The duo of Maribou State have come a long way from impressing Fatboy Slim with their remix of Praise You that landed them on his label. Last year, they dropped their debut album, Portraits (YT playlist, Bandcamp), "occupying a space somewhere between ambient electronic and a more house-nodding, four on the floor sensibility," and they had the honor of getting the first Essential Mix for 2016 (Mixcloud; Soundcloud). “We don’t set out to make celestial, sublime music. We aim for something more uptempo and less atmospheric. But that’s the way it comes out.” [more inside]
From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
Looking for some instrumental, funky, downtempo and slightly sinister soundtrack music? Klint, who as worked on soundtracks before, including Snatch, has released his own soundtrack album, Nothing Left Of Us (stream and download for a limited time from Soundcloud). News of this new album comes from Cheap Thrills Music, a label run by Joshua 'Hervé' Harvey. Both Cheap Thrills and Hervé have more tracks and mixes up on Soundcloud, including plenty of streaming sounds a few free downloads from each, though that's more of deep and dirty house, as heard in Hervé's Hate On Me mixtape (stream/dl), and from the "Tear The House Up" from Hervé x Zebra Katz (Official Music Video, NSFW lyrics).
The Roots of Orchis (Facebook page) don't seem to be active much these days, but sometimes it's nice to look back. Their peak was probably their 2002 album, Some Things Plural (Bandcamp), which blends the mellow post-rock styles of Tortoise with the downtempo, instrumental hip-hop grooves of early era DJ Shadow. For example, the first track "develops into a smooth post-rocking instrumental with a dusty groove that never imagines itself any more pimped out than it is." For another fantastic blend of relaxed instruments and subtle turntablism, check out their take on Björk's Possibly Maybe, from the Read: Interpreting Björk compilation. [more inside]
If you like your hip-hop moody, jazzy, or downtempo, Cult Classic Records might scratch your itch, with more than 20 releases streaming on Bandcamp, plus 17 clips on YouTube, though most are still images with music.
Trip-hop/downtempo DJ and producer Wax Tailor (autoplay media) just released Dusty Rainbow from the Dark (album trailer), a narrated concept album about childhood, melancholia, and escapism. Two videos Time to Go (featuring Aloe Blacc) and Heart Stop (featuring Jennifer Charles) have been released. The album combines vocal collaborations with movie-line heavy compositions constructed through the turntable and sampler. (An earlier example is I Don't Know from Tales of Forgotten Memories.) [more inside]
September 2010 marked 20 years of Ninja Tune, the independent label formed by the duo known as Coldcut. Starting with an album by the duo that they released under a different group name, the small UK label has since spiraled out to include three separate imprints (plus an artist-specific mini-label), with an extensive collection of singles, EPs and albums from an ever-growing list of artists. More history in words, music and video awaiting inside... [more inside]
Blu Mar Ten is an electronic-type production group that started out in the mid 1990s as the duo Leo Wyndham and Chris Marigold. Initially making drum'n'bass in an atmospheric vein and dropping their first single in 1996, the duo signed to LTJ Bukem's Good Looking label the next year, where they resided until 2001. After parting ways with GLR, they mixed things up and dropping a UK Garage/breaks single, a techno single, and even a mashup of Thin Lizzie and The Carpenters, all before finally releasing their first album in late 2003. Jump ahead to 2009, and the duo is a trio, with two more albums to their collective name, and their revamped website that is now home to a collection of mixes new and old, a growing collection of videos, and a peak into the evolution of a track. [more inside]
Originally the lead singer of Morcheeba, Skye Edwards has released two solo albums: Mind How You Go in 2006, and Keeping Secrets in 2009. [more inside]
You might have noticed his work in the collection of Windows 7 sample media, alongside a koala, penguins and a jellyfish, a piano tune and a version of Debussy's "Maid with the Flaxen Hair", or maybe his ditties got you tapping your toes in a video game. Perhaps you met him at his tea shop in Manchester (Google Streetview), home to his own line of organic teas. Maybe you know him for his marathon mixsets, running four, five, six, or almost seven hour long. You might know him as Andy Carthy, but it's a bit more likely you've already heard something of Mr. Scruff. [more inside]
The Heavy performing on Late Night, with "an unprecedented encore by request from Dave." (second video courtesy CBS, including off-air encore) [more inside]
The story starts in 1992 or so, when the 14 year old Brit, Dominic Stanton, bought turntables and started spinning early drum'n'bass. He transitioned from DJ to producer, made demo tracks, and got signed by age 17. He went on to produce broken beat* and jazzy downtempo*, even into the realm of disco edits. Then about two weeks ago, the 31 year old musician called it quits.
The point is that I am no longer Domu. He is a character, always has been, and as of Friday 13th November 2009, he no longer exists. Neither does Umod, Sonar Circle, Bakura, Yotoko, Rima, Zoltar, Blue Monkeys, Realside or any of the other names I put out music under. I am cancelling all my gigs and not taking any more. My hotmail is closed, my Twitter is closed and my Facebook is closed.Furthermore, his website is closed and the original post of his farewell message is lost, though you can still view the cached version or find it copied elsewhere. Domu's website now simply states This really is The End . . . Step inside for an abbreviated journey. [more inside]
Nouvelle Vague covers New Wave and Punk (MLYT) Nouvelle Vague (no, not this one) does Bossa Nova covers of New Wave and Punk songs, including: Dance with me (Lords of the New Church), Master and Servant (Depeche Mode), Love will tear us apart (Joy Division), Making plans for Nigel (XTC), Blue Monday (New Order), This is not a love song (PiL), The guns of Brixton (The Clash), and one NSFW title [more inside]
free downtempo music Try this or this if you like Thievery Corporation or maybe Brian Eno. Or Boards of Canada.
Properly Chilled, "a great guide to the downtempo music scene/lifestyle, spotlighting not only the essential release reviews, label/artist profiles and other data on the genre but also exclusive DJ mixes and all kinds of other goodies" (via). Check out the totally free, totally chill Radio Jazztronica #3 mix from DJ Chicken George. It's 55+ minutes of "unpredictable, energetic and heart-felt" downtempo that packs a serious punch. Did I mention it's free?
Bedroom Music for Bedroom People A veritable treasure trove of hours and hours of mixes of fine abstract headphone-fodder of varying flavours, be it compelling hiphop or weirdo IDM or just etcetera. A fine way to pass a lazy Sunday away ...