lo-fi study beats

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There is a seemingly infinite number of playlists serving up this type of soothing content. The music is all very similar, but is there something interesting in the way it is being consumed and what people are looking to it for? Or the anonymity of the producers, hundreds of interchangeable people making mostly interchangeable but pleasant music? Does anyone on ILM listen these types of playlists when reading?

treeship., Tuesday, 2 February 2021 12:35 (three months ago) link

My kids love them. They don't care about the artists. They like how chill it is.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 12:38 (three months ago) link

its just the new chill-out/ambient.

candyman, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 12:52 (three months ago) link

My eldest calls it loffy, which drives me mad.

He listens to a Breath of the Wild lo-fi you tube channel endlessly.

my opinionation (Hamildan), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:02 (three months ago) link

i feel like chill-out/ambient music reaches for innovation and/or meaning in a way this stuff doesn’t - it’s designed to be filler, designed to be unmemorable even

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:24 (three months ago) link

^^ which isn't that far removed from generative music the likes of Eno ('Reflection') et al have been working on, except that they mostly still release it in the album format. Which is indeed reaching for meaning or innovation.

I don't think it will be long for you can, say, go to an "endless" live youtube stream with generative music by, idk, Autechre, or Steve Roach etc. One 'piece' of music, if you will, that surfs on its own algorithm and presets, that never starts or finishes and is just there all the time. Most playlists w/ generated soothing content like that on YT or Spotify remind of that.

I disagree with calling it "the new ambient" though, precisely because of the distinction Tracer made.

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:31 (three months ago) link

I think there's plenty of chill-out/ambient music that wasn't actually reaching for innovation - particularly when those styles go in the direction of New Age music.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:33 (three months ago) link

it absolutely kills me to think about this stuff for longer than about three seconds

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:34 (three months ago) link

^^ new board description.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:38 (three months ago) link

too complicated to fit into a pvmic post, but I enjoyed the juxtaposition of these two posts:

[Poppy]'s going to be huge. That kind of ADHD genresplicing pop* is going to be one of the major forces of this decade, duelling the more sedate doomer charms of yer Eilishes (who I still think can be convinced over to the Hyper Side)

*yes it's Been Done, but it can be done more and more successfully

― imago, Tuesday, February 2, 2021 8:33 AM (seventeen minutes ago)

it absolutely kills me to think about this stuff for longer than about three seconds

― imago, Tuesday, February 2, 2021 8:34 AM (sixteen minutes ago)

rob, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:52 (three months ago) link

I don't think it will be long for you can, say, go to an "endless" live youtube stream with generative music by, idk, Autechre,

A bit different but there are those streams of SAWII tracks looped for like 2 hrs.

excuse me while I fold my pants (morrisp), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:52 (three months ago) link

and yet I sat through and enjoyed the entire Charles Webster album earlier #multitudes

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:53 (three months ago) link

I won't lie: I like this stuff OK. I won't lie a second time: I use the "lofi" tag when putting my own stuff up on bandcamp, because I want the ears.

american primitive stylophone (zchyrs), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:55 (three months ago) link

xp
sorry imago, I'm not trying to pigeonhole you, I genuinely appreciate your staking out of aesthetic territory (if that makes sense? I literally just woke up and probably shouldn't be trying to post)

rob, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:55 (three months ago) link

lol no it was entirely fair, i was playing along :D

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:56 (three months ago) link

not sure how zchyrs and I can be friends now tho haha

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 13:57 (three months ago) link

i find this stuff annoying too, because of the market for it that's been created by Spotify, YouTube et al, it just feels basic and cynical. I'm sure that's been discussed on threads to do with streaming. I'd like to be dissuaded on this because as background sometimes it works nicely.

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:00 (three months ago) link

xp sorry buddy.

I find the way this music is consumed much more offensive than the music itself, which again I think is just...fine. It's of a piece with the whole functioning of anodyne Spotify playlists.

