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CD: Thievery Corporation - The Temple of I and I | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Thievery Corporation - The Temple of I and I

CD: Thievery Corporation - The Temple of I and I

Chill-out veterans roll up some high-grade ambient dub

Music for swaying hips and nodding heads

Thievery Corporation are veterans of the mid-'90s chill-out scene from well before the point when it disappointingly descended into a soporific dirge for middle-class dinner parties. Laying down Brazilian sounds and laid-back beats, they brought a broader international dimension to the tunes favoured by our weed-smoking brethren while avoiding hippy self-indulgence.

Thievery Corporation are veterans of the mid-'90s chill-out scene from well before the point when it disappointingly descended into a soporific dirge for middle-class dinner parties. Laying down Brazilian sounds and laid-back beats, they brought a broader international dimension to the tunes favoured by our weed-smoking brethren while avoiding hippy self-indulgence. The Temple Of I and I, however, sees their sound take a distinctly Jamaican turn, albeit one that is more reflective of a Seventies “roots and culture” vibe than the harsher sounds that are more usual today.

While the groove on The Temple of I and I is supplied by band mainstays Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, vocals come courtesy of a varied line-up of toasters, rappers and singers. There’s Rasta fire from Zee, laidback rap from Mr Lif and sophisticated jazzy smoothness from Shana Halligan among others. However, it is the tunes that are voiced by Notch, whose vocals bring to mind the socially conscious approach of the great Max Romeo, that provide the real gold here. “Shake the Root”, “True Sons of Zion” and “Drop Your Guns” all see him chanting of unity and opposition to oppression, just right for these uncertain times. Accompanied by ambient dub grooves that encourage swaying hips and nodding heads, the only thing missing from this package is some serious Caribbean sunshine.

The Temple of I and Imay at times seem like a tribute to the golden age of Rasta-infused dub reggae, but it still has plenty to say about the state of today’s world. It also provides more than enough sonic encouragement to resist the ugliness of the ignorant and the powerful – and what could be more contemporary than that?

'The Temple of I' and I has plenty to say about the state of today’s world

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Average: 3 (1 vote)

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