Exodus Quartet was formed in 1991 by (Thievery Corp.’s) Eric Hilton, co-founder of the legendary DC Acid Jazz party named Exodus. With his partner Farid Ali, Hilton created a night in DC that astounded all club-goers in the capitol city. With pre-Deep Dish DJ Dubfire on the turntables and Jamaican toaster Hutchy on the mic, Exodus drew large crowds of enthusiasts every Friday night. When Jan Kinkaid visited Exodus during the Brand New Heavies’ first US tour he proclaimed, “I didn’t think anything like this existed outside of London. Or should I say, I don’t think this exists even in London.”
Inspired by the music and the atmosphere at Exodus, Hilton decided to make a record that would pay homage to this Exodus night. Working in Backbeat studios, Hilton formed Exodus Quartet, a loose collaboration of studio musicians that would round-out Hilton’s productions. With a pre-Fishbelly Black George Michael engineering, Hilton recorded and produced four songs, “Perfect Vibe”, Trance Jazz”, Funk What?”, and Rare and Groovy”. These songs were released on vinyl EP and Hilton’s career as a music producer was underway.
“I’ve always been fixated on music and I had from time to time made my own. I had played in hard-core punk bands when I was a kid and I faithfully adhered to the ‘do-it-yourself’ creed that punk rock stood for and inspired,” explains Hilton. When I first stumbled across the budding Acid Jazz scene in the late 80’s, I was enchanted by the eclecticism of the sounds and the grassroots approach to releasing music. I still dig the current scene for the same reasons, yet now it seems even more eclectic and, in many ways, more interesting.