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Thievery Corporation: Power Of Two10:48

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Eric Hilton and Rob Garza have been recording and performing as Thievery Corporation since the mid-1990s. Their newest album is called Culture of Fear. (Courtesy of the artist)closemore
Eric Hilton and Rob Garza have been recording and performing as Thievery Corporation since the mid-1990s. Their newest album is called Culture of Fear. (Courtesy of the artist)

The deliciously chill beats and subversive lyrics of the lounge band Thievery Corporation have been a mainstay of nightclubs and lounges around the world for a decade and a half.

Eric Hilton and Rob Garza started Thievery Corporation at a Washington, D.C. nightclub in the mid-1990s, and the two producers are still experimenting. This summer, they released their sixth album, Culture of Fear. It features collaborations with six artists from a range of genres, multilingual (and sometimes politically charged) lyrics, and, underneath it all, the intoxicating beat-making on which the duo made its name.

Garza tells Weekend Edition Sunday guest host John Ydstie that having just two core members, each with a range of talents, has afforded the group a lot of versatility in the kind of music it makes.

"If you come to our studio, we'll be working on songs, and maybe [Eric] will be playing bass and I'll be playing guitar — or we'll switch off and he'll do beats, I'll do keyboards," says Garza. "And we'll bring in friends to play percussion, or do horns or sitar. The thing about Thievery Corporation that's great is we're not limited to four guys in a rock n' roll band. We can kind of work with whoever we want to. It's a production unit, and we can collaborate with many, many people."

Copyright NPR 2016.

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