RECOMMENDED CHILL OUT ELECTRONICA CDs
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Soul

Philly Soul

Salsoul

Funk

Jazz/Funk

Blue-Eyed Soul

West Coast Soft Rock

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The Chill Out Electronica sound
...is a laid back mix of downbeat electronic pop/jazz.
Pipe and slippers lounge music if you like...

 

About Ambient...
The concept of ambient goes way back, but the term was first used by Brian Eno to describe the music that he made on a series of recordings that included "Music for Airports" and "Music for Films". The notion was that ambient music was able to sustain repeated and intensive listening, or could be completely ignored, like some kind of cosmic muzak. In short, it was to be an unobtrusive part of one's environment while at the same time being interesting if one should choose to focus in on it.

He, along with various other musicians, experimented with this concept for several years. By the early 80's, he brought the sample to the fore with "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts", a collaboration with Talking Heads' David Byrne. The sample is really the purest type of ambient sound.

By the end of the decade, Alex Paterson was experimenting with the mixing techniques utilized by house and dub, but applying it to the music with which he was surrounded in his job at EG records, which included Brian Eno and his brother Roger, Harold Budd, Robert Fripp, and Jon Hassell. The Chill-Out sound was born. According to Gerard Talbot in his liner notes to the Virgin Records compilation "A Brief History of Ambient, Vol. 1", the chill-out room was "a physical--and very possibly eternal--Sunday morning for the E generation."

The 90's witnessed an explosion in electronic music, and ambient has seen its share of adherents and innovators. The Orb brought things to another level and openly acknowledged the influence of long-forgotten "art rockers" and "avant-garde experimentalists" such as Steve Hillage, Tangerine Dream, Gong, and Can.

and Chill Out...
Chill Out actually started in England (London and Birmingham), when the rave culture started in 1988-89. DJ’s started to play "everything with a sea sound in it" in bars and techno-house party back-lounges.

Ambient music is vacuumed for unnecessary sound, but DJ's often used more as many as 5-6 sound sources, it became more a collage of music that required a new name. It usually was played in so called Chill Out lounges it made sense to borrow the name. Chill-out quickly became a popular genre in the early 90's and several good electronic albums was released, side by side with more quickly and badly put together compilations titled "Chill Out Or Die" and "Chill Out In Heaven".

The Chill Out genre quickly got stars like KLF and The Orb, bands that used to do progressive rock, and therefore found it naturally to make long and extensive concept albums. [KLF: Space - a journey through outer space]. Several European labels have since specialized in the genre. Check Hed Kandi, Mole Listening Pearls, G-Stoned and Irma.

 


Correct Chill Out accessory:
The Le Corbusier LC4 lounge chair

 

Influence...
The influence of records from the past on today's Lounge and Chill Out sound is very much originated from Orchestral Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Film Soundtracks, Soul, Disco, Bossa and even some classic Italian songs. Many DJ's playing the Lounge style are used to mix "rare groove/old school" tracks together with new ones in their sets or compilations.

All Music Guide
You should find the info you're looking for here.

Discogs
One of the largest and most accurate music databases.

How Band Got Their Names
Steely Dan: A dildo in the William Burroughs novel "Naked Lunch".

Lyrics World
Like to sing in the shower, but can't quite remember the words?

...and yes, - just what you were looking for!

Misheard Lyrics Archive
Hilarious! " 'scuse me, while I kiss this guy"

Museum of Bad Album Covers
What where they thinkin'?!

 

Afterlife: Simplicity (Hed Kandi 1999)
Afterlife: Electrosensitive (Bargrooves 2009)

Produced by: Steve Miller
It's a good chance you'll find a track by Afterlife on any given Chill Out compilation. Afterlife is Steve Miller who is one of the world’s top Downtempo producers, Electrosensitive is the fourth Afterlife album and features 15 brand new productions. Steve hits top form yet again with an album that has summer written all over it without any of the typical Ibiza clichés.

 

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Pit Baumgartner: Fräuleinwunder (Universal Jazz Germany 2003)
Pit Baumgartner: Tales of Trust (Universal Jazz Germany 2008)

Produced by: Pit Baumgartner
If you like De Phazz [see below], check out De Phazz founder and producer Pit Baumgartner's solo projects. Fräuleinwunder is bossa flavoured downbeat while Tales of Truth has the well known De Phazz signature sound.

