In DJ-land, the name José Padilla has achieved mythical proportions. One associates it with a beautiful sunset in a beautiful bar listening to beautiful music. The place I just described was a real place called Café del Mar and Padilla was its DJ. Café del Mar is also the title of a series of chill-out music compilations.
Padilla’s own compositions are not very interesting, and truth be told, his Café del Mar compilations aren’t either.
I once wrote that the ‘Café del Mar’, ‘Hôtel Costes’, ‘Buddha Bar’ and ‘Verve Remixed’ compilations served to satisfy the chill-out, downtempo, lounge, ambient and trip hop tastes of the late 1990s and the early 2000s yuppie crowds. Needless to say, these compilations were but the ersatz fix for a genuine sophisticated sound. Take Italian lounge of the 1960s and 1970s, for example.
I mean, seriously, listen for yourself and check “Tema di Londra” (1967) by De Masi and Alessandroni or “Deep Down” (1968) by Morricone.
And if it’s pure ambient you are after, check Brian Eno or my hero Hiroshi Yoshimura.