Chill out (sometimes also chillout, chill-out, or simply chill), a term derived from a slang injunction to relax, emerged in the early and mid-1990s as a catch-all term for various styles of relatively mellow, slow-tempo music made by contemporary producers in the electronic music scene; there exists a misconception on last.fm that all music that isn't relatively hard on the ears can be termed chill or chillout. Therefore, this tag is highly abused and has lost much of its meaning. The term "Chill out music", as well as the genre itself, originated in chill rooms that were set up by DJs off to the edge of club dance floors to give patrons a chance to take a break from the hectic dance vibe and chill out with this style of music. Chill out as a musical genre or descriptive is synonymous with the more recently popularized terms "smooth electronica" and "soft techno" and is a loose genre of music blurring into several other very distinct styles of electronic and lo-fi music.
Although chill out is an emerging - however loose - genre of music, it is quite robust and features many prolific artists. Throughout the 1990s and the current decade, there have been many artists who have made a significant impact on what has come to be known as "chill out music" today. Among the most notable of those artists and projects are (in no order of precedence): Air, Fila Brazillia, Kruder & Dorfmeister, dZihan & Kamien, Thievery Corporation, DJ Unwind, Sven Van Hees, Lemongrass, Tosca, Ganga, Monte La Rue, Nightmares on Wax, The Dining Rooms, Bluetech, Sounds from the Ground, Jens Buchert, A Man Called Adam, Electric Skychurch, Mystical Sun, Single Cell Orchestra, Alex Cortiz, Zero 7, Sia, Boards of Canada, Stidiek. William Orbit, Groove Armada, Leftfield, Lenny Ibizarre, Timonkey, Banco de Gaia and Lemon Jelly.