 

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Bent: The Everlasting Blink (Sport 2003)
Produced by: 
A bit smoother than their 2001 debut album "Programmed To Love", this is much better in my opinion. The Adrian Gurvitz sample on "Magic Love" is just great! Zero 7 meets Lemon Jelly. Their 2004 effort "Ariels" was a change in sound and not to my taste.

 

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Alex Cortiz: Magnifico (Coast To Coast 2004)
Produced by: Alex Cortiz
Successful chill out/downtempo producer from Amsterdam. Travelling from early triphop to downtempo listening pearls with jazz, funk, bossa and cinematic influences. With the Dutch #1 album Moodfood in 2000, he set a standard and was connected to the likes such as Kruder & Dorfmeister, Sven van Hees and Air.


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De Phazz: Godsdog (Mole 1999)
De Phazz: Death By Chocolate (Mole 2001)
De Phazz: Natural Fake (Phazz-a-delic 2005)
De Phazz: Days Of Twang (Phazz-a-delic 2007)
De Phazz: Big  (Phazz-a-delic 2009)
De Phazz: LaLa 2.0  (Phazz-a-delic 2010)
De Phazz: Audio Elastique  (Phazz-a-delic 2012)

Produced by: Pit Baumgartner
Superb downbeat cool-jazz with a touch of Latin from German group De Phazz. Their 2001 effort Death by Chocolate is particularly good [with a great digi-pack cover] Their first and fourth effort - "Detunized Gravity" [1997] and "Daily Lama" [2002] - is in my opinion not quiet up to the rest. Also check out De Phazz producer Pit Baumgartner's "Fräuleinwunder" [2003] and Tales of Trust [2008]. More on www.de-phazz.com.

 

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Dimitri From Paris: Sacrebleu (EastWest 1996)
Produced by: Dimitri From Paris
Dimitri from Paris (Dimitrios Yerasimos) is a French music producer and DJ of Greek origin. His musical influences are rooted in 1970s funk and disco sounds that spawned contemporary house music, as well as original soundtracks from 1950s and 1960s movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany's and La Dolce Vita, which were sampled on Sacrebleu along with other lounge and bossa nova tracks from that period.

   

DJ Cam: Soulshine (Inflammable 2003)
DJ Cam: Lost & Found (Inflammable 2008)

Produced by: DJ Cam
French DJ Laurent Daumail, aka DJ Cam, is one of the bedrock artists of the electronic genre, known both for his remix work and his eclectic productions of chill-out and nu-jazz. Soulshine is especially good, containing "Summer in Paris" (feat. Angun) and "Condor" (sampled from Dave Grusin's 3 Days of the Condor soundtrack).

 

 

dZihan & Kamien: Freaks & Icons (Couch 2000)
dZihan & Kamien: Gran Riserva (Couch 2002)

Produced by: dZihan & Kamien
Vlado Dzihan (Slovakia) and Mario Kamien (Switzerland) met while studying in Vienna, Austria in the late 90s and released their Freaks & Icons debut in 2000. Great downtempo lounge music with a bit of jazz and ethnic flavour. Their third album, Music Matters from 2009, is more straight pop and not to my taste.

 

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Gare Du Nord: Love For Lunch (Blue Note 2009)
Produced by: Barend Fransen & Ferdi Lancée
The 5th album from the Dutch duo Barend Fransen and Ferdi Lancée, Great downtempo with a touch of a 1960's movie soundtrack. The opening track Come To The Ball is fantastic!

 

 

Gerd: High Wide and Wonderful (Life Enhancing Audio 2002)
Gerd: Gran Perspectives (Life Enhancing Audio 2006)

Produced by: Gerd
"High Wide & Wonderful" is Gerd's 2. album and a step away from their tech-funk first effort. This is great downtempo with flares of Brazilian and Latin. Another great release from Belgium label Life Enhanching Audio.

