Chillstep & Chillhop/LoFi

Discussion in 'Abbey Road' started by Madmick, Dec 5, 2018 at 3:29 PM.

  1. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    This is the most popular streamer on Twitch, now, and when I have watched him, I find myself wondering every time, "Who the hell is that? What song is that?" when he's in between games in the lobby. I find the sound so appealing. I'm not a big fan of vocals. I am drawn most to the electronica instrumental tracks with a jazz infusion to a hip-hop beat. Apparently they call this "Chillstep" or "LoFi".

    His subscribers appear to have crowdsourced to compile a list of songs heard on his stream. It's phenomenal:
    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3SMxYVYfmBFLwghKw23lon



    Here is the "Top Result" Chillstep playlist on Spotify, and it mentions other more obscure subgenres that I guess are in the same vein-- Liquid Dubstep, Melodic dubstep, Tropical House. Some of it is okay, but there are too many tracks with bland power-ballad vocals by some chick. It's like Ruelle without the punch. The vocals don't enhance the music. They just distract from and muddy the mood. I don't care for vocals with this style. It sort of defeats the purpose of the sound for me:
    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6IjDl5eRczFdgZkKYXhuHZ



    Anyone into this subgenre? Recommended YouTube/Spotify playlists or bands?
     
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  2. Hyperglide

    Hyperglide Maury Synthmas!

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    It's weird I should like chillstep bit I dont. I find the melodies to sophomoric and the drums to tinny and bland.

    I went through my spotify to see if I could find some chillstep but I had a tough time finding artists.

    If I wanna chill I put on chillwave. Have you tried that? If I wanna get the blood flowing I will put on some Neurofunk. Liquid you will probably like Mick. You suggested it as a comparable sub genre.

    Have you heard Flume? Good entry artist to the genre.

     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 4:47 PM
  3. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    This is easy listening for me. I suppose it is for me what Kenny G has been for Generation Jones & Baby Boomers. I really love jazz piano, and a lot of his tracks have very safe jazz piano lines that don't challenge the ear. A great example is the 5th song from Tfue's playlist. Has nice touch of the French cafe sound:



    That Flume song is alright. That's a bit more uptempo than I'm after, and it also has the chick vocals I don't really fancy. I like Synthwave in the 80's retro vein like you'd hear on Dr. Disrespect's channel, for example, which also tends to be instrumental only.

    I couldn't hear a meaningful difference in several of the top songs I found on the Top Result playlist for "Chillwave" from those in Tfue's playlist apart from the fact the melody-forward instrumentation tended to be more synthetic in Chillwave, versus the traditional acoustic piano (or muted trumpet) sound that carry a lot of those Tfue tunes, so I Googled to try to give me a concrete footing. This is what a Quora result had to say:
    https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-among-chillstep-chillwave-and-downtempo
    This explains why the Top Result Chillstep list I found on Spotify was littered with female vocals. Still, the songs on the Tfue list aren't really characterized by a "faded or dreamy retro pop sound", either, and without vocals, obviously rarely contain "escapist lyrics".
    I know Trip-Hop. It is easily distinguished from these other styles. So I went to Wiki for more clarification:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chillwave
    Meanwhile, Chillstep doesn't even have an English Wiki page, and it seems that it is really just the above style applied to Dubstep tracks:


    In the example I gave above, I guess the shift in the song @1:40 might reflect "the drop" from Dubstep-- Chillstep style. I don't hear anything invoking the 70's or 80's synthpop sounds in the Tfue playlist (i.e. "the analog instrumentation that evoked the popular music of the late 1970's and early 1980's"). That sound has its fingerprints all over Synthwave.

    It is going to take my ear a while before I think I'll be able to pick a Chillstep tune from a Chillwave tune (if there is enough of a difference to really feel it out on ear alone at all).
     

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  4. KAZSoliloquy

    KAZSoliloquy Pitchfork 10/10 Belt Yellow Card

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    i typically think of lo-fi as guided by voices, gary war, early ariel pink. i feel like an old man with all these terms changing.

    check out the majestic casual youtube channel if you’re into this shit. they’ve got heaps of that chilled out music.



    (love the how to dress well sample in this track)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 9:48 PM
  5. Couch Ninja

    Couch Ninja Pinball Wizard

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    Lo-Fi just means Low Fidelity, which refers to the quality of the recordings which is usually poor or not concerned with having a polished sound - however you want to put it. But musically it could be any genre or style. Ty Segall does Lo-fi Rock n Roll, The Sound Defects do Lo-Fi Jazz-Rock/Hip Hop, and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats do Lo-Fi Doom Metal (and are the best band going today imo). I've never heard of 'chillstep' before this thread, but I'll check it out!
     
  6. GSP4tw

    GSP4tw Black Belt

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    I listen to this when I game or am just relaxing. Check out Chilledcow on YouTube for some playlists on there. If I was at my pc I would link my favorite one(s).
     
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  7. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    That's the literal meaning that has existed for decades, in contrast to Hi-Fi, yes, but the term appears to have been acutely appropriated by a specific subset of genres including those discussed in this thread. This contempory evolution can be observed via Google:
    [​IMG]

    Or Wiki which notes that it is becoming more strongly associated as a term with these subgenres:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lo-fi_music#2000s–2010s:_Hypnagogic_pop_and_chillwave
    In addition to the abstruse distinctions between Chillwave and Chillstep I'm also seeing "Chillhop" used in quite a few of the tracks I like. The most concrete difference that makes sense to me of all I've seen described is that the Chillstep (as on Tfue's channel) tends to be laid over a syncopated beat while the Chillwave songs I've checked out have always sounded like a straightforward 4/4 or 3/4. This Dubstep forum post I Googled really opened the clouds up and shed some light:
    https://www.dubstepforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=121905
     
  8. GSP4tw

    GSP4tw Black Belt

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    @Madmick Finally at my pc, but this mix(and the ones that follow it) are some of the ones I like to listen to for this sort of music.

    edit: realized this isn't the lofi one, but fuck it I'll leave it as I love these mixes.

     

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