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Rob Garza of Washington D.C.’s legendary duo Thievery Corporation visited Dubspot recently, ahead of a DJ set at NYC’s Le Poisson Rouge. Garza and his musical partner-in-crime Eric Hilton are well-regarded for their innovative use of sampling, and incorporating a broad range of musical influences and elements, ranging from Jamaican dub reggae and soundsystem music to Brazilian bossa nova, Indian and Middle Eastern classical music, and driving hip hop rhythms and electronic dance beats. As a veteran producer, DJ, and musician, Garza stresses the importance of continuous learning and improvement.
In this video interview, Garza discusses the music production techniques and workflow used in the early days of Thievery Corporation, working with diverse and seemingly disparate sample sources and using the Akai MPC3000, Ensoniq ASR-10, and recording straight to Digital Audio Tape with no separate tracks. He talks about taking advantage of new music technology and software like Ableton Live, Logic, and Native Instruments’ Maschine and Kontakt. The conversation touches on the creative freedom of an electronic musician (experimenting with instruments and sounds and collaborating with other musicians), live performance, social and political activism, and traveling to Nepal with the World Food Programme, and also offers some details about the upcoming Thievery Corporation album (which will have some new songs with frequent collaborator Mr. Lif).