Gyrating, inebriated, and sweaty amidst the chaos of a crowded dance floor is not the only way to enjoy electro/techno/house music. You could just be playing video games (likely FIFA ’10), putting together the soundtrack to a killer photo montage, taking a lazy drive down the city streets on a Sunday afternoon, or more perfectly, you could be savoring a cigarette in bed with you lover, coming down from the ecstasy of a long night of wild partying and unbridled passion. For situations like these (or when you’re looking to groove in slo-mo) trip-hop, ambient, and downbeat electro music are your best and most appropriate choices to throw on the record player. Not only has downbeat expanded the various situations in which electronic music is applicable and enjoyable, it also helped electro/house escape the Euro-clubs and reach new audiences (indie-rock hipsters, Apple-toting tech-geeks, cool-Jetta-driving-dads, Starbucks-chugging soccer moms, the guys who make car commercials, and the list could go on and on).
Recently Data Sapiens featured a young DJ from Denmark named Jesper Ryom who is making gorgeously mellow and rhythmically soothing downbeat trance-hop. On his MySpace page, Jesper calls his music techno/shoegaze/house. I call it ambient-house. But it would be impossible to pigeon-hole Jesper, ’cause this cat has serious talent. It’s not important what you call his music, it’s just important that you give it a listen. Jesper has helped remind me of just how beautiful downbeat-electro is and can be. He has also helped me remember and rethink some of my classic electro favorites, beginning with a record that put downbeat on the map with its happily-lethargic but funky vibe, Royskopp’s epic 2001 release Melody A.M. What follows are a couple must-listen tracks from Jesper, along with a list of several electro-pop favorites that I’ve come back to recently in order to reconsider and re-appreciate. So sit back with a cup of tea, maybe a clove cigarette or two, and enjoy.