There is nothing like finding this album that always sends you into a trance and makes you feel all zen.
More than ever, it is good to stay as relaxed and calm as possible and to cut yourself off from the noise.
Smooth Radio’s sister radio Smooth Chill is the home of Music to Chill To, and we’ve handpicked the best chillout albums of all time, for those times when you need about an hour of complete calm.
Boards of directors of Canada – Geogaddi
The second album by Scottish duo Boards of Canada, this release saw them move towards a darker style than their previous releases.
Member Michael Sandison may have described it as “a record for some sort of trial by fire, a claustrophobic, winding journey that takes you on some pretty dark experiences before you reach the open air again”, but it always transports us to another Place and time.
The xx – xx
A little more on the indie spectrum of chillout albums, but the early days of this band overlapped with diverse genres enough that we included them.
The LP has such an ethereal quality, helped in part by the effort put into the band during the recording process.
They would record the album the night after the label staff left, which singer Romy Croft said made it “isolated and pretty scary,” while she and Oliver Sim recorded the vocals at the same time, so they stayed. “synchronized” and shared the same mental state or mood. It worked.
Aqualung – Aqualung
Singer-songwriter Matt Hales’ debut album in 2002 proved that his surprise single “Strange & Beautiful” was not unique.
The independent piano-led album was amazingly recorded entirely in his hallway.
Thievery Corporation – The Richest Man in Babylon
Producers Rob Garza and Eric Hilton brought lounge music back to life in the electronic music era in the late 90s and early 2000s.
They incorporated bossanova, reggae and hip-hop sounds for their electro-acoustic style, and it was arguably their best release.
The 2002 album contains a mix of uplifting and soulful tracks, with singers like Emiliana Torrini and Pam Bricker.
Massive attack – Mezzanine
We could have picked any Massive Attack album for this list, but we went with the third release of the Trip-Hop Kings.
The inclusion of the iconic “Teardrop” is almost enough to have this level in the first place.
It was also impressive to create such an accomplished album given the difficulties involved. With tensions rising in the band, he almost split the band up at the time, as they disagreed over his musical direction from the start.
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II
Richard D James first came out selected ambient works 85-92, gradually launching the “ambient techno” style.
The follow-up was even more abstract and at times rather creepy (as you would expect from Aphex Twin), with each of his 24 tracks not having a title, but being identified only by images in the artwork. art, such as cliffs or grass. .
This helped heighten the feeling of being lost as a listener, but that doesn’t stop the album from being an overall chill-genre masterpiece.
Bent – Programmed to Love
It was the debut album by the Nottingham-based duo Bent, who were initially known for their mischievous use of sampling from their private record collections, an act they themselves called “dubious.”
Bonus: this is one of Michael Caine’s favorite bands. True story.
Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for airports
If there is one person who can be described as king of the environment (apart from Erik Satie before him), it would be Brian Eno.
For a number of his albums, the former Roxy Music man turned to ambient music to create a beautifully melodic new kind of LP. For this album, he tried to create a general mood in a way that no one had really done before.
The album is full of piano and synth melodies that move effortlessly through the air. It is guaranteed to make any visit to the airport 2000% more bearable.
Zero 7 – Simple things
Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker’s debut album perfectly summed up the emerging genre of early 2000s chillout.
Featuring the voice of a then unknown Sia alongside others, it was a downtempo album that took you to another sultry world. It was even nominated for the Mercury Prize at the time.
Royksopp – Melody AM
This was the debut album by Norwegian duo Royksopp, and it instantly cemented them as one of the flagship groups of the downtempo genre of the early 2000s.
Songs (and hits) like “So Easy”, “Eple”, “Remind Me” and “Poor Leno” made this album a staple no matter what kind of music you liked at the time.
Zero 7 – The Garden
Slightly overlooked compared to their first two albums, Zero 7 came back with an LP that took them in a new direction but didn’t lose their chillout roots.
By keeping Sia and recruiting folk singer Jose Gonzalez, The garden was a little more upbeat in style, and it deserves one or three more listenings.
Moby – Play
This slow-burning album eventually sold over 12 million copies, making it the most successful electronic album of all time.
Moby’s fifth album is sort of a masterpiece and only drops points on this list as it’s not primarily a chillout LP.
But with songs like ‘Porcelain’, ‘Natural Blues’ and ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?’ You can’t ignore it.
Zero 7 – When it falls
Zero 7’s second album saw them do everything they did with flying colors Simple things, but even better.
The sultry voices of artists such as Mozez, Sia and Sophie Barker were back, but she was much more mature and less “Ibiza afternoon” than her predecessor.
Jakatta – Visions
This album by DJ Dave Lee is sorely forgotten compared to the other releases on this list, but it deserves a second coming.
Jakatta scored a few hits in the early 2000s, including Thomas Newman sampling American dream, and the seal featuring My vision.
For his one and only album using the Jakatta moniker, Lee created a soundscape of relaxing brilliance. If you can find it, you won’t be disappointed.
Air – Lunar Safari
Released in 1998, French band Air’s debut album essentially set the standard for all downtempo and chillout albums that have emerged since.
With timeless tracks such as “Sexy Boy” and “All I Need”, this is truly the cold model.
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