Thievery Corporation will release their fourth album, The Cosmic Game, on February 22nd. Known for their sleek, world-music-influenced, down-tempo grooves, the electronic duo Rob Garza and Eric Hilton composed the follow-up to 2002’s The Richest Man in Babylon over the past year in their home studio in Washington, D.C.
Thievery’s main objective on The Cosmic Game was to explore their “rock and psychedelic influences,” and they got help from ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne (on “The Heart’s Lonely Hunter”), ex-Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell (“Revolution Solution”) and the Flaming Lips (“Marching the Hate Machines [Into the Sun]”).
“Growing up, I was always into Jane’s Addiction,” Garza says. “Our tour manager was at a conference, and Perry Farrell kept mentioning Thievery Corporation during his speech, so we thought we’d give him a call. He is a really nice guy — super friendly and open to a lot of suggestions.”
“Marching the Hate Machines,” the album’s opener, was a long time in the making, as Thievery and the Lips first planned to do a track while at an Icelandic festival. “We were backstage all day sharing the same dressing room,” Lips frontman Wayne Coyne says. “I don’t know if they were on drugs or not, but they got in the [Lips’ trademark] animal costumes and we really bonded over that, because it is kind of like working out together: You’re up there sweating, and they’re in the suits and they’re all sweaty, and it’s loud and people are all having fun.” Due to the geographical expanses between the two camps — the Lips’ home base is Oklahoma — the collaboration happened over email.
Currently on a DJ tour of Europe, Garza says Thievery will use the holidays to plot a spring tour.