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This Is How We Chill: The Slow Music Movement
Label Feature

This Is How We Chill: The Slow Music Movement

Digging through Portugal-based record label The Slow Music Movement feels like entering a whole new world. The music in their deep catalog ranges from non-traditional soul to psychedelic music and folk sounds from distant places. Tracklib spoke to label founder James on sampling, leftfield soul music, innovation in productions, and more.

By Tracklib
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2:07

Sampling as a Shot of Creativity

“Sampling culture to me is the recycling and (hopefully) upcycling of previously recorded music and sounds. The press-of-a-button-availability of pretty much all music recorded in the last hundred years has suddenly given today’s producers a sonic palette that represents the full range of life experiences and emotions—love, loss, pain, joy, contentment, anger… You name them. As delivered by musicians at every societal level, in every mental state, through good times and bad. From the musical escapism of the 20th century, privately-schooled German classical musicians, primitive Pacific island village choirs, to exotic percussion sounds recorded in Asiatic temples...

Sampling has given producers a hack to avoid years of daily instrument practice! The 21st century’s library of easily available sounds is a gift that will keep on giving. Not to mention a double shot of creative espresso for anyone who cares to listen carefully.”

The Slow Music Movement

“The sound of The Slow Music Movement is a hard one to pin down. It’s equally guided by the artists and myself. I’ve led a somewhat alternative, nomadic life and my musical tastes have been equally adventurous over the years from Extreme Noise Terror to flutist and tenor saxophonist Yusef Lateef. Hence the label is constantly evolving.

Tempo-wise, we go from the flat-out ambient sounds of new signing Ishmael Cormack to the slow bass-heavy leftfield dance sounds of Teleseen and the augmented guitar pointillism of Zoltan Fecso.”

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5:59
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“If I was a sampling man, which I’m not I must add—I’m just a good pair of ears, the tracks I’d sample from The Slow Music Movement would have to vary with my mood or need. If I was producing something cinematic for a Cohen Brothers film or Arizona desert-set TV show, then I’d head to The Howard Hughes Suite. If I wanted some soul then I’d go grab some of the vocals from Bróna McVittie, Avocet, Me Lost Me, Tracy Chow, or Alula Down.

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3:17
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3:25

For something dreamy I’d hit up Jorgen Kjellgren and James Stephen Finn for optimistic but edgy glitch-hop, Test Card for the sound of the summer, Apta for some gentle heartfelt electronica, Mandroid for a smooth lazy morning vibe, or if I wanted to escape my physical and mental shackles I’d head to the Wu Cloud.”

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3:18
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4:05
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4:20
Tracy Chow
Tracy Chow

“Label search, genre search, catalog search—how helpful and convenient do people want it? I’m surprised Tracklib doesn’t deliver food to producers so they don’t have to leave the studio.”

—James (The Slow Music Movement)

Soul Music In Nontraditional Forms

“The label is also the sound of multiple creative souls exploring generally less trodden musical pathways with all their being. It’s pure artistic expression and as such, I regard it as soul music in nontraditional forms from alternative thinkers.

To give you an idea of the range, check Wu Cloud’s combination of jungle field recordings and tripped-out electronica recorded with a portable rucksack studio in Sumatran island huts:

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4:57

Bróna McVittie’s heartwrenching Celtic folk vocals accompanied by her minimal electric harp:

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3:31
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3:31