Sharing stuff I've learned, and things I've thought about...

Downtempo

Loving music as I do, one of my daydreams is to be a radio DJ. However, the time slot that I’d want is the midnight-to-5AM shift.

I fondly recall radio hosts from that time slot going all the way back to Don Zee on WXYZ back in the early 60’s during the time my formative pre- to post-pubescent brain was being infected with the sounds of R&B and Rock & Roll. Liz Copeland on WDET was the last great graveyard-shift radio host in my life.

Another reason for my fondness for this time of day is that some of my favorite music has always been stuff that is perfect for that wonderful place where 99% of the world is asleep, all is quiet and serene, and just a little mysterious…

About a decade or so ago, I discovered that there is an entire musical genre called Downtempo that is perfect 12-5 music, and is probably what I listen to more often than anything else. It’s a fairly broad sub-genre of Electronic music that encompasses (depending on where you look up the definition) several sub-genres including Drum ‘n’ Bass, Trip-Hop, Acid Jazz and others.

If you explore this genre, you will eventually encounter many recognizable sounds as it seems that Downtempo tracks are widely used commercially as incidental music, such as in commercials or as segue music on news and magazine-style programming.

One of my recent finds in this genre is an artist who goes by the moniker Rithma. I couldn’t find any true videos, but this post on YouTube will at least give you a taste of his work, which is heavily jazz-influenced. Again, excuse the commercial…