In this new remix, Eric Hilton extracts new life from Akae Beka’s “Black Carbon” (featuring Chronixx), originally recorded for the St. Croix roots reggae band’s 2021 “Polarities” LP. Hilton transmutes the simple, powerful ingredients of the original song into a brooding musical eclipse that will remind listeners of darker mid-90s Bristol trip-hop records. “This remix is reflective of a sound that I’ve been known for via my work with (as co-founder of) Thievery Corporation, electronic music meets reggae,” says Hilton. “It’s very much in my wheelhouse. The bass is really heavy. I’d love to hear this played live on a huge sound system.” The track’s recurrent lyric “All of we forward from the same carbon” speaks to the elemental connection all living beings share, nourished by the sun, a fact that belies decisive ideologies.
Nourish your ears and shake your walls with the Eric Hilton remix of Akae Beka’s “Black Carbon,” a digital single release coming May 5th on I Grade Records.
Montserrat House Music and Eric Hilton, one-half of the legendary downtempo electronic act Thievery Corporation, are excited to announce the Friday, July 1 release of Lost Dialect, Hilton’s forthcoming album he describes as “a classic, experimental trip-hop record.”
On this stunning new album, Hilton speaks in his mother tongue, the 12-bit vernacular of trip-hop, a genre he helped bring to life as a co-founder of Thievery. Across ten expansive tracks, the artist/producer uses old-school skills to craft new school chill in a genre that is currently enjoying a resurgence — but for Hilton at least, trip-hop never really went away. Stream the album’s title track over at EDM.com HERE and on YouTube HERE.
Lost Dialect Track Listing:
1. Lost Dialect
2. Spiral Aura
4. A Joyous Revolution
6. Flowering Soul
8. Earth Ship
“I went back to a comfort zone for a minute, an old-school simple approach,” says Hilton. “The techniques of making trip-hop music are like lost dialects I can pull out and revisit. I find a groove that I can’t stop listening to and go from there, dress up that experience, add atmosphere and effects to expand the audio landscape. I keep it simple and don’t overdo it with plug-ins. It’s all about the conversation between the elements, and how things progress.”
Indeed, Lost Dialect has a looser, more vintage ‘70s sonic palette than Hilton’s recent solo work. 1970’s jazz and Afrofuturism are part of the language of this album, most notably on the standout track “Ra”, where soulful horn flourishes echo in a shimmering sonic landscape. “The early 70’s jazz/synth records of Pharaoh Sanders, Roy Ayers, and Sun Ra was music from streets that looked to both the stars AND ancient cultures,” says Hilton.
The muscular urban grooves of these records created the foundation for many classic trip-hop albums, but for Hilton, who plays extensively on his records, the balance of live instrumentation and samples are what makes the process so satisfying.
“Making this record took me back to the early days of trip-hop, combining sample collages with grooves — very fun to do. I played bass, keys, and synths myself, and didn’t fix all the mistakes!” Hilton laughs. “I wanted a more ‘analog sounding’ record this time, quieter, like it was recorded in 1976. I pulled out old tricks and used mostly basic gear, like the E-mu SP1200 drum machine/sampler from the ‘80s, which has a crunchy sound and technical limitations of gear that’s almost 40-years-old,” says the producer. “It feels and sounds more ‘human’ that way — if you listen to an old Thievery Record, ‘Lost Dialect’ will sound sonically similar.”
Standout tracks from the album include the aforementioned centerpiece “Ra,” “Spiral Aura,” where crystalline sounds dissolve into distant, tribal conversations; “Joyous Revolution,” a call to readiness delivered via the Third Eye; and “Nishati,” a flowering masterpiece ready made for Sunday afternoon hookah sessions. Not all the tracks are laid back however; “Odysseus” and the album closer, “Libra,” put the listener on a sonic sidewalk through the old neighborhood, uptempo and splashed with color. The old ways remain strong. Speak Lost Dialect, Eric Hilton’s etymology of groove, the next evolution of trip-hop, out July 1st on Montserrat House Music.