Thing is, this is (afaik) still music being made by people. It takes a measure of enthusiasm and craft (if even a small measure) to make anything, so I can't begrudge the creators. They're probably making this stuff because they like to make it, and that's nice!

american primitive stylophone (zchyrs), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:04 (three months ago) link

tbf when I think of 'lo-fi' I am thinking of something verrrrry different to this

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:07 (three months ago) link

That's totally understandable. I do too, and it's kind of interesting to me (from a linguistics perspective) how the label has evolved into something else. I'd bet that a fair number of listeners and creators aren't even aware of the original meaning (I want to stress that this is neither or a bad or good thing IMO)

american primitive stylophone (zchyrs), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:12 (three months ago) link

yeah there isn't a lot of tape hiss or distortion on stuff called "lo-fi"

treeship., Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:12 (three months ago) link

xxxp True. It's enough to say that I rarely feel like listening to it anyways (because how often do i

-not want to put a record on
-not check out a specific mix
-find whatever Worldwide FM is playing a little too hectic
-not want to explore an ambient playlist for fear of experiencing any emotions at all
-yet still want to hear music

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:12 (three months ago) link

i think kids think the "low" has to do with the tempo, not the audio quality

treeship., Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:12 (three months ago) link

there is certainly a cynical aspect - playlists designed to be just 'set and forget', and listened to for an hour or more, are deliberately pushed in order to get users spending more time on platform rather than listening to a couple of hits and then dipping out

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:14 (three months ago) link

these are my loffy study beats https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6KaEi1J1Pl3GI61o08CMqo?si=zh0MgRi3QX67EwtWqbfCrA

Party With A Jagger Ban (dog latin), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:18 (three months ago) link

- fear of experiencing any emotions at all
-yet still want to hear music

this is like the motto of so much contemporary music

treeship., Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:19 (three months ago) link

this all makes me think of KIDEODROME: scary "Kid's Youtube" algorithms, fringe programming, insert conspiracy theory here

and is now making me think of a crossover where pregnant elsa is the one vibing 2 these chill beatz

o god

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:19 (three months ago) link

a couple producer friends of mine call it “low-effort beats”

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:20 (three months ago) link

good horror movie premise.

are you chill yet?

treeship., Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:20 (three months ago) link

xp imago

treeship., Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:20 (three months ago) link

treesh: sure and sometimes I'll reach for such contemporary music. These streams are for when you just utterly cannot be arsed in any way

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:21 (three months ago) link

haha a horror movie based on all the kids being addicted to this stuff is both #trenchant but also a good idea imo

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:22 (three months ago) link

asmr is part of this too i think. i don't really understand what asmr is, but it seems like another way of people engaging with digital media as a kind of drug

treeship., Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:25 (three months ago) link

This shit is way too busy I like "pirate ship creaking and it's raining outside (no thunder)" for 10 hours

Scampi reggae party (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:27 (three months ago) link

let's workshop some titles for the horror movie:

THE FEED

american primitive stylophone (zchyrs), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:27 (three months ago) link

asmr is very distinct from this in concept but in practice there are similar patterns of accumulation

the biggest difference is that it's harder (or it SHOULD be harder) to generate the good asmr stuff algorithmically or by half-assing it aiui, although I'm no connoisseur

maybe there are just loads of shitty asmr videos collecting mad views from a completely desensitised public tho #areyouchillyet

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:28 (three months ago) link

Oh I like THE FEED

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:28 (three months ago) link

Japanese village is a good one too. Might run a ballot poll for these later

Scampi reggae party (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:29 (three months ago) link

asmr is designed to deliver a sensory response, lo-fi is more about vibez

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:30 (three months ago) link

asmr is supposed to be, anyway

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:30 (three months ago) link

not really experienced these loffy beats but i've been listening to a lot of noise playlists to go to sleep. If you put your settings right in Spotify, it'll actually segue the different noise textures together which becomes very interesting when you're just dropping off. I have discovered that Brown Noise works better than White Noise as it's a deeper, more enveloping hum whereas white noise is a little on the harsh side.

Party With A Jagger Ban (dog latin), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:31 (three months ago) link

Japanese village?

