Playlist #5: Thievery Corporation

Thievery Corporation, and one’s knowledge of the existence thereof, is a modern day litmus test for musical taste andadventurism.  If I’m playingout, chances are you’ll hear at least one of their tracks. And with the ability to touch on many genres from House, World, Reggae, Downtempo, Ambient, to what I like to call Progressive Easy Listening, this is coolness even your mom can dig.

PLAYLIST

  1. Facing East – This was their opener when I saw them at the Hollywood Bowl last year. Big, tribal drums meet ethereal vocals for a wonderful blend of world grooves.
  2. A Warning (Dub) – Just as the title says, this laid back classic from the “Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi” album has all the echoey dub you can handle and then some.
  3. Lebanese Blond – The song that put them on the map. Made popular on the Garden State soundtrack, countless imitators have followed. If you can’t bounce to this I’m sorry.
  4. Sol Tapado – The only song from the “Cosmic Game” album to make my top ten list. That album found them trying to do the Santana thing, resulting in often ill-advised collaborations most notably with the Flaming Lips’ front man. This track is a welcome return to some latin flavor.
  5. Assault on Babylon – If hip-hop and dancehall had a baby…well you get the idea. A great smokey dance floor track.
  6. Indra – One of those “Progressive Easy Listening” tracks I mentioned. Easy on the ears, but not so smooth you look for your diaper. If you like the more laid back Thievery like this, then The Mirror Conspiracy is the album for you.
  7. Coming From The Top – Found on their offering for the acclaimed “DJ Kicks” series, this was one of the original tracks created for the continuous DJ mix. Horns and a slew of breakbeats politely beckon your booty to move.
  8. Exilio (Rewound) – This track appears on Thievery’s remix album for “The Richest Man in Babylon”. And while most tracks are predictably best left in their original form, Exilio is one of those rare instances where after hearing the remix, the original sounds like a half baked first draft.
  9. Shaolin Satellite – Their most trip-hoppy offering, this is a great chill-out track found on their first album. You could hear every track but this one and have no clue that these guys are actually from Washington D.C.
  10. All That We Perceive – Hints of funk guitar with horns coming over the top give way to lilting vocals and that signature Thievery break beat.

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