Launchpad: 15 downtempo and trip hop inspired tracks to hear now
The Launchpad is a biweekly series showcasing hot new music hand selected by our staff. The tracks in these curated playlists come from both underground and mainstream artists that we love. If you’d like to see your music featured in the Launchpad, you can submit it for consideration here.
In the 20 years since Sneaker Pimps’ Becoming X became an instant classic, trip hop has morphed to include more recent influences. At its best the downtempo genre still involves a dreamy mix of elements from hip hop, jazz, acid house, and electronica, but tinny trap snares and future bass synth saws have begun to permeate its releases as well. The tracks in this roundup highlight the versatility of the genre’s sound alongside a handful of downtempo tracks that complement it.
Highlights: This week’s list begins with Goldielocks’ excellent ambient infused track “Liquify”. The track builds on a spare soundscape with subtle hip hop influences and a wiry lead synth. Next up: Totemo’s “Dreamit (Zammuto Remix).” The dreamy, atmospheric track embodies the best of the genre with a chill, echoing vocal and nuanced beat.
Akello G Light’s “Daily Magic” is a chilled out, downtempo hip hop track while Shashe’s dreamy “Beloved” is an updated take on the subtle sensuality of R&B diva Sade. Aqui’s “Ghost of the Road” makes its digital premiere here. The genre bending track reads like a moody midnight drive and her pristine vocal evokes a mysterious melancholy.
We close out the list with a chilled out hip hop hop turn from Gold Clubb on “Giving It Up”. The downtempo track features restrained vocals that ooze relaxed cool while meandering piano licks and subtle percussive samples ground the track in a hip hop groove.