Thievery Corporation returns with their sixth original studio album Culture of Fear! Following up their incendiary and bombastic call to arms Radio Retaliation from 2008, this time around Eric Hilton and Rob Garza craft a simmering and hazy collection of atmospheric gems that recalls their early production work but reflects a thoroughly contemporary zeitgeist of socio-political angst and unease.
Utilizing a team of skilled session players from their acclaimed live show and beyond, Culture of Fear finds the duo easing into expansive multipart space-jams like “Tower Seven” and jazzy instrumental b-boy breaks like “Light Flares.” Not only are usual suspects like multilingual chanteuse Lou Lou and dancehall toaster Sleepy Wonder back to lend their haunting vocals, but several new contributors also join the Corporation.
Renowned hip-hop MC Mr. Lif blazes the microphone on the title track “Culture of Fear” with a scathing flow that aims to uplift and enlighten as it does burn down babylon! Rising star Ras Puma also drops mystic incantations on “False Flag Dub” and the slow burning roots reggae throwback “Overstand.” It’s not all fire and brimstone however, as Shana Halligan of Bitter:Sweet coos sultrily over booming tribal rhythms on “Is it Over?”, and newcomer Kota lends angelic and sprightly verses on album closer “Free."