Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi

Thievery Corporation

Eighteenth Street Lounge Music, 1997

REVIEW BY: Sean McCarthy


Well...America need no longer look for their version of Massive Attack. Two DJs in Washington D.C. have made an album that ranks up some of the most innovative and tripped-out rhythms of the 1990s with their release, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi.

Though they may not be as well known as Prodigy or even Tricky, Thievery Corporation have established a loyal following in the D.C. area. We can only help it spreads throughout the states. Armed with two turntables and a microphone, DJs Eric Hilton and Rob Garza incorporate elements of trip-hop, Rastafarian beats and more unconventional performing forces, such as flutes.

Some of the titles pretty much give you an idea of what you're in for. "2001 Spliff Odyssey" and "Universal Highness" suggest more herbal influence than Cyprus Hill's garden. It would be easy to pass off Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi as a "mood CD," vocals are fairly sparse and when vocals are evident, they're usually spoken in fragments.

Like Miles Davis's classic Bitches Brew, Thievery Corporation know the importance of the mood. The earthy tones of "The Foundation" and the jazzy introduction to "A Warning" are able to sound human while keeping a strong techno feel to them. "2001 Spliff Odyssey" boasts a real funky beat while switching from drum machines to jazzy interludes.

The most amazing part of Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi is that it's a debut from the two DJ's. Any album that can absorb elements of acid jazz, hip-hop, techno and Jamacian beats and put them into such a cohesive set of tunes is an accomplishment onto itself. Like Maxinquae, Tricky's amazing release, Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi is full of emotion that can't really be labeled. Easily the best debut album of the year, it makes a bold statement from a band that will be making waves well into the 21st century.

Rating: A-

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© 1997 Sean McCarthy and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Eighteenth Street Lounge Music, and is used for informational purposes only.