40 Thieves is a San Francisco based dance music collective with Corey Black, Layne Fox, Jay WIlliams (aka Jaswho?) at the helm. Friends, vocalists and fellow musicians contribute ideas along the way, and driving it all is the insatiable and mutual desire to create lasting, emotive, and sometimes hilarious music. Styles can range from psychedelic disco and blues to proto-house and acid, with influence stemming from years collecting records by artists like Larry Levan, Francois Kevorkian, Patrck Adams, Patrick Cowley, Arthur Russell, Sly & Robbie, Ron Hardy, Larry Heard, Kraftwerk, James Brown, Funkadelic, Chaz Jankel, Indeep and Liquid Liquid have all impacted the 40 Thieves sound.
Formed in 2005, 40 Thieves work slowly, and have only released a small handful worth of originals, and a handful of well selected remixes and edits to date. They have appeared on the labels Rong, Permanent Vacation, Chinatown, Tirk, Supersoul, and Strut, with new material for 2011 and beyond finding its way to the limited masses via Claremont 56’s sexy sister, Leng. Their remake of the obscure 70’s disco classic by Hot Chocolate, Don’t Turn It Off (feat. Qzen) Brennan Green version was named #2 of 2009 year by DJHistory.com and landed at the top of Beatport’s best of the decade in 2010.
The Thieves came together much like other music groups probably do… Corey is the funny charismatic one with a masters in literature, and founded the seminal SF house label, imperial DUB recordings in the mid 90’s. He got to tour the globe with the very first wave of rave jocks and eventually found his way into the studio with friend Ben Cook to form The Triangle Orchestra. In addition to a handful of well regarded ep’s and remixes for the great labels of the moment, they finished a few songs that would become the first release for Ben and DJ Spun’s soon-to-be label, Rong Music.
Layne is the one from Florida. He began djing as at the tender age of 12 when a compulsion for radio mix shows drove him to buy his first mixer and turntables. After college Layne held DJ residencies at the legendary SIMONS, Soulhouse and The Loft in Gainesville, playing acid jazz and deep house to the up-for-it college crowd while spending spare moments working on his own music. In 2000 he relocated to San Francisco and met up with Corey, who provided his first SF steady job as label manager for imperial DUB.
Jay Williams, aka Jaswho? hails from Hartford, CT… the all around good guy with never enough time, spent his lifetime making dance music albums as a multi instrumentalist. As a session player, he’s appeared on dozens of dance records you love, and as a soloist and live performer has an equally impressive list of credits. His wife, Eileen, happened to also work with Layne and Corey at DUB HQ, so it didn’t take long for the three to make friends and put it all together. They combined forces and gear and got themselves a real studio .
Pretty much like that.. 40 Thieves was born.