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:32 (three months ago) link

asmr is designed to deliver a sensory response, lo-fi is more about vibez

― tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:30 (one minute ago) bookmarkflaglink

exactly, asmr is for those who wish 2 feel, but as I said I wonder whether there has been an elision and people who don't really know what asmr is are consuming bad asmr content in a functionally similar ambient way to these lo-fi beatz

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:34 (three months ago) link

just learnt that dog latin has bowels of steel good 2 know

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:34 (three months ago) link

what are you feeling though? "low grade euphoria" according to the wikipedia page. still feels measured, controlled, vibelike

treeship., Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:36 (three months ago) link

itt: people who don't get asmr or loffy

Scampi reggae party (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:38 (three months ago) link

xps I sleep with brown noise. Should we poll all the noise colors?

american primitive stylophone (zchyrs), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:40 (three months ago) link

asmr = weed
loffy = xanax

idk this^ feels wrong still lol

imago, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:41 (three months ago) link

Brown Noise works better than White Noise as it's a deeper, more enveloping hum whereas white noise is a little on the harsh side.

co-sign

excuse me while I fold my pants (morrisp), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:43 (three months ago) link

a lot of it strikes me as descended from Dilla

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 14:43 (three months ago) link

This genre is not worth getting fuzzy about. Not worth getting excited about either. You could do worse for background music.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 22:02 (three months ago) link

no wait let’s analyze the fuck out of it!

brimstead, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 23:28 (three months ago) link

I also think there's something about the fact that most huge trap anthems these days are still like one hazy sample or a single soft synth sound + huge distorted 808s. It feels like both strains have some dna from early '10s underground producers.

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 23:32 (three months ago) link

i can’t bring myself to be cynical about this trend, i kinda just love that kids are into ambient

I think I also like that "music to study to" is an actual popular genre. Based on the first few tracks on a Youtube channel of this that I just tuned into, I kind of like this stuff for what it is and would listen to it before a lot of other popular things. It's calming and pleasant. Both parts of "smooth jazz for millennials" seem wrong to me tbh.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 03:54 (three months ago) link

All I actually needed at this moment was something to calm my nerves and I'm almost embarrassed by how well this worked for that. I might pass out if I leave it on for too long, though. This is the channel btw:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NOSDKb0HlU

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 03:56 (three months ago) link

Moving on now

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 04:01 (three months ago) link

My 10-year-old loves to listen to Spotify playlists of this while doing homework. What I don't get is, who makes it? When I try to google the bands and tracks I basically just get links to other playlists, never an actual homepage for the band or music-press writeups or.... Who is Aaarly? Who is Obie Hans? Is there just some big factory where one person makes a bunch of these beats and then assigns artist and track names at random?

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 04:02 (three months ago) link

I just Googled the artist they were playing on that channel just now (Leavv - "Flushing the Stairs"). Guy has a full-length album and uses male pronouns and identifies as a producer at least: https://chillhop.bandcamp.com/album/tales-of-a-flowing-forest

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 04:19 (three months ago) link

He also has an Instagram page and a dog: https://www.instagram.com/leavv_/

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 04:20 (three months ago) link

Afaik ChilledCow is the most popular channel, it’s its own label at this point. They’re not anonymous from what I can tell looking at their spotify playlists (eg: https://open.spotify.com/user/chilledcow/playlist/0vvXsWCC9xrXsKd4FyS8kM ) however most of them have what looks like japanese names and are actually not japanese ( or at least the 3 artists from the list I checked - Ky Akasha, Yasumu and Kupla all looked non-Asian).

I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the songs are made by a computer that is just fed loops and beats. Wasn’t there already some AI developed that could make unlimited music from stems? I remember a site with Jai Paul’s Jasmine that did this.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 04:21 (three months ago) link

i can't imagine studying to this stuff personally

dyl, Wednesday, 3 February 2021 04:23 (three months ago) link

i feel like chill-out/ambient music reaches for innovation and/or meaning in a way this stuff doesn’t - it’s designed to be filler, designed to be unmemorable even


If we care to call Satie the inventor of ambient, we should note he called some of his work “furniture music”, designed to serve a function in a room but pass beneath conscious notice

Canon in Deez (silby), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 04:25 (three months ago) link

Found it. It’s called BRONZE AI ENGINE:

https://jaipaul.bronze.ai/

Theoretically you could feed this AI stems from a couple
songs of “lo-fi beats” and it could do variations of it for unlimited time.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 04:27 (three months ago) link

I had a friend who did a PhD in electronic composition. For one of his comprehensive exams, he had to, on the spot, in a limited time, write code that could generate a pastiche of an early 20th century composer's (e.g. Bartok's) style. I imagine generating lo-fi study beats would be v doable.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 04:34 (three months ago) link

That channel Sund4r posted has a “live chat” going; never seen that on YT before.

