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Thievery Corporation

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Biography

Since debuting in the mid-'90s, Washington, D.C.'s Thievery Corporation have remained one of the most popular acts associated with chilled-out, lounge-friendly electronic music. Initially known for making abstract, instrumental, midtempo dance music whose classification fell somewhere between trip-hop and acid jazz, their sound expanded to include vocalists and live instrumentation on 2000's The Mirror Conspiracy (their most popular album in the United States), which was heavily influenced by bossa nova and soul. Their albums from 2002's The Richest Man in Babylon onward have become increasingly more political, reflecting their antiwar, pro-humanity stance in addition to their appreciation for all of the world's cultures. Likewise, their music has explored several additional influences and genres, including Indian classical, hip-hop, and reggae. Following the dark psychedelia of 2005's The Cosmic Game, 2008's Radio Retaliation was a protest album incorporating styles such as Afro-beat and go-go, and the Jamaica-recorded The Temple of I & I was devoted to dub and reggae. Featuring the production skills of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, Thievery Corporation released several warmly received singles on their own Eighteenth Street Lounge (ESL) label (named after their own Washington, D.C. bar and nightclub) in 1996. Although previously known primarily among acid jazz and rare-groove DJs, the group shot to minor celebrity when a track from one of their early 12"s appeared on respected DJ/producers Kruder & Dorfmeister's mix session for Studio K7's DJ-Kicks series. Similar in many respects to that Viennese production duo, Thievery Corporation subsequently grew in popularity among a wider audience of DJs and headphonauts. The duo's debut LP, Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi, initially appeared in 1996 before seeing wider release the following year, along with a compilation of Washington, D.C.-based electronica artists titled Dubbed Out in DC (both albums were released by ESL). After signing with the British 4AD label, Thievery Corporation began to work on their second LP but were forced to postpone its release date after tapes were stolen in a mugging. The stopgap remix compilation Abductions & Reconstructions was released in 1999, as was the duo's DJ-Kicks installment. Their second proper album, The Mirror Conspiracy, followed one year later. The release featured a greater emphasis on live instrumentation and vocals than their debut, with guest singers including Pam Bricker and Bebel Gilberto. The duo's growing fame made them a natural choice to select tracks for the 2001 Verve compilation Sounds from the Verve Hi-Fi, which contained vintage Latin jazz and bossa nova cuts from the '60s and '70s. They returned to their own work in 2002 with The Richest Man in Babylon, their first album to inject a message of protest into their music, which featured guest vocalists such as Emiliana Torrini and Shinehead. The mix album Outernational Sound and remix EP Babylon Rewound both appeared in 2004. That same year, the track "Lebanese Blonde" was featured in the highly successful Garden State soundtrack, which later won a Grammy Award. Released in 2005, the darker, more psychedelic full-length The Cosmic Game featured guest vocalists Perry Farrell, the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, and David Byrne, and the remix compilation Versions followed in 2006. As election season approached, Thievery Corporation released the politically minded studio effort Radio Retaliation in September 2008. Featuring a guest appearance from Mr. Lif, Culture of Fear arrived in 2011 and mixed social commentary with dub tracks. Their 2014 release, Saudade, turned their music in a different direction, being a bossa nova-based effort with guest vocalists like LouLou Ghelichkhani, Karina Zeviani, and Elin Melgarejo. For their eighth studio album, 2017's The Temple of I & I, the duo temporarily relocated to Jamaica, where they could fully channel their dub/reggae influences into the recording process. The following year, more tracks from their Jamaican sessions emerged -- these were collated alongside various remixes for their 2018 companion album, Treasures from the Temple. ~ Sean Cooper
