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, Loulou Ghelichkhani, 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. 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. Thievery Corporation's tour started out with 5 consecutive sold out shows at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC.
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.
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.
In January 2014, the band announced that they would release a new album titled Saudade on April 1st, 2014 via ESL Music.
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 albums The Cosmic Game and Richest Man in Babylon, along with the title tracks from those albums, 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.||”|
Thievery Corporation are vocal advocates for the World Food Programme, seeing hunger as "...something basic, really elemental, that transcends boundaries around the world."
At Lollapalooza 2009 the group spoke out against the IMF after playing the politically charged song "Vampires".
- Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi (1997)
- The Mirror Conspiracy (2000)
- The Richest Man in Babylon (2002)
- Babylon Rewound (2004)
- The Cosmic Game (2005)
- Versions (2006)
- Radio Retaliation (2008)
- Culture of Fear (2011)
- Saudade (2014)
- Dubbed Out in DC (1997)
- Covert Operations (1998)
- Abductions and Reconstructions (1999)
- Jet Society (1999)
- Rare Tracks: 18th Street Lounge (1999)
- DJ-Kicks: Thievery Corporation (1999)
- Thievery Corporation and Revolution Present: Departures (2000)
- Sounds from the Verve Hi-Fi (2001)
- Modular Systems (2001)
- Den of Thieves (2003)
- The Outernational Sound (2004)
- Frequent Flyer: Rio De Janeiro (2004)
- Babylon Rewound (2004)
- Frequent Flyer: Kingston Jamaica (2005)
- Red Hot + Latin: Silencio = Muerte Redux (2006)
- Changed To Lo-Fi (2006)
- Warning Shots: Digibox Set (2007)
- It Takes a Thief (2010)
Singles released on ESL Music, unless noted.