Thievery Corporation

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Thievery Corporation
Thievery Corporation live in 2010
Background information
OriginWashington, D.C., United States
GenresElectronica, downtempo
Years active1995–present
LabelsESL Music
MembersRob Garza
Eric Hilton
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Thievery Corporation
Thievery Corporation live in 2010
Background information
OriginWashington, D.C., United States
GenresElectronica, downtempo
Years active1995–present
LabelsESL Music
MembersRob Garza
Eric Hilton

Thievery Corporation is a Washington, D.C. based recording artist and DJ duo consisting of Rob Garza, Eric Hilton, and their supporting artists Rob Myers, Frank 'Booty Lock' Mitchell, Jeff Franca and Ashish Vyas. Their music style mixes elements of dub, acid jazz, reggae, Indian classical, Middle Eastern, and Brazilian (such as bossa nova).


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.

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.

In 2006 the group released Versions, a selection of remixes by Thievery Corporation for other artists. They toured around the United States, playing at Lollapalooza. The tour was photographed by Rob Myers, Thievery Corporation's sitar and guitar player, in the Blurb photo book Thievery Corporation 2006.[1] In 2006, the band also recorded "Sol Tapado" for the AIDS benefit album Silencio=Muerte: Red Hot + Latin Redux produced by the Red Hot Organization.

The group released their fifth studio album, Radio Retaliation, on September 23, 2008. It was nominated for the Grammy for best recording package.[2] Thievery Corporation's tour started out with 5 consecutive sold out shows at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC.[3]

The language of the group's lyrics throughout their career include English, Spanish, French, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian and Hindi. This reflects the group's world music influences.

They were the opening act on August 1, 2009 for Sir Paul McCartney at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.

On July 27, 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.[4]

In June 2011, Thievery Corporation released their sixth album, Culture of Fear.

In January 2012, Thievery Corporation launched a remixes contest in conjunction with Dubspot.[5]

In January 2014, the band announced that they would release a new album titled Saudade on April 1st, 2014 via ESL Music.[6]


Thievery Corporation has taken progressive political stances on various issues, opposing war and exploitative trade agreements, while supporting human rights and food programs. Tracks such as "Amerimacka" and "Revolution Solution" from their album The Cosmic Game and Richest Man in Babylon from the album of the same title reveal the group's opposition to the positions and initiatives of former president George W. Bush's administration.

In September 2005, the group participated in the Operation Ceasefire concert, with the objective of ending the Iraq War.

From their press release regarding their album Radio Retaliation, Garza said:

Radio Retaliation is definitely a more overt political statement [...] There's no excuse for not speaking out at this point, with the suspension of habeas corpus, outsourced torture, illegal wars of aggression, fuel, food, and economic crises. It's hard to close your eyes and sleep while the world is burning around you. If you are an artist, this is the most essential time to speak up."

—Rob Garza[7]

Thievery Corporation are vocal advocates for the World Food Programme, seeing hunger as "...something basic, really elemental, that transcends boundaries around the world."[8]

At Lollapalooza 2009 the group spoke out against the IMF after playing the politically charged song "Vampires".


Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]


Singles released on ESL Music, unless noted.[11]

  • "The Foundation" (1996)
  • "Shaolin Satellite" (1996)
  • "2001 Spliff Odyssey" (1996)
  • "ESL Dubplate" (1996)
  • "Encounter in Bahia" (1997)
  • "Lebanese Blonde" (4AD 1998)
  • ".38.45" (A Thievery Number)" (4AD 1998)
  • "Halfway Around the World" (1998)
  • "So Com Voce" (1998)
  • "Incident at Gate 7" (1998)
  • "DJ-Kicks EP / It Takes a Thief" (Studio !K7, Rough Trade, 1999)
  • "Focus on Sight" (2000)
  • "The Lagos Communiqué" (2000)
  • "Focus on Sight" (2000)
  • "Sound File 001" (4AD 2000)
  • "Sound File 002" (4AD 2000)
  • "Shadows of Ourselves" (4AD 2000)
  • "DC 3000" (2000)
  • "Thievery Corporation Vs Nicola Conte - Bossa Per Due" (2001)
  • "The Richest Man in Babylon" (2003)
  • "The Heart's a Lonely Hunter" (2005)
  • "Revolution Solution" (2005)
  • "Warning Shots" (2005)
  • "The Time We Lost Our Way" (2005)
  • "Sol Tapado" (2005)
  • "Originality (2006)
  • "Supreme Illusion (2007)
  • "Radio Retaliation Extras" (2008)
  • "Sound the Alarm / La Femme Parallel (Sonik Magazine 2009)
  • "Vampires" (2011)
  • "Culture of Fear" (2011)


  1. ^ Myers, Rob (August 14, 2007). "Thievery Corporation 2006". Blurb. Retrieved March 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ "51st Annual Grammy Award Winners List". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. February 27, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ Jenkins, Mark (January 29, 2009). "At the 9:30 Club, Down-Tempo Thievery Corporation Takes It Up a Notch or Two". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Babylon Central released". Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  5. ^ 0.00. "Dubspot presents Thievery Corporation 'Culture of Fear' Remix Contest group on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  6. ^ "Thievery Corporation - Depth Of My Soul". Indie Shuffle. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  7. ^ "Thievery Corporation to release new album: Radio Retaliation out September 23rd". 
  8. ^ "Rob Garza & Eric Hilton, Thievery Corporation – WFP Celebrity partner". World Food Programme. Retrieved March 31, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Radio Retaliation". ESL Music. August 13, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
  10. ^ . January 29, 2014  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "Thievery Corporation Discography at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 

External links[edit]