Sitting on the downtempo end of the Stereo Deluxe label's nu lounge spectrum are the three stellar albums of the Slow Mo series (1998-2002). These various-artists collections set an exceptional standard in the realm of jazz, dub and hip hop-influenced instrumentals, on par with Crammed Discs' classic Freezone compilations.
country of origin:
Lounge, nu jazz, trip hop, dub, ambient pop
90's - 00's
- Slow Mo 1 (Stereo Deluxe, 1998)
- Slow Mo 2 (Stereo Deluxe, 2000)
- Slow Mo 3 (Stereo Deluxe, 2002)
Reviewed by Mike G
As electronic dance music progressed through the 1990's and new-school ambient music expanded beyond techno and trance into more mainstream "chillout", the favoured sound amongst dance and electronica fans became more like pop, rock, funk, jazz and hip hop. Instruments like drums, bass, guitar and brass - though often sourced from samples - made frequent appearances in the music. Soon people were calling it lounge, a word many thought lost forever in the kitsch world of 60's bachelor pad music. But tags like nu lounge and nu jazz have stuck, and they're not bad descriptions at all, really.
One of the greatest purveyors of the style was the German-based Stereo Deluxe label founded by the late Oli Rosch. The label's output was highly diverse - often mind-to-uptempo funk - but sitting on the downtempo end of the Stereo Deluxe spectrum are the three stellar albums of the Slow Mo series. These various-artists collections set an exceptional standard in the realm of jazz, dub and hip hop-influenced instrumentals, on par with Crammed Discs' classic Freezone compilations (1994-2001).
Names like Bonobo, Thievery Corporation and ambient dub maestro Richard Dorfmeister will be familiar to lounge and trip hop aficionados. But many others like Sola Rosa, Extended Spirit and Lounge Conjunction seem to have been plucked out of obscurity by Rosch for a very well-deserved airing. Slow Mo 3 (2002) is a good place to start for newcomers. It's dreamy and gorgeous but beneath the clouds lies a gently funky and a deeply soulful core.