10:19PM carrotjuice123 “it’s time to chill”

excuse me while I fold my pants (morrisp), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 06:29 (three months ago) link

"It seems like in the late 90s / 2000s, this kind of music had to work in both a club and a hotel lobby (e.g., Mushroom Jazz), and started to horn in on Muzak and Smooth Jazz as default background music. Now that public spaces are mostly closed, it makes sense that they're turning into 100% study beats."

this new stuff wouldnt work in the old context. and those old vadim/jazz fudge etc beats would sound too 'hard' too. these study beats are very unobtrusive. they also seem perfectly 'small' in an audio dimension sense in a way that is good for laptop/tiny speakers.

candyman, Wednesday, 3 February 2021 10:32 (three months ago) link

did these kinds of beats exist before chilledcow's playlist? or did people start making beats for the playlist? as playlists go, this one is remarkably stylistically uniform -- a consistent vibe, no matter which track is playing.

i also have to say that, when i started this thread, i had only listened briefly to lo-fi study beats. but i listened a lot yesterday and now i'm a fan.

treeship., Wednesday, 3 February 2021 11:43 (three months ago) link

treesh scroll up - Jordan has outline the archaeology

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 11:48 (three months ago) link

that said i don’t know if we’ve cracked exactly how/why ChilledCow and its ilk became so big? it was happening pre-COVID

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 11:50 (three months ago) link

I first heard about this from this Bojack Horseman episode:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10yjDUufcVo

When I saw other people talking about lofi hip-hop beats to relax/study to, figured that they were making excellent Bojack references. And for a couple days, after I found the actual channel, was pretty impressed that someone had devoted their time to bring this one-line joke from a grown-ups cartoon to life.

this new stuff wouldnt work in the old context. and those old vadim/jazz fudge etc beats would sound too 'hard' too. these study beats are very unobtrusive. they also seem perfectly 'small' in an audio dimension sense in a way that is good for laptop/tiny speakers.

― candyman, Wednesday, February 3, 2021 5:32 AM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink

I was listening to the channel one day and started thinking about all the instrumental hip-hop I used to listen to back in the 90s, like "Oh yeah, these beats kinda remind me of DJ Krush!" One of his albums was my go-to calming background music back then. But then I listened to it for the first time in 20 years, and while some of it might have worked, other songs were definitely too intense for lofi hip hop radio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eRwsiYeuQM

peace, man, Wednesday, 3 February 2021 12:30 (three months ago) link

they do work for working and studying and especially grading

treeship., Wednesday, 3 February 2021 12:46 (three months ago) link

Yeah that's the annoying thing. This stuff isn't without merit but it shouldn't be mixed up with more complex sorts of music. But whatever, I'm embarrassed here to be that concerned about genre labels.

Hadn't realized that ChilledCow is a label. I remember when they had to change their art loop from what they took from Studio Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart... early 2018

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lo-Fi_Girl

maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 12:52 (three months ago) link

xp

maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 12:52 (three months ago) link

on the chilledcow wiki, the genre is down as lo-fi hiphop, click that and you get ...

Chillhop
"Lo-fi hip hop" redirects here. For the genre of jazz-influenced hip-hop, see Jazz rap. For the genres of hip-hop characterized by low sound quality, see Mumble rap, Memphis rap, and Cloud rap.

lol

maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 12:56 (three months ago) link

"That channel Sund4r posted has a “live chat” going; never seen that on YT before."

