Thievery Corporation | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Thievery Corporation 

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On last year's Sounds From a Thievery Hi-Fi (Eighteenth Street Lounge), the D.C. DJ duo of Eric Hilton and Rob Garza delivered an overlong sampladelic sound track for a millennial bachelor pad, floating bits of bossa nova, Latin jazz, dub, trip-hop, and jazz fusion over imperturbable grooves. It was a tasty cocktail, but close listening reveals that the good taste isn't necessarily their own. The recent Abductions and Reconstructions, which collects the duo's remix work, only underlines its lack of originality. Working with material by artists as diverse as Baaba Maal, Stereolab, Rockers Hi-Fi, David Byrne, Black Uhuru, Pizzicato 5, and Gus Gus, Hilton and Garza never express a unifying aesthetic to make their contributions recognizable, which may actually explain their popularity as knob twirlers--they can tweak stuff nicely, and there's no threat that they'll upstage the tunes. Their contribution to the K7 label's terrific "DJ-Kicks" mix-CD series better displays their modest strengths: they round up the usual quasi-world-music and hip-hop suspects--DJ Cam, Up, Bustle & Out, Bobby Matos, Fun-da-mental, Jazzanova--and even toss in a little Les Baxter, crafting a gently bumping set that'll keep the party moving. But prepare to be stirred, not shaken. Friday, 10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-4140. PETER MARGASAK


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