Tag Archives: downtempo

THE ISTO – THE DREAMERS ROOM (Electronica/HipHop – US)

Based in Phoenix, Christopher Skelton (aka Christonious Monk) is a young writer, painter, beatmaker who is also one half of the brush and pen compound. For his most recent musical project, Chris decided to go by The Isto and it’s under this new moniker that he will release his debut EP this Thursday September 1st.

This super chilled out 6-track EP is called The Dreamers Room and you can already stream it in full HERE. To promote his self-produced, self-released debut, The Isto is giving away one track for free: “Keeping Light in Sight”. You can listen to this cool summer jam below and right-click and Save if you want to keep it.

The Isto - Keeping Light In Sight     

Based on sampled sounds and tight beats, the whole EP follows a relaxed pace, moving between hip hop and electronica with natural ease. At roughly two and a half minute each, the tracks on The Dreamers Room are concise but The Isto still manages to pack enough emotion in each of them to make them relevant.

And now for your listening pleasure, here are a couple of goodies: two more tracks that we found on Soundcloud. Just sit back and enjoy…

The Isto Feat. Tasse de Thé - Genesis     

Follow The Isto on Facebook or his official blog and stream his music on BandCamp.

MADELEINE BLOOM – MINUTIA (Electronica – Germany)

Hailing from Berlin, Madeleine Bloom is a self-described “musician, producer, singer, looper, mediadesigner, a bit of a tech nerd”. Often compared to such visionary artists as Björk, Kate Bush or Imogen Heap (with whom she actually shared stage last year), Bloom is a true multi-instrumentalist who likes to translate her emotions into a very personal blend of highly cinematic chamber electropop.

Last November, she released her debut album, Minutia, an eclectic collection of impassioned songs made of piano, mbira, upright bass, cello, strings, harps, ticking clocks, underground sounds, water, paper, coffee brewing, glass and lots of vocals. Madeleine set up a little home studio in her living room in Berlin, where she locked herself in for days on end lost in her own sonic world writing, recording and producing her album almost entirely alone.

She emerged with 12 quirky compositions that show her knack for intricate melodies and fragile, beautifully layered vocals.

In Time by Madeleine Bloom

A couple of months ago, Bloom released the perfect companion to her debut album: Mingle, a seven-track mini album of remixes submitted by different artists and selected by the Madeleine herself. It is available on a name-your-own-price basis on Bandcamp. Listen to James Merrifield’s remix of “Zero Tolenrance”. His rework is a light, summery, sixties-style girl-pop version of the original and it’s pretty effective!

Madeleine Bloom - Zero Tolerance (James Merrifield Remix)     

If you like what you hear, check out Madeleine’s official website or MySpace for more tunes. You can buy her music on Bandcamp or Madeleine Bloom

ALTRICE – STEM (Ambient/Downtempo – US)

Tucson-based producer Altrice came to public knowledge last year after winning the remix contest for the song “Sun” by Caribou. Blogs started to hail this artist’s production skills and even Caribou’s own Dan Snaith was genuinely moved by his work on “Sun”. So much so that when Altrice asked for the stems of all the tracks on the album Swim, Dan agreed right away and sent all the material.

It took Altrice a few months to complete a track by track remix of the album and the result is a mesmerising compilation called Stem. It uses samples from the original tracks and builds entirely new songs from there.

Altrice - Modern Song     

Dan Snaith described Stem as “beautifully simple – focusing on only a handful of elements but ingeniously reinventing them to make each song very much his own”.

Altrice - Siphon Away     

The whole album can be streamed on Soundcloud and there’s also an album of bonus tracks available HERE. If you like what you hear, visit Altrice on MySpace and please go on and buy his music on Altrice

COYOTE – TOO HARD (Electronica/Balearic – UK)

Coyote is a British duo comprised of Timm Sure and Ampo. Together they have been making sun-soaked downtempo electronica with Balearic and disco influences for the past decade. They are widely considered one of the main players in the Nu Balearic scene (think Aeroplane, Ceo, NUfrequency…) and release their music on their own label Is It Balearic.

Coyote - Too Hard (Aeroplane Remix)     

As a bonus, here’s a dazzling remix they did of International Peoples Gang’s “Second”. Isn’t it just what you need to have on your playlist for a perfect sunday evening? Waves of synths and cascading pianos? Yeah, I thought so too…

International Peoples Gang - Second (Coyote Remix)     

Find Coyote on MySpace and buy their EPs on Coyote

BONOBO – BLACK SANDS (Downtempo/TripHop – UK)


In the world on downtempo electronica, Bonobo has long been a benchmark for quality after party chilled grooves.

Simon Green, the British musician / producer / DJ who hides behind this simian stage name, released his first official track on the Tru Thoughts  compilation When Shapes Join Together in 1999 when he was barely 18. The song was followed by The Scuba EP and  Animal Magic, Bonobo’s debut album, released in 2000. This album was completely self-produced and mainly self-instrumented and its chilled, beat-driven music captivated the press and aroused the interest of many major labels (Mute, XL Recordings).

After signing to Ninja Tune in 2001, Bonobo released Dial ‘M’ For Monkey in 2003 and Days to Come in 2006. Following the success of Days to Come, his tracks have appeared in a number of media-related items. Days To Come was voted Best Album of 2006 by Gilles Peterson’s listeners.

Bonobo - If You Stayed Over (Feat Fink)     

In September 2009, Bonobo released the song “The Keeper”, with guest vocals courtesy of Andreya Triana, ahead of his fourth LP, Black Sands. The album hit the stores in March 2010 and was widely praised by critics for its use for its perfectly mastered use of orchestral strings, programed beats and often complex basslines. This sophisticated piece of work is one that will captivate the listener and reveal new layers with every listen.

Bonobo - 1009     

Find out more on MySpace. Buy the album on Bonobo

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