Downtempo (or downbeat) is a style of modern electronic music. As a music genre is typified by the slow tempo mostly breakbeat. Downtempo is close to trip hop but not so pressing and depressing.
Birth: 1994 Bloom: 1998
The breaking of beats is achieved by an offset of downbeat to upbeat (syncopation) or simultaneous combinations of two and more independent rhythms (polyrhythms). Downtempo is similar to ambient music but has more distinct rhythmic structure that often contains of hypnotic loops.
In the 1990s slower paced music emerged and became popular, it was played throughout chillout rooms—the relaxation sections of the clubs. Downtempo music started to surface around Ibiza, where DJs and promoters would bring down the vibe with slower rhythm and gentler electronic music upon approaching sunrise. In 1994, trip hop emerged from Bristol, which combined low frequency elements of hip hop beats, drum and bass breaks, and ambient atmospheres at a lower tempo. At the end of the 1990s downtempo finally became an independent style characterized by melodic sounds created with electronic instruments and synth sounds.
In the late 1990s, the Austrian duo Kruder & Dorfmeister popularized the style with their downtempo remixes of pop, hip-hop songs with influences of the '70s soul jazz. Britons Steve Cobby and Dave McSherry, performing under the name Fila Brazillia, released a number of downtempo, electronica and ambient techno albums that propelled the style further. Meanwhile, the American duo Thievery Corporation have introduced their own interpretation of Brazil composer, arranger and artist Antonio Carlos Jobim`s music, they enriched the style further by combining elements of Jamaican dub and reggae.
In 2000s not commercial downtempo got its own big stars. Downtempo as one of leading musical elements was included in popular albums by Moby, Morcheeba, Bonobo, Telepopmusik, Zero 7 and Gabin. Nevertheless, these and other artists didn`t continue to play downtempo and labels stopped producing only downtempo music. In other words, the term downtempo just went out of fashion but the amount of this music doesn`t decrease.
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