Live chats are definitely part of YouTube livestreaming channels. I've seen it before with concerts or e.g. last year's virtual Canada Day.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 13:10 (three months ago) link

Not to mention people playing Minecraft.

peace, man, Wednesday, 3 February 2021 13:20 (three months ago) link

Is there just some big factory where one person makes a bunch of these beats and then assigns artist and track names at random?

ive seen articles over the years speculating about spotify filling out their first-party playlists for things like "chill jazz"/"peaceful piano"/whatever by paying people a flat fee to create original tracks that are then credited to fake artists, with spotify owning the master rights. i guess its the 21stC equivalent of library music, in 30 years i wonder if there will be Numero-style comps of such stuff

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 13:32 (three months ago) link

One Eye Open OTM about this being like contemporary library music. It also kinda reminds me of Weather Channel music, though that stuff tends to be more like smooth fusion

american primitive stylophone (zchyrs), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 13:53 (three months ago) link

Remember Weather Channel music guys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnkjvKv5R84

american primitive stylophone (zchyrs), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 13:54 (three months ago) link

AOTY in The Wire iirc

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 14:06 (three months ago) link

Adult Swim is probably an important link too, when they started commissioning Flying Lotus to do bumpers between animation, and the current college studiers were kids.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 14:57 (three months ago) link

I read a couple high school essay-level Medium articles on the origins of lo-fi hip-hop, mostly pretty bad (defining "low fidelity" and mentioning Dilla then jumping right to the current crop of channels and producers). But there were some illuminating bits, about Youtube introducing that 24/7 mode, those big channels and the anime girl, Nujabes being the Dilla of the genre (aside from Dilla being the Dilla of the genre), and some other specific producers getting name-checked.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 15:11 (three months ago) link

Minecraft soundtrack music is exactly like this, yes.

tempted to start making this music just so I can add in a few tracks with subtly disturbing melodic shifts and ruin everyone's studies

Bastard Lakes (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 15:32 (three months ago) link

im tempted to start making this music so i can have a successful youtube channel with little effort

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 15:38 (three months ago) link

Too late in the game to enter know I think. There’s thousands of clones and I’ve only seen less than 10 channels that are successful with it and they’ve been at it for years now.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 15:45 (three months ago) link

Now not know stupid autocorrect

✖✖✖ (Moka), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 15:46 (three months ago) link

In addition to the precursors already mentioned, I think these 2 artists deserve mentioning:
Wagon Christ, "Throbbing Pouch" album specifically (1995)
Fat Jon, "Wave Motion" album specifically (2002)
Like this would fit right in on one of these Playlists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYKrp_VE0lY

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 21:44 (three months ago) link

three weeks pass...

a former ilxor makes ambient techno playlists that work better for this purpose i think.

treeship., Tuesday, 2 March 2021 10:47 (two months ago) link

do tell?

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 2 March 2021 10:54 (two months ago) link

it's not a controversial one, at all. an estimable and interesting person. but i don't think they hang around here or want to be namechecked.

treeship., Tuesday, 2 March 2021 10:55 (two months ago) link

two of the artists i've learned of through this playlist, and liked, are special request and bella boo.

treeship., Tuesday, 2 March 2021 10:56 (two months ago) link

therefore you might go as far as to link? please?

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 2 March 2021 10:57 (two months ago) link

my word

thanks

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 2 March 2021 10:59 (two months ago) link

Corey <3

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 2 March 2021 12:46 (two months ago) link

two months pass...

chilledcow changed their youtube username to Lofi Girl. smart branding move i think.

also i saw this recently lol https://hard-drive.net/lofi-hip-hop-radio-girl-still-fails-test-after-four-years-of-studying/

treeship., Monday, 3 May 2021 15:38 (one week ago) link

'Probably somewhere in Italy' – nah, I'm pretty sure that's Lyon in the background.

pomenitul, Monday, 3 May 2021 15:40 (one week ago) link

My (second grade) kid asked recently - "Is it OK if I use YouTube while I do homework, to play quiet music that's made for studying?"

BeardsleyCollege.edu (morrisp), Monday, 3 May 2021 15:56 (one week ago) link

That's so adorable.

peace, man, Monday, 3 May 2021 16:27 (one week ago) link

morris, did you break out in tears of joy at that moment?

because i did, just reading your post.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 3 May 2021 16:35 (one week ago) link


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