Search for Music Here

Thievery Corporation, DJ Kicks Review
It seems Studio K7 do no wrong when its comes to their widely adored DJ Kicks series. The German label has showcased the record-selecting talents of DJs and producers from around the world, and in doing so has become a reliable brand name for quality home listening. This installment has Thievery Corporation, Washington, D.C.'s masters of the mellow groove, flexing their skills. The mood across the disc's 18 tracks is decidedly laid-back, but eclectically so.... This is easy listening for the hipster set; background music for the space-age dinner party. --Courtney Reimer
Download and listen to "It Takes a Thief" from this CD (MP3 format)
More info, listen to samples, download free MP3s

No Noise, Chakra Lounge

emusic - Chakra Lounge by No Noise is a superb collection of down-tempo electronic lounge with an international flavor. Soothing electronic melodies and sounds join with percussive down-tempo loops dotted with vocals and vocal textures. Welcome to the future of world lounge.

elise - Who are these guys? I stumbled upon this album while perusing and fell in love with it. Love the Buddhist undertones. It is my favorite in this category.
More info, listen to samples, download free MP3s

Om Lounge, Vol. 4 Review
The fourth installment in the Om label's highly regarded lounge series is probably worth getting solely for the opening track, a remix of Beanfield's "The Season" (which improves on one of the best tracks from their 1999 release, Human Patterns). A conga-fueled rhythmic river flows inexorably over a syncopated but loose jazzy bottom end with a circle of electric piano chords supported by cello floating above. The vocals alternate between Blake-like pastoral-mystic spoken segments and an understatedly beautiful melody that mysteriously distributes the lyrical syllables at uneven intervals across the bar lines.
Download and listen to "The Reason" from this CD (MP3 format)
More info, listen to samples, download free MP3s

Nightmares on Wax - Carboot Soul
Like other DJ composers, Nightmares on Wax mentalist George "Herbs" Evelyn has stopped flea-market shopping for vinyl records out of car trunks (boots, if you're English) and started rummaging around in his own mind. The gorgeous retro soul strings, vocal choruses, and chill-out trip-hop he finds rolling easy up there in his fog bank are a definite maturation of the Philly-soul redub and bass-boss Barry White attitude that was pioneered on 1995's Smoker's Delight. Since then, though, Evelyn has scratched a ton of vinyl to get to the truth: nothing is warmer than live bodies. This album was still made with a drum machine and just enough wax to keep it in the boot, but bass, keys, guitar, and vocals are live.
More info, Listen to samples (Amazon)
More info, listen to samples, download free MP3s (emusic)

Air - Moon Safari Review
French duo Air's debut album is a superlatively happy collection of experimental disco-mood sound nestled between ambient soundscape and breathy pop. It's jazzy and melodic, and mostly laid-back, but not excessively so. There are a few shake-it, shake-it numbers, too, like the absurdly daft hit "Sexy Boy." It's snap your fingers and hang out (while reading) music or dance around sexy-slow with your mate music. It's also the perfect music to do your ironing or some other chore to; it's hypnotizing wallpaper music. It slips in and out of your consciousness, forcing you to move around with a relaxed smile before you even realize it. Oh, and contrary to sampler fashion, Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoit Dunckel played the instruments themselves. Bravo. --Mike McGonigal
Download and listen to "Playground Love [Vibrophone Version]" from this Artist on the "Virgin Suicides Soundtrack" CD (MP3 format)
More info, Listen to Samples

Groove Armada, Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub) Review
Following a tide of critical acclaim and numerous appearances on every other chill-out compilation since records began, Groove Armada's Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub) has an awful lot to live up to. Vertigo, released in February 2000, was a phenomenal success, critically and commercially, spawning hits like "If Everybody Looked the Same" and the sun-drenched "At the River." Having found their niche in downbeat, Groove Armada explore the style even further on Country. Goodbye Country is another musical triumph for Groove Armada, with every track as good as the one before. --David Trueman

elise - Favorite tracks are #4 Little by Little, and #6 My Friend
Listen to "M 2 Many" from this artist on their "I am Fearless Funky & Five" CD (MP3 format)
More info, listen to samples

Massive Attack, Protection Review
Bristol's Massive Attack released a classic with their first album, Blue Lines, but only those who were paying careful attention noticed; soon, they were overshadowed by the likes of Tricky and Portishead, who were colleagues. But not so after the release of Protection, which sported a massive hit and was just as critically acclaimed as their first album. Eschewing the showmanship of their scene mates, Massive prefer subtler soundscapes and using a diverse range of vocalists who give them a number of flavors and moods with which to work. Protection is an understated album with a rich palette; it reveals more of itself on repeated listens, growing better--and deeper--each time. --Randy Silver
More info, listen to samples.

