Washington, D.C.'s Thievery Corporation purvey a very mellow, deliberately international mixture of sounds that might be called "lounge music"--not in the kitschy sense, but in the sense of a laid-back local bar (much like the one the duo happens to run) with no dance floor. Rob Garza and Eric Hilton are professed admirers of Brazilian music, and they're determined to inject as much warmth into electronic music as possible. The Mirror Conspiracy is quite a musical travelogue, starting in Jamaica with "Treasures." This dubby opening track, which features vocalist Brother Jack, is quite reminiscent of the start of Swayzak's Himawari. Next up is "Le Monde," a quiet, wah-wah-inflected song featuring a chanteuse named Lou Lou. She reappears later on the somewhat more uptempo "Shadows of Ourselves," which, despite the title, is also sung in French. "The Hong Kong Triad" sounds like a tip of the hat to Shaft-styled soundtrack music. Elsewhere, it's off to India for two sitar-flavored tracks with a similarly laidback groove that gets a bit closer to techno, one of which, "Lebanese Blonde" (hash? a woman?), has been released as a single. Brazil gets its due on the densely percussive "Air Batucada," the more bossa nova-like "So Com Voce," and an instrumental titled "Samba Tranquille." Fans of this style are sure to be pleased. --Bob Bannister
NR (Not Rated)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mirror Conspiracy is the latest international down-tempo musical offering from "Thievery Corporation" otherwise known as the dj/production team of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton. Like their earlier releases; "Sounds From The Thievery Hi-Fi" and the inspiring "DJ Kicks", the duo presents a sexy collection of international beats seasoned with an array of jazz, easy listening, lounge, bossa nova, samba, sound track samples and more. Tropical beats and Afro Brazilian rhythms drive the overall late night groove. "La Monde" is a seductive slice of loveliness mixing breathy French vocals with a distinctive Jamaican dub. "Lebanese Blonde" a mysteriously international spy film soundtrack peppered with Baleric beats. "Samba Tranquille" a bit of breezy tropical turntabalism. "Illumination" easily the standout builds hypnotically with its driving indo-pyschedelic drum beats and mysterious middle eastern chanting. These...
...and the music throbs slowly but insistently, snatches of melody drawing you in, the beat stimulating but relaxing at the same time. The crowd is young and bright and full of life, smiling and weaving around each other, heads tilting back with easy, cool laughter. Welcome to the Mirror Conspiracy, your ticket to another room, a spacious mood, a place where cares do not exist and pleasure is abundant. The ocean of beats and sounds washes across the shores of your mind, gently hypnotizing away the craggy realities that soon seem many miles behind you. Too good to be true? Not in this case. I've been through at least a hundred so-called chillout albums and discovered, as you by now have, that most of them are bland, same-sounding pap, boring, mealy sonic filler. With today's electronic gear it's all too easy to make wooshy sounds. Any fool can pull the trigger, but it's very hard to get it right. As in all musical genres, only about ten percent of artists are really gifted,...
It's been a while since we've heard original material from Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, the global lounge spinsters known as Thievery Corporation. So what have they been up to? After releasing an excellent edition to the DJ Kicks series last year, showcasing their enthusiasm for dub, jazz, and bossa nova ( wrapped in modern production), one might have guessed this world sound would be carried further on their second full-length release. Well, you'd be wrong. The duo have decided to change directions, or rather, side-step to a different path. Their tracks, formerly drum layers with samples thrown in the blend, are now fully developed songs, often with singers. They've also studied their equipment, as these pieces reveal extra layers of sound and depth, are fuller and richer. The Corporation have gone from cool to chic, now wooing the café crowd instead of the spliff users. Most tracks use the same formula: snappy varying percussion, shimmering melodies, warm...
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