Chillout compilation CDs are a dime a dozen. Most large retail record stores even have a separate section for these types of CDs. Many record labels have tried to capitalize on their growing popularity by issuing what seem like hastily thrown-together compilation CDs. Best of Chillout Hits defies this trend by compiling a great selection of tracks with something for everybody.
Many agree that Chillout has its roots in early ambient music. Artists such as Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre helped solidify a following of the genre during the 70s and 80s. Since that time, the definition of Chillout music has grown, to include a diverse range of music: from original tracks to remixes of tracks that weren't originally Chillout. One thing is for sure: this music is crafted for relaxation. Chillout is usually downtempo with a slower beat behind the track, or sometimes, no beat at all.
The 2 disc compilation Best of Chillout Hits, on the UBL Music label, is divided into two CDs, both continuously-mixed. Disc 1 is comprised of downtempo remixes of dance hits, including recent gems such as Motorcycle's "As the Rush Comes" as well as classic chillout tunes by Café Del Mar (found here in the beautiful Michael Woods Remix), Salt Tank, and Solar Stone. Also included on disc 1 is the excellent original mix of B-Tribe's "You Won't See Me Cry." If you didn't pick up B-Tribe's ¡Fiesta Fatal! CD released on Atlantic/Eastwest Records in 1993 and you enjoy this type of music, it is a must have for any collection.
Disc 2 is loaded with great tracks from some of the best artists in electronic music, including Weekend Players and Supreme Beings of Leisure. There are two songs that stand out on this disc for me. Dutch Force's "Deadline (Moonwatcher's Dead Calm Remix)" with its gorgeous synth and piano lines show just how incredible and uplifting simple electronic music can be. The Thrillseekers' "Synaesthesia," with its haunting female vocals is the highlight of this disc. The remix used here is Alaska's Sunset Mix and it does not disappoint.
I found this compilation to be an excellent overview of Chillout. It has both older classic tracks, as well as newer artists that aren't yet so well known. Highly recommended.