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Thievery Corporation Biography

Home > Music > T > Thievery Corporation > Biography

Birth Place: Washington, D.C., United States
Years Active: 1995–present
Genres: Lounge, Dub, Trip-hop, Downtempo

Thievery Corporation is a Washington, D.C.-based recording artist and DJ duo consisting of Rob Garza, Eric Hilton, and their supporting artists. Their music style mixes elements of dub, acid jazz, reggae, Indian classical, Middle Eastern, and Brazilian (such as bossa nova) with a lounge aesthetic. The language of the group's lyrics throughout their career has included English, Spanish, French, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian and Hindi. This reflects the group's world music influences.

Thievery Corporation was formed in the summer of 1995 at Washington D.C.'s Eighteenth Street Lounge. Rob Garza and Lounge co-owner Eric Hilton were drawn together over their mutual love of club life, as well as dub, bossa nova and jazz records. They decided to see what would come of mixing all these in a recording studio, and from this, the duo started their Eighteenth Street Lounge Music record label.

The duo drew attention with their first two 12” offerings, “Shaolin Satellite” and “2001: a Spliff Odyssey” and with their 1997 debut LP, “Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi.”

In 2002 they released “The Richest Man in Babylon” on their ESL label. This fifteen track album is similar in sound and timbre to their earlier 2000 release, “The Mirror Conspiracy,” and features performances by vocalists Emilíana Torrini, Pam Bricker, and Loulou.

The single “Lebenese Blonde” which appeared on “The Mirror Conspiracy” was featured both in the movie and on the soundtrack to Zach Braff's 2004 film “Garden State.”

In 2005 they released “The Cosmic Game,” which has a darker, more psychedelic sound than “The Richest Man in Babylon.” The album also featured more high-profile guest singers on it, including Perry Farrell, David Byrne, and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. It reached #1 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart.

In 2006 the group released “Versions,” a selection of remixes done by Thievery Corporation for other artists. The group released their fifth studio album, “Radio Retaliation,” in 2008. It was nominated for the Grammy for best recording package and like “The Cosmic Game” reached #1 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart as well as #5 on the Independent Albums chart.

In 2010, “Babylon Central,” the cinematic directorial debut of founding member Eric Hilton, was released. Set (and shot) in Washington, D.C., the film follows tripwire events in the interconnected lives of its characters, each influencing power brokers' schemes to manipulate international currencies.

“Culture of Fear” their sixth studio album and first since “Radio Retaliation” was released in 2011. It debuted at #3 on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart while also reaching #52 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and #7 on the Independent Albums chart.