[ Gunnar Homdrum, Marbella, Spain © 2004 - 2005 ]

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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.

Check out LoudMusic.dk for more on the Lounge/Chill Out sound…


Correct Chill Out accessory:
The Le Corbusier LC4 lounge chair



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
If you don’t find it here, – forget it!

Famous Name Changes
Wonder what their real name is?

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?

Ultimate Band List
More info, sound samples and links

…and yes, – just what you were looking for!
Misheard Lyrics Archive
Hilarious! " ‘scuse me, while I kiss this guy"
Afterlife: Simplicity – 1999
Produced by: ?
Label: Hed Kandi
It’s a good chance you’ll find a track by Afterlife on most of the Chill Out compilations. "Simplicity" contains 12 great Balearic Chill Out tracks. Check hedkandi.com for more info.
Pit Baumgartner: Fräuleinwunder – 2003
Produced by: Pit Baumgartner
Label: Universal Jazz Germany
Excellent bossa flavored downbeat solo album from De Phazz member.
Bent: The Everlasting Blink – 2003
Produced by: 
Label: Sport
A bit smoother than their 2001 debut album "Programmed To Love", this is way 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. Check bent-world.com.
De Phazz: Godsdog – 1999
De Phazz: Death By Chocolate – 2001
Label: Mole
De Phazz: Natural Fake – 2005
Label: Universal Jazz Germany
Produced by: Pit Baumgartner
Three superb downbeat cool-jazz albums with a touch of Latin from German group De Phazz. "Death.." is particularly good [the great digi-pack cover is alone worth the album :-] 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]. More on www.de-phazz.com. Also check out the superb Death By Chocolate flash site.
dZihan & Kamien: Gran Riserva – 2002
Produced by: dZihan & Kamien
Label: Couch Records
More then two years after their debut album "Freaks & Icon", Dzihan & Kamien are back on track with the album "Gran Riserva".
Buy it at amazon.com
Sven van Hees: Gemini – 1999
Sven van Hees: Calypso – 2002
Sven van Hees: Synesthesia – 2005

Produced by: Ramon Serrano aka Sven Van Hees 
Label: Life Enhancing Audio
Belgian producer & DJ Ramon Serrano has created the sound of passion in the coolest way possible. Complete with seagulls and ocean sounds in the background, Gemini is a classic in this genre! The 2002 "Calypso" and the 2005 "Synesthesia" are both slightly more uptempo and funkier, but should nevertheless also be checked out. Rumors has it that he’s working on Gemini II which is scheduled for release spring 2006.
Buy it at amazon.com
Monte La Rue: Interludia – 2002
Produced by: Monte LaRue 
Label: Cinq Etoiles
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. Cinq Etoiles Records
Jose Padilla: Souvenir – 1999
Jose Padilla: Navigator – 2001
Jose Padilla: Bella Musica – 2004
Jose Padilla: Man Ray 4 – 2005

Produced by: Jose Padilla
Label: dro EastWest
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 his 2 latest offerings though – the 2004 "Bella Musica" and the 2005 "Man Ray 4" – he is is back to compiling favorite tracks. As with the 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, although "Man Ray 4" is a bit rougher and uptempo than usual.

Plastyc Buddha: Throwing Stones in Placid Pools – 2001
Produced by: Stephan Parmentier & Pieter Verschueren
Label: Life Enhancing Audio
Like the Van Hees album, this is also from Belgian 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.
Kruder & Dorfmeister: The K&D Sessions – 1998
Produced by: Kruder & Dorfmeister
Label: G-Stone Recordings
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.
Röksopp: Melody AM – 2001
Produced by: Torbjørn Brundtland & Svein Berge
Label: Astralwerks
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! [www.royksopp.com]
Shazz: Shazz – 1998
Shazz: In The Light – 2001

Produced by: Shazz
Label: Sony
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
Thievery Corp. – The Richest Man In Babylon – 2002
Produced by: Rob Garza & Eric Hilton
Label: 18th Street Lounge
Rob Garza and Eric Hilton aka Thievery Corporation have come out of the studio to bring you their new masterpiece 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. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. Their 2005 effort "The Cosmic Game" is more a broad sweep across very different musical styles like reggae/dub and  electronica/dance than your average chill soundtrack.
Tosca: Suzuki – 2000
Tosca: Dehli9 – 2003
Tosca: JAC – 2005

Produced by: Richard Dorfmeister & Rupert Huber
Label: G-Stone Recordings
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.
Buy it at amazon.com
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 and 5 are a bit too India-influenced for my taste, but vol. 6 and 7 (Feb.2005) are both excellent compiled by Ravin.
V/A: Café del Mar vol. 1-12
Compiled by: Vol.1-6 by Jose Padilla. Vol.7, 9, 10 and 11 by Bruno. Vol.8 by Neville & Cherrill, Vol.12 by]
Label: Various/Cafe del Mar Music/Mercury
Probably 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. The 2005 "Volumen Doce" [12] is a double CD set and once again contains excellent laid back grooves. Check cafedelmarmusic.com
V/A: Comfort Zone vol. 1-5
Compiled by: ?
Label: Comfort Zone/Repertoire
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!
Buy it at amazon.com
V/A: DJ Pippi Presents Undiscovered Ibiza vol. 1-5
Compiled by: DJ Pippi
Label: Undiscovered Recordings
Five 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
V/A: Hotel Costes vol. 1-8
Compiled by: Stephane Pompougnac/Various
Label: Wagram
A series of 7 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.
V/A: Ibiza Magic – Chill Out Trick
Compiled by: Jorge de Augustina
Label: Ibiza Magic
Jorge de Augustina has done an excellent job compiling the 12 easy listening tracks. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
V/A: Lemon Fruit
Compiled by: M.
Label: Musicpark
Whoever M is, he’s done a great job with the "Lemon Fruit" compilation, – except for the last track which in my opinion sucks and doesn’t fit in with the rest. Apart from that, it’s an excellent collection of laid back, mostly instrumental grooves.
V/A: Lounge Deluxe vol. 1-4
Compiled by: Monte LaRue
Label: Cinq Etoiles
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.
V/A: Morning Side Of Love vol. 2
Compiled by: Umbi Damiani
Label: Irma
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 perfectly together! 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! Also check out volume 1.
V/A: Serve Chilled vol. 1-3
Compiled by: Mark Doyle
Label: Hed Kandi
The Hed Kandi Label has several Chill Out compilations and the "Serve Chilled" and "Winter Chill" [further below] series are all excellent double CD sets. Volume 3 was released June 2001.
V/A: Science Fiction Jazz vol. 1-8
Compiled by: DJ Minus 8
Label: Mole
Volume 5 in the Science Fiction Jazz series is very good Ambient/Chill compilation with a touch of jazz. Lounge-jazz if you will… Check mole.de for more info.
Buy it at amazon.com
V/A: Winter Chill vol. 1-5
Compiled by: Mark Doyle
Label: Hed Kandi
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 "dark" side, but nevertheless very good. Volume 5 was released December 2004.
Vangelis: Oceanic – 1996
Label: WEA
Produced by: Vangelis
One of many albums from this very talented Greek. Maybe not real Chill, but it has the relaxing beach & ocean feeling and sound, and it works for me. 
Zero 7: Simple Things – 2001
Label: Ultimate Dilemma
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". Homepage at zero7.co.uk 

[ Gunnar Homdrum, Marbella, Spain © 2004 -2005 ]