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THIEVERY CORPORATION Treasures From The Temple gets 7/10

Thievery Corporation
Treasures From The Temple
ESL Music/Ingrooves/Rocket

7/10

One of the most long-lived and consistent producers of downtempo electronic beats and dub reggae vibes, Thievery Corporation have been churning out albums of their singular style since the 90s. Recent albums and tours have seen the group stronger than ever – it’s live where they really shine.

The group are still touring their world following the release of their album of last year The Temple of I & I (“I & I” being a Rasta term for “You and I” expressing a togetherness and closeness to God). The album was one of their best in years and was recorded on by the group in Gee Jam Studios, Jamaica, and the strong reggae, dub, island vibes are heavy throughout.

They’ve followed it up quickly with Treasures From The Temple, which is essentially an album of outakes and remixes from the Temple of I & I sessions. Some of the tracks were left out for obvious reasons, as they wouldn’t have suited the theme of the previous record, such as first single Voyage Libre featuring one of the group’s long-time vocalists, the divine LouLou. The multi-lingual Iranian-American who was raised in Paris, sings in French over a slice of spacey electro and an infectious disco beat – it’s one of the best, and most upbeat, poppy tracks the group has produced in recent times.

Water Under the Bridge featuring another common collaborator of the Corporation, Natalia Clavier, is another highlight that’s a bit different, with a slow throbbing synth line pulsing under Clavier’s sweet voice.

The two remixes are both of tracks featuring rising reggae star Racquel Jones, who the group met in Jamaica, worked with on the last album and who then joined them for the tour. While they’re interesting dubbed out interpretations of Letter To The Editor and Road Block, the original versions are better.

The opening track San San Rock is a killer heavy dub reggae jam, in Thievery’s classic style, with a little bossa-nova flair. Other highlights include History featuring the brilliant Mr. Lif rapping about his African-American roots, while the smooth rasta vocals of Notch lend a depth and weight to the haunting dub vibes of Destroy The Wicked.

As with their live shows, the mashup of genres and variety in their vocalists keeps it interesting, and on this release there is a real diversity of sound. An exotic delight.

ALFRED GORMAN

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