Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, the D.C. duo better known as known as Thievery
Corporation, have six albums under their belt, including high-profile
soundtrack placements on 'Garden State' and 'Vanilla Sky.' The album 'Radio
Retaliation' is their most recent and most focused effort to date, with
guest appearances from Femi Kuti, Seu Jorge and many others, with each
collaboration bringing the songs' vibe to the forefront thanks to the near-perfect casting of roles for the album.
"We have some higher tempo ranges than previous albums, Thievery Corporation multi-instrumentalist Eric Hilton tells Spinner. "Lyrically, 'Radio Retaliation' is much more urgent."Rob and I work on music with bass, guitar, keyboards and some turntables. Once we have a solid groove going, we see how far we can take it musically. Inevitably, we begin talking about how certain vocalists would sound on some of the tracks," Hilton says. "Usually, we reach out to people we already know, like Flaming Lips,
David Byrne, Seu Jorge. Occasionally, we'll go for a long shot like Femi Kuti" Garza added.
In the '80s and '90s, the sound of Washington, D.C. was largely defined by a politically fueled and forward-thinking roster of punk and post-hardcore on Dischord Records. During the past decade, the sounds of Thievery Corporation's self-run label Eighteenth Street Lounge are now almost synonymous with the Nation's Capital in the independent music scene. With artists like Chris Joss and Ursula 1000 closely aligned with the labels aesthetics, ESL is much like a small tight-knit family, operating without any corporate obligations, putting the music first.
"As a small independent label, we are able to be selective with our choices and cautious with our promotion campaigns. So far, we feel it has worked well" says Hilton. "D.C. is perhaps the most culturally diverse city in the country. With so many embassies and international agencies, you meet people from literally every country," he says about the city's indirect influence on the duo's global sound.
Spending time behind the decks and producing DJ mixes and original music is only part of the pair's dynamic. Their notable live shows embody their sound in a concert setting, "Our live show is somewhat of a circus," Hilton says. "We travel with six singers, two percussionists, a guitar/sitar player, bass player and two horn players. This has always made for a great live representation of our music."
Before they hit the road on New Year's Eve, Thievery Corporation has put together an exclusive DJ mix of their productions.
Thievery Corporation Spinner RPM Mix
'Sound the Alarm'
'El Pueblo Unido'
'2001 Spliff Odyssey'
'The Numbers Game'
'Assault on Babylon'
'Truth and Rights'
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