Explosions in the Sky, The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (2003)
I love this album and cherish it as one of my favorite post-rock instrumental albums. Explosions in the Sky, also hailing from Austin, TX, made it easy for me to discover them many moons ago. This is the perfect album to relax, drift away from consciousness, fall-asleep, make-out with your boo, drink a beer with your feet dangling in the water, or even run a marathon.
RJD2, Magnificent City Instrumentals (2006)
It's an all around good instrumental hip-hop album. Good drum breaks, loops, samples, ambient textures and overall good beat production. "A Beautiful Mine" is my favorite beat on this album and has that cinematic trip-hop feel that my music somewhat parallels.
Cliff Martinez, Traffic Soundtrack (2000)
I love Cliff Martinez's style. This album has pretty pads and soundscapes combined with flashes of pulsating rhythmic percussion. Martinez uses his low-end bass sounds really well, which I think most composers shy away from. The soundtrack features Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)," which is a beautiful instrumental song. Solaris is another badass Cliff Martinez soundtrack.
Eluvium, Copia (2007)
I discovered this album while jamming my personal Pandora station. Copia features cinematic, ambient, cool sound-effects, and pretty piano parts. I'm not sure who Eluvium is, but I'm glad I found this album and love listening to it.
Röyksopp, Senior (2010)
This has the spacy down-tempo instrumental beat production that I love. I just throw this album on and think about the future. It's a collection of really well produced beats. "...And the Forest Began to Sing" is my favorite track on the album, so awesome!