Tagged as: Chillout

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This little tune was more or less recommended to me by a filthy Swede (redundant, I know) named Elof, and it is pretty tasty. It has the added bonus of being pretty chilltastic, which will make AJ wonder why in God’s name I’m even posting it, since that isn’t a genre I’m particularly interested in. It’s nice to keep him on his toes.

Editor’s note: In no way do we consider all Swedes to be filthy! They are lovely people, and make lovely music. Elof, on the other hand? Totally filthy. – AJ

Anthem by Emancipator on Grooveshark

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I usually save this kind of music for Friday/Sunday nights, but screw that rule. Since when do we have rules here anyway? Since NEVER. Bonobo, the musician, unlike the ape, has been pumping out this kind of sexy music for a good while now. This tune is no exception, aside from the fact that it blends it with the alluring vocals of Ms. Andreya Triana. It is a sexiness overload!

Stay The Same by Bonobo on Grooveshark

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If you decide to open up your window on this fine Sunday evening and listen to the world of the night, you’ll need some music to go along with it. Luckily for you, I have the perfect music for you! It is just as well you read either/or before deciding to open your window, eh?

Anyway, Nujabes is the pseudonym of Japanese DJ Jun Seba (it’s his name reversed, geddit), who is sadly no longer with us. As with most great chillout/downtempo, there is a hearty mix of jazz thrown into the mix, giving it that perfect, star gazing appeal.

Counting Stars by Nujabes on Grooveshark

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I have been watching a lot of True Blood lately, and boy howdy, what a show it is. Vampires, werewolves, telepaths, all sorts of crazy crap. On occasion, there are some pretty dang sweet songs that they play on there. Here’s one from Massive Attack (who have some other damn songs that I like, not that I remember what they’re called) that will be great for putting someone to bed. Maybe even me, except due to being a vampire, I only sleep in the daytime.


Paradise Circus by Massive Attack on Grooveshark

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It’s certainly been a while since I’ve heard anything from Zero 7. With their last album, Yeah Ghost taking a bit of a diversion from their usual downtempo fare, it’s rather pleasant to dig through some of their lesser known stuff and find some smooth listenin’. Which is exactly what happened here! Truth and Rights appeared on the compilation album Another Late Night, Zero 7’s contribution to a series of albums highlighting the inspirations for the group that collated them. Truth and Rights is the only Zero 7 song that appears on the album (a cover of the reggae tune by Johnny Osbourne), and it is quite the winner.

Truth and Rights by Zero 7 on Grooveshark

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Pretty ladies are one thing. But pretty ladies who can sing? That’s something else. And who does this poor introduction benefit? Why, Welsh born Jem, singer of many delightful tunes of course! Keeping with my long-running tradition of posting stuff we’ve all heard of before, Jem plays a charming mix of pop with electronic leanings, spliced together with the occasional acoustic-y number. Her singing is reminiscent of Imogen Heap of Frou Frou fame, and Sophie Barker who sings a few tunes for Zero 7. So if you like that kind of mellowed out prettiness, then Jem should suit your pallet. If not, then I guess I didn’t sell this post very well. She’s had a couple of her tunes featured on Long Way Round (yay) and Grey’s Anatomy (not so yay), as well as some other bits and pieces here and there.

Jem only has the one album at the moment: a new one was supposed to be out last year, but it’s kinda disappeared for the time being. Hopefully, it’ll resurface this year! For now, here’s some last.fm approved tunes to listen to.

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No doubt I’ll be lauded as a total whore for posting about this soundtrack (the indie peeps get a bit pissed when people hail this soundtrack as “indie”) but I don’t care: this is dang good mix.

