You can tell that the Thievery Corporation has a colorful musical palette by listening to its original compositions. The duo’s new mixed collection, The Outernational Sound, gives insight into just how far their tastes go. The album includes selections by recognizable names such as Thunderball and Karminsky Experience, both of whom record for Thievery’s eclectic ESL label, as well as three previously released tracks by the group itself. These numbers are bolstered by songs from Boozoo Bajou, Major Force, Breakestra, Block 16, and the Troublemakers, among others.
At first glance, this grocery list of artists may all seem to possess a similar downtempo style. But what Thievery takes from each song is unique, focusing on strains of music that are more international. The Eastern strings of Indian Vibes’s “Mathar (Discovery of India Mix),” the soft hip-hop of Major Force’s “Re-Return of the Original Artform,” Breakestra’s funk-fueled “Cramp Your Style,” Alan Moorhouse’s ancient Oriental chimes on “Expo in Tokyo,” and the reggae vibes on Thievery’s own “The Richest Man in Babylon (G-Corp Remix)” all give The Outernational Sounda global feel. Though the tracks are loosely mixed together — there is no other option with sounds this disparate — they nevertheless blend extremely well. — Lily Moayeri
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