Monday, September 27, 2010


Song: Amerimacka
Artist: Thievery Corporation
Album: It Takes a Thief

I'd been thinking of doing a "Chill Out" week for a while, and with the release of "It Takes a Thief: The Very Best of Thievery Corporation," a collection from a band known for it's loungified downtempo music, it seems time.  The term "Chill Out" in regards to a broad catch-all mix of genres that mix trip-hop, downtempo, etc. together is probably way dated... if used at all.  Back in the late 90's and through the new millennium, the term was slapped onto many a compilation (complete with an illustration of a lava lamp) to basically note that what you were picking up was the new trippy stoner electronica.  I bought a six (six!) disc set myself back in the day that contained one Moby track and a LOT of filler.  Which was par for the course.

Thievery Corporation are a Washington, DC-based DJ duo consisting of Rob Garza & Eric Hilton.  They use a mix of downtempo beats, world influences, and a variety of guest vocalists on a pretty consistent, if one-note, lounge aesthetic.  The band formed in 2005, and "It Takes a Thief" compiles tracks from their six studio albums.  While I am a fan of their sound and over-all vibe, what strikes me about "Thief," and the reason I call them one-note, is that there isn't much differentiation from track-to-track, despite them spanning more than a ten year period.  This can be looked at two ways... they're a band with little range not worthy of a "Best Of" or the perfect band for a retrospective as it still manages to create a through-line within itself despite being a collection of hand-picked tracks from a long stretch of output.

In my opinion, if you like their vibe a little and don't know them at all, this is where to start.  Many might recognize "Lebanese Blonde" from their sophomore album "The Mirror Conspiracy," as being off the "Garden State" soundtrack.  It's a killer song, and is of note because while you can put on a T.C. album and dig the vibe as a whole instead of each song track for track, there are still stand-outs.  Again making this compilation valid.

Having a bit of trouble picking a song to highlight (Every time I heard one that got my attention, I realized it was from "Radio Retaliation" and I just knew it) so I'm going with the first track, "Amerimacka" taken from 2005's "The Cosmic Game."  It's a good primer.



Lebanese Blonde

Sweet Tides

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