Chillout music is a broad genre encompassing various styles such as ambient, downtempo, and trip-hop. It’s characterized by its relaxed, mellow and somewhat hypnotic sound. In this blog, we identify seven influential artists within the chillout music genre:


Air is a French duo composed of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel. They emerged in the late 1990s with their hugely successful debut album “Moon Safari,” This album has subsequently gone on to become a cornerstone of the chillout genre. Their music blends electronic and acoustic elements to create dreamy, melodic soundscapes. Tracks like “Sexy Boy” and “All I Need” epitomize their sophisticated yet accessible style.

Essential Listening: Moon Safari LP


Bonobo is the stage name of UK musician Simon Green. Green under the alias of Bonobo has been a prominent figure in the chillout and downtempo scenes since the early 2000s. He incorporates lush, organic soundscapes, seamlessly blending them with electronic beats and live instrumentation. Tracks like “Kiara” and “Cirrus” showcase his ability to create intricate and emotive music. Bonobo’s innovative approach to the Chillout music genre has earned him a dedicated following and critical acclaim, not to mention almost 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Essential Listening: Black Sands LP

Boards of Canada

Boards of Canada, despite their name hail from Scotland. The duo, comprising of Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin, are known for creating deeply atmospheric music with a nostalgic lofi aesthetic. The due combines analog-synth-driven soundscapes with vintage samples to create timeless and introspective compositions, inspired by Hip-Hop flavoured beats. Often categorized as ambient and downtempo, their work fits perfectly into the chillout genre.

Essential Listening: Music Has the Right to Children LP

Zero 7

Zero 7, formed by British musicians Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker, established themselves in 2001 with their debut album “Simple Things.” The album featured smooth, soulful productions, as well as guest collaborations with vocalists such as Sia and Sophie Barker. Known for creating soothing and emotionally resonant musical offerings, Zero 7’s use of live instrumentation with electronic elements has helped define them as one of the most influential acts in the chillout genre.

Essential Listening: Simple Things LP

Massive Attack

Bristol’s Massive Attack is probably the most successful and recognised group on our list. While their varied musical offerings generally fall under the banner of Trip-Hop, a number of their songs are considered classics of the chillout music genre. Their often dark, atmospheric sound is showcased on iconic albums like “Blue Lines” and “Mezzanine.” Their classic track “Teardrop” is a perfect example of chillout music with its haunting vocals and innovative thought-provoking downbeat production.

Essential Listening: Mezzanine LP

Kruder & Dorfmeister

Kruder & Dorfmeister, is an Austrian duo made up of Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister. They are highly regarded for their exceptionally polished production style. As well as their original productions Kruder & Dorfmeister are also famed for producing iconic downtempo and trip-hop flavoured remixes. Their seminal release, “The K&D Sessions,” is a cornerstone of the chillout genre, featuring lush, jazzy reworkings of tracks by various artists.

Essential Listening: G Stoned LP


Morcheeba, is a British band originally formed by brothers Paul and Ross Godfrey alongside vocalist Skye Edwards. Their jazzy, hip-hop inspired grooves fall very adhear to the Trip Hop, lounge and chillout music traditions. Their debut album “Who Can You Trust?” and subsequent releases like “Big Calm” are characterized by their use of subtle, downtempo beats and lush arrangements. Skye Edwards’ soothing vocals perfectly complement the skillful production, adding a sophisticated edge to Moorcheebas music. This blend of soul, hip-hop, and electronic music has earned them a loyal following and a significant place in chillout music history.

Essential Listening: Big Calm LP

Remember – RouteNote Create subscriptions start from as little as $2.99. You also get 10 FREE credits to spend on samples along with access to our FREE sample pack bundle when you sign-up!