In a time where much of the world is confined and fearful comes Thievery Corporation co-founder Eric Hilton’s first solo record “Infinite Everywhere”, an elegant exploration of inner space that will leave listeners feeling replenished and centered. While Thievery painted with a broad musical brush, genre hopping across (and sometimes within) over 20 plus years of albums and live work, Hilton’s solo debut is distilled, focused, and more personal. "I’m kind of the drum & bass guy in Thievery – I’ve never been much of a player of melodic instruments. “Infinite Everywhere” is me challenging myself to play more. I started work on a laptop and cheap midi controller; when my engineer Igor Garnier heard the rough tracks, he encouraged me to play more,” says Hilton. “I’ve always been a bit of studio rat, but I've found I really enjoy making music on my own, late night with just me and a keyboard – I’m kind of hooked on that. On this record I played nearly every instrument, which I’ve never done before.”
“Infinite Everywhere” was recorded at The Winter Palace in Washington, DC from September 2019 through March 2020. The album title and concept predate the current global crisis, but are remarkably prescient, conveying feelings of melancholia and optimism in equal measure. And while Hilton has incorporated exotic musical ingredients from diverse cultures on his previous work with Thievery Corporation, “Infinite Everywhere” is decidedly more European in feel. This influence came from an unexpected place, Hilton explains: “I took a tongue in cheek influence from prog rock – the best elements of it anyway. Prog too often goes off in a direction I don’t like. But some more mellow progsongs aren’t necessarily “rock” – at their best they’re explorations of space, organic, with truly gifted playing. That part of the genre appeals to me.”
The meditative title track and first single, “Infinite Everywhere”, personifies Hilton’s humanistic and exploratory ethos. “Infinite Everywhere” is so simple, but it always gets me into my chakra mode – there’s a realignment that comes when listening to it,” he says. The song isn’t just a doorway to the album, but a potent rhythmical mantra for willing ears. “When I meditate, I become vapor, flowing free around the earth or the atmosphere – I let myself explore in my mind, pop up on a Tokyo Street, then in Prague, or on the Ganges in India. My mind decides on the time and space. “Infinite Everywhere" represents that experience of doing that."
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that descriptors like “exploratory” and “meditative” are code for a sleepy record. As an album, “Infinite Everywhere” is the ne plus ultra of elegant groove, which Hilton has been distilling for over two decades. It kicks, and it sounds amazing. “In Thievery, we always wanted to make music that was electronic but sounded real, -that’s what I’m into. I love making real sounding things with an unusual process.” We are living in strange times – perhaps the strangest in our lifetimes. The album’s second single, “This Strange Daze” featuring Puma Ptah, is something of an outlier, being the only song on the record with vocals, and more of a Jamaican feel. “Strange Daze” was a strong instrumental sketch, but something in me said it would be more powerful
with a vocal. I’ve been working with the incredible Puma Ptah for many years, he’s done some tracks and toured with Thievery and is the main singer for The Archives. He’s such a great writer, so I hit him up to collaborate on the track. He wrote the song about week one of this current crisis, riffing off the title, powerful lyrics about anxiety and worry eating at you, how to deal with it and cope. It occupies a very special place on the record, another point of connection.”
With Hilton's long established alchemical abilities, concocting unique musical creations with Thievery Corporation as well as birthing acclaimed gathering spaces in D.C., it should come as no surprise that “Infinite Everywhere” delivers both beauty and substance to the listener. "When you’re making music, you have a responsibility to contribute to music in general, to try to express a unique thought, which is very difficult,” relates Hilton. “I want every record I’m involved with to be beautiful, with empowering vibrations that recognize the spectrum of emotions. I don’t entertain defeatism, and I will always gravitate to positivity and perseverance. Hopefully people get that feeling when they listen to this record.”
“Infinite Everywhere” is the first of several full length album projects that Eric Hilton plans to release in 2020, and to what should be no one's surprise, they will be diverse in their musical style. "When you get close to having a collection of songs that make sense, then you know you have an album.” As for what the future holds, Hilton says: “Infinite Everywhere" is an introduction. The last 25 years of my creative output have been about Thievery Corporation. I dearly love my brethren Rob, and although that project isn’t necessarily done, my solo stuff is what the next 25 years are about."
Eric Hilton – Infinite Everywhere
Out June 19th 2020 on Montserrat House
More Beautiful Things
Leaving the Hive
This Strange Daze
Embrace the Storm
The Grand Beauty
Written & produced by Eric Hilton.
This Strange Daze written by Eric Hilton and Christopher ‘Puma’ Smith
Piano and additional keys by Igor Garnier.
Additional guitars by Mateo Monk and Robbie Myers.
Sitar by Robbie Myers
All other instruments played by Eric Hilton.
Engineered by Igor Garnier.
Recorded at The Winter Palace in Washington, DC 9/19 – 3/20.