Top Ten Chillwave Trax! by Will Dunn (aka StrangeFlow, aka 5ifty$ix K)
So, in the last few years, there’s been a new sound in music.. For now, I’m going to refer to it as ‘chillwave,’ as some other folks have been – but really, it’s a loosely applied label. It’s a broad-ranging sound, and really, it’s best to understand it (in my opinion) as more of a mood that’s taken told, rather than a genre. Alternative r&b is another label given to it. Or, just ‘vibes.’ Some of it you could call downtempo-wonky, an some of it has a decidedly throwback 80s-shoegaze-y feel to it, as well. But, as I said, it’s better to understand it, for the time being (again, in my opinion) as more of a mood that’s gotten bigger in the last few years, perhaps as a cultural shift has taken place. When you’re done raging out, and want some chill grooves (but still want the same drum boxes, grooves, and aesthetics as what you might hear in electronic or hip hop music, you might journey over to the smoking lounge, put on some chillwave shit, and chill.
Modern, retro, lush, chill, thick, vibey, and dreamy; these are all, in a surprisingly cohesive way, descriptions of this sound. As with much of the music of the Internet Generation (Ha, yea that’s right – I’m not calling it Generation Y. Sorry, condescending Baby Boomers) there is such a willingness of young people to learn about and engage themselves in a large range of artistic and musical styles that a music as open and loosely as chillwave was bound to emerge.
Also, it’s good to point out that this is often how new styles of music have always organically emerged, until corporate media whores like Rolling Stone, NME, MTV (or the idiots at VH1) pick up on – and over-label the fuck out of – it, stagnate it, look for their “Kurt Cobain” of the art form, and then, a few years later, declare it ‘passed it’s peak;’ only to pick up on the next wave of music they can jerk off and sell back to us in a cheaper, triter shell.
Or, you could look at it from a much simpler angle; people need music to chill out to, and this shit is modern chill out music, plain and simple. I say, since there are so many variations of modern hip hop-ish / electronic-ish / retro-80s-ish lush of chill out music, I’m happy to just find some good tunes and go with ’em. Eh?
Hell, I’ll probably have to do a top ten for wonky, a top ten for alt. r&b, top ten for shoegaze shit, eventually to; just to differentiate a bit. Though if there’s crossover, that’s fine. This top ten is ALL about crossover, really.
OK, Let’s get to it!
10. Washed Out – Feel it All Around
9. Neon Indian – Polish Girl
8. Flying Lotus – Massage Situation
7. Lindsay Lowend – Mmmmm
6. Flying Lotus – RobertaFlack(Mike Slott’s Other Mix)
5. Luvian – Haze
4. Samiyam – Return
I can say, from personal experience, that Samiyam is GREAT sex music ;)
3. Teedra Moses – Be Your Girl (Kaytranada Extended Edition)
2. Samiyam & Hudson Mohawke – Eff This – Juice Vol. 88
1. Xxyyxx – About You