I need to be on a beach somewhere right now, man…
Thievery Corporation has cultivated a major following in their home city of Washington, D.C. (I really gotta hit up Eighteenth Street Lounge one of these days!) and worldwide thanks to their chilled out mix of electronic bliss, a slick melange of downtempo beats with major influences of trip-hop and world music, including reggae and dub from Jamaica, Brazilian MPB and bossa nova, and plenty of sitars from India. It’s a psychedelic sound, tailor-made for the club, or kicking it at home, or really any situation where you can take a lot of shrooms, or roll on some E and just rock with it.
My introduction to the group was their record from 2000, The Mirror Conspiracy, a highly regarded work which helped bring the group greater attention outside of the D.C. area. They make it seem effortless in how smooth and eclectic this album is. It’s a listen that you can put on and just…glide. There are some outstanding songs on this album, “Lebanese Blonde” being one of them.
“Lebanese Blonde” (some good hash, there) is one of Thievery’s best known listens and an enduring chillout classic, for good reason: It’s soothing, inviting, and airy, feeling like a journey to a place where the sun is always shining and time and responsibilities don’t exist. And you know how I love a good trip. Featuring the sultry vocals of the D.C.-area jazz singer Pam Bricker, you can get absolutely lost in these beats, and those delicate vocals seem to waft on air. After all these years this listen never fails to bring me a bit of peace, and a moment to escape. It’s just the type of trip I need right about now.
Ah, rest in peace, Ms. Bricker, and thank you.