 

 
Sven van Hees: Gemini (Life Enhancing Audio 1999)
Sven van Hees: Chameleon (Your Lips 2015)

Produced by: Sven Van Hees 
Belgian producer & DJ Sven van Hees' Gemini is a classic in this genre. Countless Chill Out compilations include either the tracks "Matress Mambo" or "Tsunami (Inside My Soul)". The perfect soundtrack for a lazy summer day by the pool. His 2015 album Chameleon includes 24 tracks divided into a chill out and a deep house part. Great stuff! For more, check out Exotica (2007) and Maverick (2009).
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Jaffa: Elevator (Stereo Deluxe 2000)
Produced by: David Kakon aka Jaffa 
Canadian producer David Kakon's debut album Elevator is full of sun-drenched synthesizers and beats. The songs are well written with very few samples at all. Both the instrumentation and the production standards are high. A good Downtempo Chill Out album well worth checking out.

 

 

Monte LaRue: Interludia (Cinq Etoiles 2002)
Produced by: Monte LaRue 
Pioneering the down-tempo genre, Belgian-born and Amsterdam-based Monte LaRue has been a major force in establishing lounge in The Netherlands. He is versed in a broad array of easy listening styles, - from Vienna's lounge noir to jazz-type funk grooves; from sun-dried Balearic beats to pastel-coloured Latin-tinged percussion workouts. "Interludia" is LaRue's first full album. He had already written various intro's and outro's for his own compilations [Lounge Deluxe 1-3], but this album is a collection of full-blow interludes - once again confirming his unique take on all things atmospheric and downtempo.

 

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Lemongrass: Beach Affairs (Best of 03-07) (Mole 2007)
Lemongrass: Pour l'Amour (Lemongrass Music 2008)
Lemongrass: The 5th Dimension (Lemongrass Music 2010)

Produced by: Lemongrass 
An great mix of house, jazz, and lounge music, Think long car drives at night, a romantic dinner or maybe watching the city lights at night from a penthouse apartment with a night cap in your hand, - any Lemongrass album would be a very good soundtrack. The double disc set Beach Affairs from 2007 is a compilation covering their releases on the Mole Listening Pearls label between 2003 and 2007.

 

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Mo' Horizons: ...and the New Bohemian Freedom (Stereo Deluxe 2003)
Mo' Horizons: Sunshine Today (Agogo 2007)
Mo' Horizons - Mo' Horizons and the Banana Soundsystem (Agogo 2011)

Produced by: Mo' Horizons 
If you miss summer, this is for you! Ralf Droesemeyer and Mark Wetzler creates a groove cocktail full of clever used quotes from music history. A bit of Soul, Latin, Jazz, and top it up with some Club beats. Sunshine Today includes a Latin cover version of Bill Withers' classic "Lovely Day" (Dia Encantado).

 

 

Jose Padilla: Souvenir (dro EastWest 1999
Jose Padilla: Navigator (dro EastWest 2001
Jose Padilla: Bella Musica 1 (dro EastWest 2004)
Jose Padilla: Bella Musica 2 (dro EastWest 2007)
Jose Padilla: Bella Musica 3 (dro EastWest 2008)
Jose Padilla: Bella Musica 4 (dro EastWest 2009)
Jose Padilla: Bella Musica 5 (dro EastWest 2010)

Produced by: Jose Padilla
On "Souvenir" and "Navigator", Padilla - one of oldest resident Ibiza DJ's and creator of the Cafe del Mar series - presents his own stuff rather than  presenting a compilation of others. On Bella Musica Vol. 1-5 he is back to compiling favourite tracks. As with the Cafe del Mar series, you can always rely on Mr. Padilla doing a great job putting the tracks together and creating the perfect relaxing Chill Out mood.

 

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Plastyc Buddha: Throwing Stones in Placid Pools (LEA 2001)
Produced by: Stephan Parmentier & Pieter Verschueren
Like the Van Hees album, this is also from Belgium LEA Records. Stephan & Pieter are both in-demand session musicians in Antwerp, and their project Plastic Buddha is based around the gently chords from the Fender Rhodes electric piano with some Latin beats thrown in.

 

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Kruder & Dorfmeister: The K&D Sessions (G-Stone 1998)
Produced by: Kruder & Dorfmeister
A double-CD of remixes and dub from the laid-back Viennese duo. Although I find this release a bit overrated - with some of the tracks a bit "dark" for my taste - this fusion of 70's vibrations and 90's cool is nevertheless probably essential in every ambient collection. Check g-stoned.com for more info.

