Similar artists

Albums

£11.99
£7.99

Trip Hop - Released September 27, 2010 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks - Hi-Res Audio
When Tricky returned from his five-year recording hiatus with the autobiographical Knowle West Boy in 2008, he proffered a hard-hitting set of songs and soundscapes comprised of originals and covers that roared with confrontational brownpunk energy. Two years on, Mixed Race is as direct as its predecessor, but sparser, more spacious, mostly low-key, and very brief (under half an hour). While its sound is still in-your-face, it's remarkable how little murk there is -- despite the layers of backing tracks. Lyrically it's autobiographical, but it's also a gangster album. The sound of guns being cocked and loaded is almost ubiquitous. The signpost is the single, a revisioned take on Echo Minott's '90s dancehall hit "Murder Weapon." The lyric (delivered by Tricky's brother Marlon Thaws), full of references to guns and shoot-em-up street battles, is juxtaposed with Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn Theme" and a sampled blues harmonica riff. Its sound looks to the past for inspiration while looking only at itself as a map reference. "Bristol to London" rips on the old-school styles of Brit-hop with a furious synth up front and three staggered rhythms. The wiry funk in "UK Jamaican," with singer Terry Lynn, defines the plight of immigrants who think (or are forced to think) with "Kingston logic." "Ghetto Stars," one of numerous tracks to feature Tricky's excellent touring vocalist Franky Riley, comments on the reality of gangster life in public housing projects with dramatic string samples, slow, menacing loping beats, and metallic guitars. She also shines on the spooky, sinister, drone-blues opener, "Every Day." "Hakim" uses a North African motif, handclaps, and both vocal and lute from Hakim Hamadouche (Rachid Taha), along with a shuffling rhythm track. "Early Bird," with its slow chunky guitars, shimmering cymbals, muted trumpet, and a knotty little single-string blues guitar riff, is dark and imposing. "Come to Me" is a (literally) finger-popping jump jazz love song, slowed down to cough syrup flow. "Time to Dance," the closest Tricky claims he will "ever get to disco," is synthed-out minimalism, dry and deadpan. "Really Real," a collaboration with Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie, is a spaced-out, aimless dronescape, with guitars and rhythm tracks crisscrossing in a repetitive mantra-like manner. Ultimately, Mixed Race, with its simmering tension, is a worthy follow-up to Knowle West Boy, and a fine entry in Tricky's catalog overall. ~ Thom Jurek
£7.27

Rock - Released January 1, 1995 | Island Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Tricky's debut, Maxinquaye, is an album of stunning sustained vision and imagination, a record that sounds like it has no precedent as it boldly predicts a new future. Of course, neither sentiment is true. Much of the music on Maxinquaye has its roots in the trip-hop pioneered by Massive Attack, which once featured Tricky, and after the success of this record, trip-hop became fashionable, turning into safe, comfortable music to be played at upscale dinner parties thrown by hip twenty and thirtysomethings. Both of these sentiments are true, yet Maxinquaye still manages to retain its power; years later, it can still sound haunting, disturbing, and surprising after countless spins. It's an album that exists outside of time and outside of trends, a record whose clanking rhythms, tape haze, murmured vocals, shards of noise, reversed gender roles, alt-rock asides, and soul samplings create a ghostly netherworld fused with seductive menace and paranoia. It also shimmers with mystery, coming not just from Tricky -- whose voice isn't even heard until the second song on the record -- but his vocalist, Martine, whose smoky singing lures listeners into the unrelenting darkness of the record. Once they're there, Maxinquaye offers untold treasures. There is the sheer pleasure of coasting by on the sound of the record, how it makes greater use of noise and experimental music than anything since the Bomb Squad and Public Enemy. Then, there's the tip of the hat to PE with a surreal cover of "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," sung by Martine and never sounding like a postmodernist in-joke. Other references and samples register subconsciously -- while Isaac Hayes' "Ike's Rap II" flows through "Hell Is Around the Corner" and the Smashing Pumpkins are even referenced in the title of "Pumpkin," Shakespear's Sister and the Chantels slip by, while Michael Jackson's "Bad" thrillingly bleeds into "Expressway to Your Heart" on "Brand New You're Retro." Lyrics flow in and out of consciousness, with lingering, whispered promises suddenly undercut by veiled threats and bursts of violence. Then, there's how music that initially may seem like mood pieces slowly reveal their ingenious structure and arrangement and register as full-blown songs, or how the alternately languid and chaotic rhythms finally compliment each other, turning this into a bracing sonic adventure that gains richness and resonance with each listen. After all, there's so much going on here -- within the production, the songs, the words -- it remains fascinating even after all of its many paths have been explored (which certainly can't be said of the trip-hop that followed, including records by Tricky). And that air of mystery that can be impenetrable upon the first listen certainly is something that keeps Maxinquaye tantalizing after it's become familiar, particularly because, like all good mysteries, there's no getting to the bottom of it, no matter how hard you try. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£14.03