The thing about mix CDs ya see is that most of the time around 20% of it is good (i.e. songs you can really get in to) and the rest is generally OK, to poor, to utter crap. HOWEVER. The Garden State soundtrack is quite excellent, thanks to Braff’s excellent vision/audio hearing capabilities. There’s an extremely nice mix of indie (Cary Brothers, Remy Zero, Bonnie Somerville), downtempo (Thievery Corporation, Zero 7, Frou Frou), classics (Simon & Garfunkel) and even some folk (Nick Drake). Granted, the popularity of the album has probably elevated the status of some of the artists (*cough*The Shins*cough*), which is why some tossers complain when some guy says “That’s indietastic!”. Well, I say “Screw you, suckers!” – this is an accomplished mix of goodness that should already have been sampled by everyone out there on the Internetz. Check it out: I guarantee you will like at least ONE tune on there…

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Continuing on with my theme of downtempo music that everyone has probably already heard because they’re old releases, here’s the lowdown on The Mirror Conspiracy by Thievery Corporation. Now, considering I already revealed the genre to you, I’ve probably blown this post way out of the proverbial water! Anyhoo, if you’ve been listening to Zero 7 lately, you can say that Thievery Corporation is a more “hardcore” version: a more uptempo downtempo, if you will. Generally speaking, their music is less vocal-y and less real-instrumental-ly (teehee), but not to the point of it being absurdly electronic. If I were you, I would go ahead and check out Lebanese Blonde (which was in Garden State, yay!), Focus on Sight, Shadows of Ourselves and…well, you know what? You should just check it all out, cos it’s pretty awesome!

Ok, this is a ridiculously tiny post, but hey, short and sweet!

From The Mirror Conspiracy
Shadows of Ourselves – SWF (Flash) File

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Unlike my ever-so-delightful colleague, I do not mash more than one album into my little articles. As such, this Zero 7 article concerns their latest effort, entitled The Garden. HOWEVER! For this one time, and one time only, I shall also alert your attention to the musical stylings of their second release When It Falls. Why am I doing this, you wonder. Well, unfortunately, When It Falls isn’t as fantastic as Simple Things was. Having said that, there are a fair few good tracks on When It Falls, so I pretty much had to do it this way you see! First things first though: The Garden.

It’s rare that I manage to get my hands on a something that was released only a short time before. So it was with considerable anticipation that I ripped the CD out of its case and whacked it into my laptop to listen to it. After hearing the first track (Futures), I knew I was in Zero 7 heaven: this is one seriously awesome CD!

While it does continue the tradition of some damn quality chillout/downtempo tunes, it does so in a way that seems fresh (when compared to their previous albums, that is) – be it a different type of beat (If I Can’t Have You), the addition of new vocalists (Futures) or even the addition of a lovely acoustic track (Left Behind). This is a much more natural Zero 7, which still manages to easily maintain its aura as night-time city music (or so my mind says anyway).

Zero 7 - When It Falls

Oh man, now this is weird: two albums in the one post! I bet you are spazzing out as we speak! Anyhoo. Welcome to Zero 7’s 2004 release When It Falls. Although, in my opinion, not as accomplished as their debut (Simple Things) there are a good few tracks on this album which I feel warrent a listen! The first song I shall point you to is the single Home. Following in the style of In the Waiting Line but with a far more edgier, erm, edge, Home is a definate “must listen”. Continuing on from here, we hit tracks like Passing By (another in the vein of In the Waiting Line), and then some instrumental pieces like When It Falls and my personal favourite of the entire album Look Up. We then finally reach Speed Dial No. 2, a wonderfully beautiful track, filled with the very pleasing tone of Sia Furler.

Don’t get me wrong, you should by all means get When It Falls if you’re a Zero 7 fan like I am. Heck, all I basically did was list my favourite tracks on the album!

Ok, this post has gotten WAY outta hand!

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After being ordered to investigate one of their songs (that one being In the Waiting Line), I found myself wanting to check out more! Which I did, of course. What I bring for you today is the album Simple Things, which is simply overflowing with wonderfully soulful, jazz-tastic, electronic-y, chillout tunes for those lonely city nights.

The music itself isn’t mechanised to the point of it being harsh: it retains a gentle brilliance through the use of actual instruments *gasp*, which is a welcome change from most electronically influenced music. Most humbling, I would say and definitely worth a look, especially I Have Seen and Give It Away.

From Simple Things
In the Waiting Line – YouTube
Give it Away – YouTube
I Have Seen – YouTube