 

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Röyksopp: Melody AM (Astralwerks 2001)
Produced by: Torbjørn Brundtland & Svein Berge
Norwegian duo Röyksopp [Torbjørn Brundtland & Svein Berge] has made some excellent downbeat electronica of the new millennium, exemplified by singles like "Eple" and "Poor Leno". The album is a bit overrated though!

 

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Nitin Sawhney: Beyond Skin (Outcaste 1999)
Produced by: Nitin Sawhney
Great downtempo electronica with an Indian twist. A blend of classical, drum'n'bass, jazz, hip-hop, and Indian elements. The production is crystal-clear and the sound is quite lush, feat. instruments like tabla, piano and cello to equally beautiful effect. The album's political statements are quite clear in the intro/outro embedded samples of most songs.

 

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Shazz: Shazz (Sony France 1998)
Shazz: In The Light (Sony France 2001)

Produced by: Shazz
Two very good albums from one of France's most respected and renowned house producers. A smooth fusion of soul, R&B, house and jazz, with a perfect balance of vocals and instrumentals creating the perfect home listening soundtrack. Maybe a little uptempo for your average Chill Out session...more like pipe & slippers lounge jazz if you will. [Homepage]

 

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Thievery Corp.: The Richest Man In Babylon (8th Street Lounge 2002
Thievery Corp.: Culture Of Fear (8th Street Lounge 2011)
Thievery Corp.: Saudade (8th Street Lounge 2014)

Produced by: Rob Garza & Eric Hilton
Washington DC duo Rob Garza and Eric Hilton aka Thievery Corporation have come out of the studio to bring you their The Richest Man In Babylon. Typical Thievery Corp. downbeat, trip hop, dub, some oriental elements and guest vocals of Emiliana Torrini. Lounge music at its best! Their 7th offering Saudade is especially good! Great bossa-lounge-jazz for a lazy summer day.

 

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Tosca: Suzuki (G-Stone / Studio !K7 2000)
Tosca: Dehli9 (G-Stone / Studio !K7  2003)
Tosca: JAC (G-Stone / Studio !K7 2005)
Tosca: No Hassle (G-Stone / Studio !K7 2009)

Produced by: Richard Dorfmeister & Rupert Huber
Richard Dorfmeister's side project Tosca is in my opinion way better than Kruder & Dorfmeister [see above], which tends to be a little on the "dark" side for my taste. Both Suzuki and Dehli9 oozes quality. The latter is a double CD-set with a downbeat disc 1 featuring vocals on almost every track. Disc 2 is ultra ambient and based on Rupert Huber's "12 Easy to Play Piano Pieces", consisting of, yes, 12 piano pieces with some background atmosphere added for good measure. Their 2005 effort "JAC" also contains excellent downbeat electronica. Check g-stoned.com for more info.

 

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V/A: Buddha Bar vol. 1 & 2 + vol. 6 & 7
Compiled by: Claude Challe [vol.1&2] Ravin [vol.6] Ravin & Visan [vol.7]
Label: Chall'O Music/George V Records/Wagram
All of these "Chill with a touch of India" compilations are double CD sets containing "Buddha's Dinner" and "Buddha's Party". Claude Challe gives you the perfect ambience from one of Paris' coolest nightspots - the Buddha Bar. Volume 3, 4, 5 and 8 (Feb 06) are all a bit too much India-influenced for my taste, but vol. 6 and 7 are both excellent compiled by Ravin.

 

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V/A: Café del Mar vol. 1-21 (Cafe del Mar Music/Mercury)
Compiled by: Vol.1-6 by Jose Padilla.
The mother of all Chill Out compilations, and a sure sign of summer in Europe when yet another volume in this excellent series is available. Vol. 1 was released in 1994 and Vol. 21 in June 2015. [cafedelmarmusic.com]

 

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V/A: Comfort Zone vol. 1-5 (Comfort Zone/Repertoire)
Compiled by: ?
A very good alternative to Cafe Cafe del Mar series. Always seems to compile the right tracks to create a perfect downbeat ambience. The German sung "Kisses" by Bent on volume 3 is a killer!

