
The Chosen Brothers - March Down Babylon (Wackies)
Phillip Fullwood - Words (Pressure Sounds)
Web Web - Maroc Blues (Compost)
Onyx Collective - Space-Wars (Big Dada)
Zoltan Fecso - Pont (Hush Hush)
Nohidea - Departures (Alpha Pup)
JOYFULTALK - Kill Scene (Constellation)
Yan Tregger - Riff On (BBE promo)
Teleseen - Lucia (The Slow Music Movement)
Brandon Coleman - All Around The World (Brainfeeder)
nohidea - departures (alpha pup)
Less is more, futuristic hip hop beats with occasional lyrical interventions from Nohidea. on Alpha Pup Records melding ambient, minimal and neo-classical shades into a perfect head nod sofa friendly soundtrack.
test card - super 8 sunset ep
There's only one release to recommend today :) The Slow Music Movement label is releasing it's first EP! Check out this hammock friendly, sunshine saturated, horizontally inclined Balearic gem from Test Card
philip fullwood & i mo-ja - words in dub (pressure sounds)
I can think of a few people whose words I'd like to dub :) Big up Pressure Sounds for reaching their 100th release and holding down the roots and dub quality on every one - quite an achievement.
munir - grand paradise (dopeness galore)
Check out the ambient & new age licks, Balearic boogie, tropical treats, acidic house & all round summer soul vibes of the new Munir LP on Dopeness Galore.
vakula - a voyage to arcturus (apollo records)
Nice to see this classic Vakula LP finally become available to the digital 99% courtesy of Apollo Records. Cosmic Kosmishche meets electronic jazz via ambient dub & experimental prog rock disco. It's a ride...
gillian welch - the harrow & the harvest
This classic Gillian Welch LP of wide open plain Americana is sounding particularly good this Sunday morning. By my reckoning (and hoping) there should be a new LP coming in the next year or so?
OUR MISSION STATEMENT GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS
Lazy Days, Hazy Moments & Dancing to a Slower Groove