Up, Bustle, & Out - Light 'Em Up Blow 'Em Out

MTV Review
Traversing the globe like a private air balloon, UB&O touch down in arid Sahara plains, mysterious middle eastern bars, and languid Brazilian rainforests. This collective handles their duties so seamlessly that you can't detect where the turntables flow in and the live instruments flow out. With an undertow of Meters-like funk drumming navigating our direction, Up, Bustle and Out lift off on one flotatingly evocative journey.
More info, listen to samples.

Nitin Sawhney, Prophecy Review
With Beyond Skin, Nitin Sawhney set a high bar for global fusion music. Now he's raised it with Prophesy, taking advantage of a larger budget to bring in Indian strings, a South African choir, a Chicago cabbie, soul singer Terry Callier, and Nelson Mandela, among many other things. But what could have been an awkward grab bag of sound comes together under Sawhney's sure hands and inspired songwriting. He makes the unusual work. But this is more than a collection of great tunes--it's an album that ponders the way our world and civilization is developing, asking questions and challenging assumptions while still delivering some sumptuous grooves and melodies. It all culminates with the title track, on which Sawhney's acoustic guitar and the vocals of the London Community Gospel Choir provide a piece of quiet, hypnotic intensity. Thought provoking, intelligent, and mature, Prophesy is the work of someone who deserves to be called an artist. --Chris Nickson
More info, listen to samples.

Zero 7, Simple Things Review
Zero 7's ability to conjure beautiful lullabies with all the romance of 1960s French pop (as found on their debut LP, Simple Things) would have made them the toast of soundtrack composers and chill-out connoisseurs the world over. Unfortunately, two Frenchmen beat Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker to the title of "masters of comedown cool," leaving the London duo to be forever called "the British Air." And this is fair; the similarities between Zero 7's lush cinematic soundscapes and those of Air's Moon Safari and the Virgin Suicides score are so strong as to sound almost intentional. Nonetheless, their debut is a truly gorgeous album. It has all the tried and tested atmospheric tricks--bleeps and whooshes layered over plodding Fender Rhodes chords, swathes of strings and tender trumpet parps--but it's Binns and Hardaker's languid grooves and the soft melancholy of their melodies that make dream-state instrumentals "Give It Away" and "Polaris" utterly enchanting. The real power of Simple Things, however, is in its songs. As beautiful as the ambient strains are, when laid beneath the seductive vocals of Australian diva Sia on the ethereal "Destiny" or the heart-breaking "Distractions," their potency becomes apparent. --Dan Gennoe
Download and listen to "Destiny" from this CD (MP3 format)
More info, listen to samples.

Buddha Bar presents Chillout in Paris

French-born David Visan (son of a Vietnamese mother and a Romanian father) returned to his native country after attending music classes in Los Angeles, CA. Soon, his ethnic influences combined with contemporary rhythms became a well-crafted cultural blend performed while DJing at Buddha, an exotic bar located in downtown Paris founded by Raymond Visan and Tierry Bégué in 1996 under a musical concept created by the French ambient pioneer Claude Challe. As arranger/producer, the Buddha Bar series deliver his talent to combine ancestral sounds and touches of electronic music. ~ Drago Bonacich, All Music Guide
More info ('s Best of 2001
A collection of three EPs released in limited quantities by this London duo (Nick Franglen and Fred Deakin), is what happens when you mix electronic psychedelia with downtempo beats, a selection of warm and organic sounds, a splash of sunshine, and a big dose of smiles. Coming across like a series of electronic fairy tales designed for warm, hazy afternoons in the park, Lemon Jelly are all about a good time, chill style. Kruder & Dorfmeister would approve, as would the Orb, but Lemon Jelly also have a stoner's sense of humor to accompany their warmly chaotic mixes. Take "A Tune for Jack," with its big sea elephants and smooth high-synth sound that evokes the Parisian duo Air, and then try the amusingly instructional voiceover during "The Staunton Lick." Both illustrate clearly that for Lemon Jelly there are no rules other than to let your imagination (fueled as it might be) wander where it must. Indeed, one of the most delightful things about this album, as you meander through stunningly lush pastures like "Homage to Patagonia" and the melancholic romance of "Kneel Before Your God," is its ability to marry great music with a genuine sense of goodwill and happy disorder. If Alice ever did manage to hear some tunes as she tripped about Wonderland, must have been the soundtrack she enjoyed. --Steffan Chirazi
Download and listen to "The Staunton Lick" from this CD (MP3 format)
More info, listen to samples.


home | quotes | music | recipes | weblog | book reviews