The origins of downtempo as a genre date back to the late 80’s on the island of Ibiza, where club DJs started rolling out a laid-back vibe with slower rhythm and gentler electronic music upon approaching sunrise. Within the ensuing years, the term trip-hop would become vaguely conflated with both ambient electronica and the idea of chill-out rooms as a haven from the heavier dance feel.

That was more than a generation ago, and you could make the argument that downtempo and the term trip-hop have come to mean slightly different things: downtempo with a greater emphasis on beats and a less earthy sound than trip-hop. However you attempt to characterize it, this type of spacious mix and gentle groove-making can be the perfect mood for a productive morning. What I love most about this production is the subtle complexity of the kick drum pattern which moves from the front-side of the pulse, to the backbeat, and back again. This stutter-beat ripples through all the way to your heart.

There are a lot of groups finding inspiration in this space, and Kendl is among the best of them. Ella, his latest drop, is an introspective exploration of mid-tempo instrumental groove, and deftly combines elements of UK Garage, Minimal Techno, and Ambient.

Kendl is the musical project of forward-thinking artist and composer, Jesse Kendal who lives in Melbourne, Australia. This song is featured on our Instrumental playlist.