By: Ben Houston
And so begins our journey into the infinite abyss of chill. This chart is for driving along coastline highways, laying fireside with your boo, hugging sand and sipping mai tais, for closing your eyes with headphones on, exploring alternate digital universes. As captain of this ship my goal is to share some tunes that compliment that beautiful moment or transport you to a silky, sexy, smooth dreamscape. We’ve got chillwave, chillhop, downtempo, tropical pop, lo-fi, glo-fi, slow burners, vapor waves, lounge beats, future R&B soul, seductive synths and dreamy vocals all ready to leave you grinning and glowing. To kick things off I’ve selected a group of this month’s most delicious tracks you might hear at a groovy koala bear party. And who doesn’t want to party with koala bears?! Lets make moves and start grooves...
1. “Aerodynamic” X3SR
X3SR takes us to the waters edge of their hometown Miami, where we soak in its warm rays and ride the tubular tunage. The percussion pallet is rich with bongo pops and hi-hats and the beachy electric guitar haunts this sunset synth journey. You can certainly hear influences of Tycho in this trio’s work and they’re following in those large footsteps quite well.
2. “Vibe Walk” Kendrick Lamar vs. Tycho (Break Science Remix), PL Music
The Brooklyn duo Break Science have blessed our ears with an end of summer heater in this mashup of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and Tycho’s “A Walk”. Having traveled with Pretty Lights as part of his live band these guys know how to bring it hard and sweet. Its a fresh fusion of flow and floating ambience that celebrates two of the greats in their own genres. This one is going on repeat. Bravo!
3. “Eat The Sun” Tora, Bloom Music
This future R&B smoothie is made with 100% grooveberry juice and boy is it delicious. The dips, clicks and pops tick along behind our singers soulful performance and we are left with a sunkissed single that represents the groups coastal Aussie roots quite perfectly. Look for them on tour with Miami Horror in the coming months.
4. “Spiders Soul” Boats
Melbourne’s Boats has created a dreamy slow burner that has me second guessing my dislike of spiders. The folk/rock electric guitar backbone transitions into ripping synth womps and a floaty electronic dreamscape emerges. The place this song takes you to is a beautiful land with cascading digital waterfalls of the coolest fresh sounds. Excited to hear more!
5. “Vu feat. Clap! Clap!” Populous, Bad Panda Records
Populous has spent the last six years traveling the mysterious, tranquil and lush parts of the globe and his new album “Night Safari” intends to sample a little bit of everything he’s experienced along the way. Sampling exotic, worldly snippets from his travels mixed with experimental electronic soundscapes, it blends together to create a full global adventure in your ears. Check out the tribal influenced “Vu” featuring vocals by Clap! Clap! for just one stop on his long awaited album due in September.
6. “Don’t You Mind” Thrupence, Future Classic
Thrupence is the Robin to Tycho’s Batman. Known more for their luscious, roaming sounds, they also moonlight as incredible visual designers. I recommend scrolling through his Tumblr (http://jackvanzet.tumblr.com/) while taking a listen to this beaut from his forthcoming album “Lessons”, due out next month from Future Classic. He’s offering up a free download so put it on your phone and press play when you find yourself in a beautiful place out of cell reception. It’ll be the perfect escape for your escape.
7. “Stay With Me” FURNS
The downtempo Danish duo FURNS delivers a second seductive single from their upcoming album and this one is just good for the soul. Crooned by vocal guest Monika Faludi and soaked with floating glimmers of piano and soft guitar picks, it gives off the sweetest aroma for the ears. Cuddle up to someone and fall into it together.
8. “Aura” STWO
The french producer STWO has arrived. Known for a handful of lavish R&B remixes, he has emerged recently as a staple in the chillwave, chill-hop arena. This new single “Aura” will certainly get those heads bobbin and hips groovin to sexy hip-hop infused beats.He has a lot more in store with a North American October tour complimenting Snakehips and a new EP later in the fall.
9. “Stay” Haukjem, Ensis Records
This tropical house jammer washes over you with its warm water vibes and happy flute melody. The summer days are hot, the drinks are cold and the tropical tunes are pouring in after the likes of Kygo and Thomas Jack have brought it to the electronic mainstream. Norway’s Haukjem joins the ranks of these young, island-influenced producers and we are happy to dance in the sand alongside him. Take a vaycay from life and “Stay” awhile.
10. “Manzoni” New Mantra
You know a song is good when it can evoke the feelings of those soft, seductive moments intertwined with your boo on a rainy day. The echoing sample “love you” that floats by in this wrapped up wave of chill certainly will bring you to a pleasant place and that is a torturously good thing. The UK’s Sam Cooper aka New Mantra has created an original track that has skyrocketed him to one of my favorite emerging chillwavers. Can’t wait for more!
Check out the full chart on Soundcloud!