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Lebanese Blonde
  3.   Until the Morning by Emiliana Torrini
  4.   Le Femme Parallel
  5.   Amerimacka
  6.   Mandala
  7.   Incident at Gate 7
  8.   Un Simple Histoire
  9.   Satyam Shivam Sundaram
  10.   Transcendence
  11.   The Cosmic Game
  12.   Fragments
  13.   The Supreme Illusion
  14.   Sound the Alarm
  15.   The Temple of I & I
  16.   Shadows of Ourselves
  17.   The Forgotten People
  18.   A Gentle Dissolve
  19.   Indra
  20.   Shaolin Satellite
  21.   The State of the Union
  22.   Illumination
  23.   Light Flares
  24.   One
  25.   Tomorrow
  26.   Stargazer
  27.   Pela Janela
  28.   Retaliation Suite
  29.   Radio Retaliation
  30.   Tower Seven
  31.   Marching the Hate Machines (Into the Sun)
  32.   Web of Deception
  33.   Resolution
  34.   All That We Perceive
  35.   Holographic Universe
  36.   Meu Nego
  37.   Firelight
  38.   Sol Tapado
  39.   Le Monde
  40.   Where It All Starts
  41.   Depth of My Soul
  42.   Samba Tranquille
  43.   The Richest Man in Babylon
  44.   The Passing Stars
  45.   Take My Soul
  46.   The Glass Bead Game
  47.   Overstand
  48.   Ya Ma Le by The Gimmicks
  49.   The Shining Path
  50.   Ghetto Matrix
  51.   Drop Your Guns by Notch
  52.   Free
  53.   Treasures
  54.   Is It Over?
  55.   Sol Tapado (The Covered Sun)
  56.   33 Degree
  57.   Khalghi Stomp by Transglobal Underground
  58.   Omid (Hope)
  59.   The Hong Kong Triad
  60.   Safar (The Journey)
  61.   Voyage Libre
  62.   Weapons of Distraction by Notch
  63.   Para Sempre
  64.   So Vest as the Sky
  65.   Doors of Perception
  66.   Meu Destino
  67.   The Outernationalist
  68.   Barrio Alto
  69.   The Mirror Conspiracy
  70.   Guiro Electro by Bobby Matos
  71.   Exploration by Karminsky Experience
  72.   The Numbers Game
  73.   The Girl's Insane by The Januaries
  74.   Truth and Rights
  75.   From Creation
  76.   True Sons of Zion
  77.   Cramp Your Style by Breakestra
  78.   Liberation Front
  79.   The Heart's a Lonely Hunter
  80.   Warning Shots
  81.   Culture of Fear
  82.   Sweet Tides
  83.   Revolution Solution
  84.   It Takes a Thief
  85.   No More Disguise
  86.   Claridad
  87.   Weightless
  88.   La Force de Melodie (LouLou Ghelichkhani)
  89.   Music to Make You Stagger
  90.   San San Rock
  91.   Love Has No Heart
  92.   Babylon Falling by Puma
  93.   Let the Chalice Blaze
  94.   Letter to the Editor
  95.   Le Coeur
  96.   Décollage
  97.   Under My Sensi by Boozoo Bajou
  98.   Angels featuring Norah Jones
  99.   Facing East
  100.   Focus on Sight
  101.   Rebirth by A Forest Mighty Black
  102.   Tropicando by Les Baxter
  103.   Shaolin Satellite
  104.   Guidance
  105.   Destroy the Wicked by Notch
  106.   History by Mr. Lif
  107.   Time + Space
  108.   Letter to the Editor
  109.   Thief Rockers
  110.   Lose to Find by Elin Melgarejo
  111.   Bateau Rouge
  112.   Nos Dois
  113.   Quem Me Leva
  114.   Unified Tribes
  115.   False Flag Dub
  116.   Rainbow by The 13th Sign
  117.   Fedime's Flight by Jazzanova
  118.   Beija-Flor by Da Lata
  119.   Blasting Through the City
  120.   Beautiful Drug
  121.   El Pueblo Unido
  122.   Vampires
  123.   Hare Krisna
  124.   Album Version
  125.   Wires and Watchtowers
  126.   Ambicion Eterna (Eternal Ambition)
  127.   Exilio
  128.   Heaven's Gonna Burn Your Eyes
  129.   OGD (Road Song)
  130.   A Guide for I and I
  131.   Air Batucada
  132.   Coming From the Top
  133.   Interlude
  134.   Sun, Moon & Stars
  135.   Re-Return of the Original Artform by Major Force
  136.   Transmission Central by Rockers Hi-Fi
  137.   The Foundation
  138.   Joy Ride by Mr. Lif
  139.   Water Under the Bridge by Natalia Clavier
  140.   Strike the Root
  141.   Fight to Survive by Mr. Lif
  142.   Road Block
  143.   El Pueblo Unido by Jeremy Sole
  144.   Saudade
  145.   Le Rêveur
  146.   Success by DJ Cam
  147.   Ponteio by Da Lata
  148.   Mother Africa Feeding Sister India/2001 by Fun^Da^Mental
  149.   Imperial by Lazyboy
  150.   Emerald Alley by Up, Bustle and Out
  151.   Brendan Lynch Remix
  152.   Shiva
  153.   Strange Days by The Doors