Additional personnel: Bebel Gilberto, See-I, Pam Bricker, Lou Lou, Brother Jack (vocals); Desmond Williams (guiatr, keyboards, bass); Chris Vrenios (guitar); Rob Myers (sitar); Rick Harris, Zack Grady, Mike Thomas (horns); Roberto Berimbau (percussion).
Engineers: Desmond Williams, Rob Garza, Eric Hilton.
Recorded at ESL Studios, Washington, D.C.
Thievery Corporation's second album strengthens the duo's reputation as masters of downtempo, internationally influenced beats. Borrowing from bossa nova, dub reggae, French torch songs, Italian movie soundtracks, and jazz, THE MIRROR CONSPIRACY is a sophisticated, pleasurable listen.
The album is sequenced beautifully, with sexy, world-weary tracks such as "Samba Tranquille" floating into the downtempo torch stylings of "Shadows of Ourselves." The album's international flavor comes from places as diverse as Jamaica, ("Focus on Sight" featuring I-See on vocals), Paris' Arab quarter ("Le Monde"), and opium dens and teahouses ("Indra," "Lebanese Blonde"). Rob Hilton and Eric Garza, the men behind Thievery Corporation, also have active remix and DJ careers. They're co-owners of Washington D.C.'s 18th St. Lounge, a club where the Thievery Corporation sound gets tested and exercised at each evening's DJ sets. Their remix album ABDUCTIONS AND RECONSTRUCTIONS is another excellent example of their masterful production work.
Rolling Stone (8/31/00, p.74) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...The perfect soundtrack for those who aspire to the elegantly roguish, Vespa-riding, Italian-soft-porn-loving international set."
Q (9/00, p.110) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[They] have stirred more dub and succinct songwriting into their heady cocktail hour mix, with Le Monde's French vocals and the digitally rendered Latin vibes of 'Samba Tranquille' adding to the bachelor-pad ambiance..."
Alternative Press (10/00, p.110) - 4 out of 5 - "...Fresh new approaches to the Brazilian/hip-hop/Euro-film-soundtrack styles....succeeding on all fronts..."
The Wire (10/00, p.83) - "...[They] have embodied eclecticism from their beginnings, and the bass booms as sweetly as on any of their previously efforts..."
Mixmag (9/00, p.169) - 4 out of 5 - "...3am, French-funk diva business like 'LeMonde' or the title track go head-to-smoke-wreathed-head with bubbling dub streamers, whacked-out beats and exotically tinkled percussion..."
CMJ (1/08/01, p.19) - Included in CMJ's "Best of the Year" for 2000.
CMJ (8/28/00, p.23) - "...Suave, downbeat dance tracks....a smooth mixture of dub reggae, trip-hop, acid jazz and Middle Eastern musics...elegant and inspiring..."
Mojo (Publisher) (9/00, p.94) - "...They never experiment for its own sake: it's all intended for pleasure. Delightful."