Dance Music 101: Downtempo

Dance music is a diverse field of knowledge. It contains several genres with their own distinct qualities and characteristics. One of the most prominent genres of dance music is the downtempo or the downbeat which exhibits a certain degree of similarity when compared to ambient dance music. For you to comprehend it easily, downtempo is much like the ambient music genre but with a nicer beat and groove to it. What makes the downtempo unique is that the drum patterns in this genre and the tempo are off the mark by twos from each other. While there is a therapeutic purpose for the ambient music genre, the downtempo or downbeat music genre is kind of chill out music form which promotes a sensual feeling with a romantic vibe to it. This is why downtempo is the preferred choice of music in dance parties, cafes and the like to steer the mood in the right direction.

It was in Ibiza when downtempo music was first introduced. This is because Ibiza was a place where night parties lasted until dawn, the night life obviously dominant in the said location. Once the party goers would prefer a relaxing atmosphere or want a slow romantic atmosphere, downtempo is usually the best choice to go to. This is also true when the party goers would want to rest up after a wild session of partying as an in-between break. At times, DJs would comply with the requests of the party goers to change the mood by slowing down the tempo or changing the vibe.

During the 80s, the downtempo music genre managed to travel to the regions of Bristol and they turned it into what later became known as trip hop – a mash up of hip-hop, ambient music, drum and bass while containing a slower tempo compared to the usual aspects of these music genres. It was the duo of the Austrians Kruder and Dorfmeister that were responsible for making the downtempo music genre so popular because of their remixes during the late 1990s period which led to the revival of the downtempo music genre.


Acid Jazz

Being a combination of the jazz, funk and hip-hop music genres, the acid jazz is born. It is most notably characterized by its loop beats and birth from the regions of the United Kingdom between the periods of the 1980s and the 1990s. It was because of the musicians like Roy Ayers, Asha Puthli and Donaly Byrd that acid jazz became so well known.

Chill Out Music

Coming from its name, chill out music is characterized by its features as it is more of a mellow and calm music style that contains mid-tempo beats. Chill out music is also called lounge music as it is a calm type of music genre and often used to set the mood in bars, lounges and cafes.

Ethnic Electronica

Being considered as one of the best in the fusion style music genres, it utilizes world music and then combines it with electronic music. Ethno Techno combines the traditional and the technological which gives a brand new window for music genres. Discover more