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Radio Retaliation

Radio Retaliation

4.2 4
by Thievery Corporation

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From the title alone, it's clear that Thievery Corporation has more on its mind than just the construction of breezy coffeehouse soundtracks and laid-back global chill. Radio Retaliation is a record of righteous fury (the targets are political, if that even needs to be said) and one that makes their previous efforts sound like


From the title alone, it's clear that Thievery Corporation has more on its mind than just the construction of breezy coffeehouse soundtracks and laid-back global chill. Radio Retaliation is a record of righteous fury (the targets are political, if that even needs to be said) and one that makes their previous efforts sound like Discreet Music in comparison. Thievery amps up their beats, quickens the pace, and unleashes a phalanx of vocal features to attack the D.C.-based Corporation's crosstown rivals on Capitol Hill and at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (Granted, this is still a revolution mostly in the head.) The mélange of worldbeat influences finds all the usual traces (Jamaica, India, Brazil, Nigeria, Arabia), but virtually all of the locales are charted by natives (Sleepy Wonder, Anoushka Shankar, Seu Jorge, Femi Kuti). On the title track, narcoleptic chatter Sleepy Wonder details his list of grievances, speaking for the entire corporation: "50,000 watts of Thievery hit them like poison darts/And watch the whole system what them build up fall apart." The two most important features are Femi Kuti's and Seu Jorge's; first, Kuti uses the track "Vampires" to call out African genocide throughout history (from Kinshasa to Darfur to Lagos to Malabo, Guinea), then Jorge comes next with the yin to Femi's yang, a beatific ode to peace titled "Hare Krsna." Thievery producers Rob Garza and Eric Hilton haven't quite revolutionized their beat-making or production from the past decade, but they sound energized by the political and social events of the 2000s. Despite the politics, there are still a few more of the ethereal masterpieces Thievery Corporation have made a hallmark in the past, including the sublime "Beautiful Drug" (featuring Slovakian singer Jana Andevska) and "Mandala," a guest feature for Anoushka Shankar that's particularly refreshing as an alternative to the usual Indian atmosphere on downbeat records (sampled, not played). The liner notes are a huge 20" x 30" fold-out booklet, including not only the lyrics but numerous quotes from a variety of world figures -- from Einstein, Chomsky, and Edward Bernays to John Lee Hooker and Mos Def.

Product Details

Release Date:
Eighteenth Street

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Thievery Corporation   Primary Artist
Chuck Brown   Guitar,Vocals
Eric Hilton   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Frank Mitchell   Horn
John Nelson   Percussion
Frank Orrall   Percussion
Femi Kuti   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Rob Myers   Guitar
Wayne Wilentz   Keyboards
Rob Garza   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Anoushka Shankar   Sitar,Guest Appearance
Ashish Vyas   Bass
Abraham   Guitar
John Nelson   Percussion
Javier Miranda   Percussion
Seu Jorge   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Verny Varela   Keyboards,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Jana Andevska   Violin,Vocals
Brad Clements   Horn
Dave Finnell   Horn
Andy Cazedo   Percussion
Gianmaria Conte   scratching
Norman Howell   Vocals
Craig Madley   Horn
Dexter Archer   Vocals
Ooldouz Ghelichkhani   Vocals
Jana Andevska   Violin,Vocals
Archie Steele   Vocals
Roberto Berimbao   Percussion
Rick Harris   Horn

Technical Credits

Charles Sullivan   Author
Timothy Leary   Author
Gore Vidal   Author
Hunter S. Thompson   Author
Terence McKenna   Author
Emiliano Zapata   Author
Fela Kuti   Author
Morgan Heritage   Author
Eric Hilton   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Brendan Behan   Author
Chief Seattle   Author
Rob Garza   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Albert Einstein   Author
Abbie Hoffman   Author
Neal Ashby   Art Direction
Aldous Huxley   Author
Octavio Paz   Author
Matthew Curry   Art Direction
Patrick Donohue   Art Direction
Thomas Jefferson   Author

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Radio Retaliation 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
whf9q More than 1 year ago
With the release of "Radio Retaliation," Thievery Corporation does not disappoint. Thievery maintains their signature international dub style with grooving, laid back drum loops, smooth bass lines, reverberant samples, and of course their mixture of instrumentation from all over. Thievery Corporation's "Radio Retaliation" is an album that can be easily described as international, with sounds that can be recognized from all over the globe. Most notably is instrumentation from the Middle East with the use of the sitar on the second track of the album entitled "Mandala," reminiscent of "Lebanese Blonde" off of their 2000 release "The Mirror Conspiracy." However, reggae arguable plays the strongest influence on the record with many upbeat rhythms and reggae vocal style. This influence can be heard right away on the first track, "Sound The Alarm," where the guitar rhythm is riding on the upbeat and the vocal samples are sung with a reggae style. The Latin American influence is heard throughout, mainly with the use of congas on many of the tracks. This is also heard more specifically on the track entitled "Hare Krsna" featuring Seu Gorge, where the Brazilian musician plays guitar and sings in Portuguese. There also exists a Western influence, being that the duo is from Washington D.C., where samples of piano and mainly horns can be heard throughout the album. Tracks such as "The Numbers Game" and "Vampires" contain many samples of blasting trumpets while "Hare Krsna" contains a light, staccato piano track. Throughout the album, on almost every track, there stands a thick, creamy bass line that backs the relaxed beats and eclectic instrumentation. These simple bass lines along with the relaxed main drum beats allow the more complex rhythms of the other percussion instruments to flow freely such as the congas and other drums on "El Pueblo Unido." These bass lines that continue throughout "Radio Retaliation" are an essential to Thievery Corporation's dub style and do not disappoint in comparison to their previous albums. Thievery's main drum loops remain simple, allowing room for foreign instruments and rich samples to be heard that are delayed and reverberated, giving them an airy, ambient sound. "Radio Retaliation" doesn't go without its display of synthesized sounds as well, where Thievery strategically synthesizes reverberating ambient sounds that are simply beautiful in context. "The Forgotten People" is a track on the album with heavy Middle Eastern influence, where behind the Middle Eastern instrumentation and rhythmic loop, different synthesized sounds can be heard ringing out and reverberating giving the track and otherworldly feel. Thievery's use of ambient synthesized sounds is very evident in "La Femme Parallel" as well, where whistling synthesized sounds are delayed, extended, and reverberated into each other allowing me only to describe it as the soundtrack to an asteroid shower. Thievery Corporation's "Radio Retaliation" is another great album by the group, adding to their repertoire of relaxing grooves with extraordinary instrumentation and production. Their dub style on the album has its similarities to such influential artists in the genre such as "African Head Charge," with grooving drum loops, thick bass lines, complex percussion rhythms, and ambient samples. The production of "Radio Retaliation" is top notch and is a great example of Thievery Corporation's position in the dub genre with influences from all over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is nicely put together with dub vocals and mideastern vocals as well. Thievery Corporation has done it again with another classic album that finishes where Richest Man in Babylon left off. This album is well worth it if you are a true Thievery fan. I have followed these guys ever since my years in college of 2003, and I first bought Mirror Conspiracy, and was hooked on their style of Lounge Electronica Dub and Mideastern Outernational Sound. Eric Hilton and Rob Garza are geniuses when it comes to classical samba and bossa nova jazz and mideastern and reggae (dub) mixed with electronica drums and keyboards.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago