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Ambient Meditations Vol 23 - Eric Hilton (Thievery Corporation)

Eric Hilton one half of the iconic downtempo act Thievery Corporation joins us for the 23rd installment of Ambient Meditations
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Ambient Meditations Vol 23 - Eric Hilton (Thievery Corporation)

Episode 23 features Eric Hilton, one half of the iconic downtempo duo Thievery Corporation, which set the bar for 90/00s chillout. Hilton has decided it was time for another solo album with inspirations that range from Latin to reggae and everything in between. 'The Impossible Silence,' due out November 20, will land well with Thievery fans with its heady grooves and textures, a mix of everything from jazz to smokey Parisian lounge music. Hilton has put together a mix that will delight and inspire; maybe you should have some top-shelf Cognac on hand just in case. If you don't feel like a secret agent after this one, then you just aren't listening hard enough.

Track Listing: 

Infinite Everywhere - Eric Hilton
Satyam Shivam Sundaram - Thievery Corporation
The Source - Eric Hilton
The Trainer Shuffle - Blue States
In Space - Royksopp
Aux Cyclades Electronique - Bertrand Bergalat
Moto Centripeto - Lesiman
Come Live with Me - Dorothy Ashby
The Dreaming Mind Pt. 1 - Quantic and his Combo Bombero
Les Professionnels - Air
Curse of the Ka’zar - Lemon Jelly
The Impossible Silence - Eric Hilton
Expert Dreaming - Eric Hilton

Photo by AliZare

Photo by AliZare

More About Eric Hilton

Montserrat House and Eric Hilton of the legendary duo Thievery Corporation are excited to present "La Nuit," the second track to be lifted from the Friday, November 20 release of his brand new solo album, The Impossible Silence (pre-order). The elegant closing song to the album features Elin Melgarejo, a multilingual singer who added her talents to three tracks on the 2014 Thievery Corporation album Saudade, and has performed live with the group. "I attempted to write the song in French using Google Translate, and she helped greatly, correcting the phrasing and ultimately co-writing the lyrics. Elin's contribution is incredible," Hilton said. Stream "La Nuit" on YouTube HERE and all platforms HERE.

Serving as Hilton's second release of 2020 behind his debut solo offering Infinite Everywhere, The Impossible Silence is a Director's cut of elegant electronica inspired by vintage film soundtracks of the Sixties and Seventies. Crafted in solitude at his Winter Palace Studio in DC, the album unspools across 13 atmospheric cuts, a soundtrack to a film that exists in the mind of the composer (and anyone who listens). Making this uniquely spacious and subtle music has always been the most challenging for Hilton but has also been the most rewarding, which is one of the many reasons he titled this work The Impossible Silence.

Making a "filmic" record can have its perils; often these efforts can veer towards kitsch or parody. But Eric Hilton's uncanny ability to musically shape shift, ably honed over 25 years of genre-hopping recordings with Thievery Corporation, serves him well on The Impossible Silence. Like a movie, the record flows through a variety of situational moods, at times melancholic, idyllic, while some tracks are slightly foreboding and others just plain groovy. This was intentional. "Not being bound by a real movie, or working for a director, I can control the ebb and flow of the mood throughout," says Hilton. "I didn't want to break the spell, I want the listener to be entranced."

The social and sexual revolutions of the late-Sixties and early-Seventies drove a coming together of the classically trained orchestral musicians, who traditionally scored films, with a new breed of unfettered funk and rock session players, brought in to provide a more contemporary sonic palette. This collision, funded by the large budgets of film studios, drove a unique moment in soundtrack music. Hilton is hugely influenced by this period, with many of the "top shelf" records in his collection filled out by the composers who masterminded these scores.

"I'm very inspired by Armando Trovajoli, Piero Umiliani, Lalo Schifrin, Tony Hatch, Francis Lai and others," he says. "They had all these tools at their disposal and used them to make music that's almost impossible for a person to make now: you would need an orchestra (and a place to record them), you'd need charts for all the musicians, a crew, a huge budget … this is my attempt to emulate that, obviously not at the same scale, but to evoke that ethos."

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Hilton plays most of the instruments on The Impossible Silence and readily admits this album was one of the most challenging projects he's undertaken in his career. "In some ways, making 'The Impossible Silence' reminded me of 'Saudade', which was the hardest Thievery album to record," he says. "The quieter and more delicate the music is, the harder it is to get the balance of everything right."

The Impossible Silence is the second of several full-length album projects that Hilton has planned for release over the next year. Despite a 25-year (and counting) legacy, this founding Father of the downtempo electronic music scene isn't leaning on nostalgia. With a level of output that could justifiably be referred to as prolific, he is creating vibrant, jewel-like music that will satisfy faithful Thievery Corporation devotees while expanding the empathic musical horizons of anyone truly willing to listen. The Impossible Silence by maestro Eric Hilton–screen it now at an imagination near you.


The Impossible Silence track listing:

Alma de Lisboa

Maestro del Suono

L' Espace

Midnight in Montmartre

Acetone Dub

Cassette d'Afrique

The Stranger

Dark Alley

Trust a Thief

The Impossible Silence

La Fille De Guyane

In A Quiet Mood

La Nuit

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