Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chill, Lounge, and Downtempo

John Marine | 5/29/2010 11:56:00 PM | |
A lighter variety of electronica can be found with lounge and chill music. This is where you hear music with an electronica-style beat, but it is mixed in with some smooth instruments and vocals. Think of this as a softer alternative to more pulsating electronica songs. For those knee-deep in electronica culture (especially trance), this kind of music can usually be the kind of cool down music to help you ease up after hearing some trance or some hard trance. It may even get you into the mood when waking up or just starting your day.

I love what one YouTube channel has done in educating people on electronica. Learn about the kind of music I'll be discussing by following this video:

^ For more videos from this YouTube channel, visit ToekneeDeeZee's YouTube channel.

It was for this reason that I replaced my "Electronica" blog label with "Electronic Music." It may lead to some gray areas as to what is really considered true electronic music, but I want to be as professional with my blog material as possible. I don't want to be cursed out by people just by providing some inaccurate and questionable facts. I also don't want to be that person who gets hated on just for taking a stand that's against what most others believe in. I still interchangeably refer to all electronic music as "electronica," but I want to keep as many readers/viewers happy with my content.

--- The Lighter Side ---
None of the music I'll be discussing in this blog entry will be anything uplifting or with intense beats or intense instruments. Instead, this is all about electronica that can still be great to listen to without anything severely uplifting. The kinds of music you will hear in these YouTube videos shows that you can still listen to quality electronic music without necessarily have to listen to the most uplifting trance songs.

Chill, lounge, and downtempo represent the lesser extreme of electronica. I think there are elements that make these genres what they are. I'll express how I perceive these three sub-genres in this blog entry. While my mind is fixated on more pulsating music for Saturday nights, I sometimes find myself listening to lighter electronic songs usually after midnight or after 2:00 AM. This is the music that is made for dialing it down after enjoying some pulsating electronic dance music. However, these songs can also be enjoyed during the day. You can wake up and listen to this music. You can read a book at Barnes & Noble listening to this music, and all the while, enjoying a double chocolate chip mocha frappuccino at the Starbucks within the store. You can probably even study with this music. If you don't feel like listening to any kind of extreme music, you can opt to listen to this style of electronic music. That's if you still want to listen to electronica without having to listen to any other kind of music. Or think about it like this- this is soft rock or acoustic rock for the electronic music fan.

It's the lighter side of electronic music, but electronic music nonetheless. You still enjoy songs that still have a good beat to them. And really (with all due respect), you're getting a style of electronic music that is more dependent on instruments and vocals than any extreme beats. That is perhaps the key to the kind of music expressed here in this blog entry. So get ready to enjoy some great music here.

WARNING: This blog entry features a lot of YouTube videos. In fears that this blog will not completely load properly, I've included a Page Break that will allow you to view the entire blog entry as it was meant to be shown.

Click "Read More" to view the rest of this blog entry (or disregard this paragraph if you are reading the full version).

--- Chill ---
I think of Chill music as music that remains as powerful as most usual electronica songs, only much softer with softer vocals. A combination of smooth instruments and smooth vocals usually make up most chill songs. What you're getting is music that is both smooth and powerful at the same time.

The following two videos demonstrate chill electronica. Have a listen:

"Breathe" by Telepopmusik (emedding was disabled)
^ NOTE: Embedding was disabled for this video, so click on it to listen to the song and hear the video.

^ "Happy Up Here" by Röyksopp. Song is from Röyksopp's official YouTube channel

^ (some kind of chill trance mix featuring five songs)

--- Lounge ---
The best way to think of lounge music is a blend of jazzy and funky sounds. Some lounge-type electronica features a lot of sexy vocals joined with some groovy music. This is the kind of music you'd probably hear at a lounge nightclub that's spinning some hot music. Think of this style of music as jazz for fans of electronic music.

Two songs in the realm of lounge can be found in these two videos below:

^ "Amerimacka" by Thievery Corporation (I'd be foolish to pass up on Thievery Corporation for this blog entry).

^ "Spirit of Summer" from Gazzara

I think Lounge has more of a groove to it than Chill. So that's why I've nicely and kindly regarded this style of electronic music more than Chill.

--- Downtempo ---
In its purest sense, downtempo is electronica that doesn't have high bpms (beats per minute) or any intense instrumentals. Instead, you're talking about funky songs that have been slowed down with some hot beats. This is the kind of music I think you should check out if you are big on R&B and hip-hop and want to hear some electronica. I don't recommend or encourage this, but some of these songs have been popular with people who smoke. Downtempo songs have that "day after" effect.

Here are some downtempo videos for you:

^ This song is also in the realm of trip-hop, which is more a blend of electronic music and hip-hop.

^ "Still" by Woodblue, a Japanese downtempo song.

Bonus Video (Honorable Mention!)
Here is a bonus song I have for you all that has a real lounge feel to it. Enjoy "Backfired" by India, as remixed by Masters at Work (MAW):

^ "Backfired" by Masters at Work (MAW) featuring India

It's not the exact re-make that I wanted to feature, but this is still a great song.

I don't usually listen to lighter varieties of electronic music unless I'm just not really in the mood for listening to harder electronica. Even I just listen to a few light dance songs to get me ready.

Thanks a lot for reading this rather brief blog entry of mine. I just wanted to get these sub-genres of electronica some face time on my blog. Subscribe to me on FeedBurner, and thank you for reading!
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