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Downbeat or downtempo is a collective term for electronic music that is characterized by slow tempos and synthesizer sound surfaces that are perceived as atmospheric . This includes genres such as trip-hop , dub and related forms of electronica music characterized by Latino rhythms (e.g. bossa nova ) and jazz elements . The downbeat originated in the UK in the late 1980s .

Most of these styles gained popularity in the late 1990s through projects such as Nightmares on Wax , LTJ Bukem , Kruder & Dorfmeister , dZihan & Kamien , Kid Loco , Thievery Corporation , Boozoo Bajou , Beanfield , A Forest Mighty Black or Mo 'Horizons .

Other well-known artists in this genre are Afterlife , Blank & Jones , Chris Coco , Deep Dive Corp. , Geyser , Gotan Project , Lenny Ibizarre , Unit Blue, Lemongrass , Merge of Equals , Moby , Mystic Diversions , José Padilla , Solar Fields, Thomas Lemmer , Ian Pooley and Bonobo .

Similar collective names that overlap in terms of their meaning are chill out and lounge music .

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