 

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V/A: DJ Pippi Presents Undiscovered Ibiza vol. 1-5 (Undiscovered Recordings)
Compiled by: DJ Pippi
Five really excellent compilations of relaxing Chill Out music compiled by Italian born DJ Pippi, - top Ibiza DJ since the late 70's. Volume 3 contains a superb version of the Floaters classic soul ballad "Float On" done by Mystic Diversions. Both volume 4 and 5 are double-CD sets and equally excellent! [www.undiscovered.co.uk]

 

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V/A: DJ Pippi Presents Ibiza - A Touch Of Class vol. 1-4 (Aluminum)
Compiled by: DJ Pippi
Four excellent compilations of relaxing Chill Out music compiled by Italian born DJ Pippi, - top Ibiza DJ since the late 70's. Vol. 4 was released in 2010.

 

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V/A: Hotel Costes vol. 1-15 (Wagram)
Compiled by: Stephane Pompougnac/Various
A series of compilations with some of the best mid-tempo grooves that can be heard anywhere, and evokes the atmosphere of the Hotel Costes, -  which is just a minute away from the ultra chic Place Vendome in the heart of Paris. The 7. offering "Sept" is especially good.

 

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V/A: Fruit 1-7 (Lemon, Melon, Lychee, Rambutan, Orange, Coconut, Kiwano) (Music Park Records)
Compiled by: M.
Whoever M is, he's done a great job with the Fruit series. "Vol. 1 - Lemon" is probably the best but they are all very good compilations of laid back, mostly instrumental grooves.

 

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V/A: Lounge Deluxe vol. 1-4 (Cinq Etoiles)
Compiled by: Monte LaRue
All mixed by Belgian-born/Amsterdam-based lounge guru Monte LaRue and containing tracks by Nightmares on Wax, Sven Van Hees, Afterlife, Thievery Corp, and Monte LaRue himself. Volume 3 is especially good. The track "Sometime last night" by Hot Toooy, containing a sample from "Such a Lady" by the Commodores is a killer! La Rue's Thursday nights as a DJ at NL - Nieuwezijds Lounge - in Amsterdam is the in-spot for the young scenesters of style-conscious Amsterdam. LaRue is also responsible for the artistic direction of the Cinq Etoiles-label.

 

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V/A: Morning Side Of Love vol. 2 (Irma 2002)
Compiled by: Umbi Damiani
With the second volume Irma have been digging deeper towards the acoustic sound and a variety of genres. Orchestral sounds, jazz/funk and progressive rock ballads may at first look like an odd mix, but it turns out that they actually blend together perfectly! An excellent double CD containing gems by Eddie Harris, Mark & Almond, Roy Ayers, Rufus & Chaka, Loose Ends, Bobby Lyle, El Chicano, Bill Withers, Mandrill, Bill Conti, Alphonse Mouzon, Gordon Lightfoot, Traffic, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Colosseum, Ramsey Lewis and Engelbert Humperdinck. Well done!

 

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V/A: Serve Chilled vol. 1-3 (Hed Kandi 1999-2001)
Compiled by: Mark Doyle
V/A: Serve Chilled 2006 (Hed Kandi 2006)
V/A: Serve Chilled 2007 (Hed Kandi 2007)
V/A: Serve Chilled 2008 (Hed Kandi 2008)
The famous UK label Hed Kandi are probably best know for it's many dance compilations, but the "Serve Chilled" and "Winter Chill" [below] series are both excellent double CD sets of Chill Out/Downtempo. After 5 years in silence, (vol. 3 was released in 2001) the series reappeared in 2006!

 

 

V/A: Winter Chill vol. 1-6 (Hed Kandi)
Compiled by: Mark Doyle
The Hed Kandi Label has several Chill Out compilations and the "Serve Chilled" and "Winter Chill" series are all excellent double CD sets. The Winter Chill series is a bit on the darker side of chill, but nevertheless quite good.

 

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Vangelis: Oceanic (WEA 1996)
Produced by: Vangelis
One of many albums from this very talented Greek. Maybe not real "Chill Out", but it has the relaxing beach & ocean feeling and sound, and it works for me. 

 

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Zero 7: Simple Things (Ultimate Dilemma 2001)
Produced by: Zero 7
An excellent Chill album from UK remixing duo Zero 7. 70's orchestral soul meets French critically acclaimed Chill/Ambient duo Air. For more of the same, check out their 2004 album "When It Falls".

 

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