Eric Hilton – Midnight Milan
Co-founder of the influential group Thievery Corporation, Eric Hilton unveils instrumental gem ‘Midnight Milan’ (Release Date: January 12th, 2024), the first single taken from his forthcoming album Sound Vagabond, a 14-track sonic travelogue created by one of the fathers of downtempo electronic music.
As co-founder of the influential group Thievery Corporation, Hilton has spent decades merging diverse global genres into a singular music vision. Sound Vagabond is perhaps the ultimate iteration of this ethos, each track an audio picture postcard of a place real or imagined.
“Some memories of the places I’ve been are very clear; others are distant, nostalgic echos. This record started modestly, with some basic ideas, but after writing the first 8 tracks I knew I had a travelogue.”says Hilton
Hilton, who has used sampling in his music since the early days of Thievery Corporation, didn’t go digging into crates to create crunchy 12-bit vinyl samples for this record, but instead turned to public domain sample libraries.
“This record is like a sound collage, with 60% samples and 40% live instruments. Sampling off old vinyl records is great, but there are obvious licensing and clearance headaches. Public sample libraries are a fantastic resource; you dig through a lots of hilarious garbage, but I’m astounded by the nuggets you can find. You can find specific instruments in any given key, and then the challenge is chopping them up, recontextualizing and integrating them with the track you’re making.”
The end result is music where the samples don’t call attention to themselves or distract from the carefully curated mood in any way.
A perfect way to ease into 2024, “Midnight Milan” brings to mind a late night assignation, breathy promises and a doomed kiss.