Monday, May 5, 2008

Great compilation to begin with...

Ultra Chilled 01-

After my first visit to the Irish bar where I first heard some great chillout music, I purchased Ultra Chilled 01. I believe this is a great compilation to introduce oneself to the genre. It has a great selection of chillout tracks with some well known artists and some unique to the genre. Among the 29 tracks on two discs, there are well over two hours of quality chillout tracks. Here are the highlights of Disc one. Since it’s late, I’ll cover the rest on the next post.

Dido- Here with Me (Chillin’ With the Family Mix)-

A pretty well known hit starts off Disc 1. The song was a bit overplayed on the radio when it was released, but this mix sets the tone for the rest of the compilation. The addition of a prelude with string instruments was welcomed and reassures the listener to relax and enjoy the music. The volume of the strings present in the album version of the song is brought down a bit and the drum track is brought up a bit, which makes a nice touch. The background vocals are brought down as well, which makes this version, in my opinion more enjoyable overall than the album one.

Sure Thing- St Germain

This is probably my favorite track on the entire two disc album. After a fade out of New Genius, this lively track kicks in a great beat with catchy, background vocals. Off of St Germain’s “Tourist,” I could listen to this one all night long.

Blindfold- Morcheeba

Another great early track. In fact, most of my favorites on this compilation are on disc 1, but disc 2 definitely does not disappoint. This track off of their second album Big Calm has a nice light feel with great vocals by Skye Edwards, bright sounding background strings, and has a great lead in to the next track “Bent,” which is a nice haunting number.

Eple- Röyksopp

After listing Sure Thing and Blindfold as early favorites, this peppy track is another light, airy number with heavier emphasis on electronic sounds. It’s a tad repetitive, but still accomplishes the goal of providing a soundtrack to chill.

Hymn of the Big Wheel- Massive Attack

This one seems grand in scale, but accomplishes it with minimal instrumentation accompanied by deep bass drum hits. A haunting, quiet outtro with thunder and rain sounds transitions nicely to Kruder & Dorfmeister’s “Original Bedroom Rockers.”

Destiny- Zero 7

Probably my 1-A favorite track behind Sure Thing. After hearing this song I was hooked on Zero 7 and went out and listened to as much as their stuff that I could find. Great vocals on this one by Sia Furler; strong enough to carry the song through, but delicate enough to still hear everything in the background. One of the most perfect chillout songs I have heard.

Daydream in Blue- I Monster

This one is currently being used in an AT&T cell phone commercial. Decent song, but very chopped up with different samples, strings, and other noise. The verses are good, but the rest is a mess. I just mentioned it since it’s on TV all the time now.

Anyway, the first disc is a great start to a terrific compilation for folks to introduce themselves to the genre.

Keep chillin’

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