Electro - Released January 1, 2009 | Island Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Tricky's debut, Maxinquaye, is an album of stunning sustained vision and imagination, a record that sounds like it has no precedent as it boldly predicts a new future. Of course, neither sentiment is true. Much of the music on Maxinquaye has its roots in the trip-hop pioneered by Massive Attack, which once featured Tricky, and after the success of this record, trip-hop became fashionable, turning into safe, comfortable music to be played at upscale dinner parties thrown by hip twenty and thirtysomethings. Both of these sentiments are true, yet Maxinquaye still manages to retain its power; years later, it can still sound haunting, disturbing, and surprising after countless spins. It's an album that exists outside of time and outside of trends, a record whose clanking rhythms, tape haze, murmured vocals, shards of noise, reversed gender roles, alt-rock asides, and soul samplings create a ghostly netherworld fused with seductive menace and paranoia. It also shimmers with mystery, coming not just from Tricky -- whose voice isn't even heard until the second song on the record -- but his vocalist, Martine, whose smoky singing lures listeners into the unrelenting darkness of the record. Once they're there, Maxinquaye offers untold treasures. There is the sheer pleasure of coasting by on the sound of the record, how it makes greater use of noise and experimental music than anything since the Bomb Squad and Public Enemy. Then, there's the tip of the hat to PE with a surreal cover of "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," sung by Martine and never sounding like a postmodernist in-joke. Other references and samples register subconsciously -- while Isaac Hayes' "Ike's Rap II" flows through "Hell Is Around the Corner" and the Smashing Pumpkins are even referenced in the title of "Pumpkin," Shakespear's Sister and the Chantels slip by, while Michael Jackson's "Bad" thrillingly bleeds into "Expressway to Your Heart" on "Brand New You're Retro." Lyrics flow in and out of consciousness, with lingering, whispered promises suddenly undercut by veiled threats and bursts of violence. Then, there's how music that initially may seem like mood pieces slowly reveal their ingenious structure and arrangement and register as full-blown songs, or how the alternately languid and chaotic rhythms finally compliment each other, turning this into a bracing sonic adventure that gains richness and resonance with each listen. After all, there's so much going on here -- within the production, the songs, the words -- it remains fascinating even after all of its many paths have been explored (which certainly can't be said of the trip-hop that followed, including records by Tricky). And that air of mystery that can be impenetrable upon the first listen certainly is something that keeps Maxinquaye tantalizing after it's become familiar, particularly because, like all good mysteries, there's no getting to the bottom of it, no matter how hard you try. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£10.79
£7.19

Trip Hop - Released September 8, 2014 | False Idols

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
£7.99

Trip Hop - Released July 9, 2008 | Domino Recording Co

Is the year 2008 a Bristol revival? First there's a new Portishead recording (Third), their first in over a decade, then Massive Attack finishes a new album (Weather Underground) and curates the Meltdown festival, and finally, Tricky's released his finest record since Pre-Millennium Tension. Knowle West Boy is named for the Council Estates housing project neighborhood Tricky grew up in. This set is not shrouded in mystery: it's autobiographical. It's the first album of well-crafted songs he's come up with since Maxinquaye (but doesn't sound a thing like it). As has been his wont since early on, Tricky also employs a host of other vocalists here for the sake of expressing more complex emotions, and also toward spinning a more complete -- if sometimes complex -- narrative. Rage and paranoia haven't been replaced so much as they've been extrapolated upon and expanded by humor, joy, bravado, and an authentic vulnerability and sense that the personal is political, as this set deals straight on with issues of race and class without even remotely preaching. That said, it's a down and dirty musical beat collision that combines punk, reggae, funk, pop, and hip-hop and hard rock in a wicked brew that is focused and in your face. The set begins with a lounge-blues soundscape that evokes the late-night feel of Barry Adamson at his sleaziest. It explodes about a minute in, strutting its scrappy big band against Fripp-ian guitars, a cracking distorted snare, and cymbal thuggery. The cool thing is in its humor. Tricky plays a lounge lizard boasting about himself to a young woman (Alex Mills) who hands it back to him on a funhouse mirror. The first single, "Council Estate," is a furious punk anthem created as a football-style chant set to a post-punk bassline, with big menacing kick drums, staggered reverb vocals, and Tricky letting the pride in his upbringing come to the fore. It's a breathless two-and-a-half minutes, but it's the best thing here. "Past Mistake" is reminiscent of the torch song duet balladry of Nearly God's "Poems," a tune Tricky performed with Terry Hall and Martina Topley-Bird. "Bacative" employs a ragged punk-charged ragga, and features toaster Rodigan (a New Yorker of West Indian origin). He begins his toast to a plucked cello, drum loops, snares, tambourines, and a set of hi-hat cymbals that shimmer above the bassline. "Joseph" is titled for a young man who does the vocals. The use of harp, hand drums, vibes, and a synthed bassline is strangely atmospheric and haunting. "Veronika" features vocals by French-Moroccan vocalist Lubua; it commences with a slew of distorted beats and tom-tom loops that feel like a military march; her voice is anything but, however. She expresses hurt, heartbreak, and anger brought about by the absent subject. She is also present on the haunting ballad "School Gates" that closes the set; a haunting ballad about a teen pregnancy told from both male and female points of view. "C'Mon Baby" is a rockist thumper that evokes AC/DC with beats! There is also a cover here of Kylie Minogue's "Slow." Whereas the original is all sleek, sensual, and inviting, Tricky inverts the song's meaning by becoming a sleazy, macho Lothario narrating. Knowle West Boy is not another Maxinquaye (it doesn't try, either) but it is a very strong, accessible set that puts his renewed creativity on display in a blur of sound and color. It not only re-establishes him as a pioneer, but as an engaging personae who isn't hiding behind his sonic palette anymore; his music is all the better for it. ~ Thom Jurek
£8.99

Dance - Released January 29, 2008 | Anti - Epitaph

First, the bad news. There are no new tricks on BlowBack, the star-studded 2001 comeback by Tricky, the pioneering trip-hopper that wandered his way into the wilderness. He wandered so far that nobody really cared anymore if he had anything to say -- particularly because he wound up saying the same thing, slightly differently, over and over again. He doesn't escape from this problem here, yet he's found a map -- and that map is craft. He knew this before, since the best moments of Angels With Dirty Faces and Juxtapose were when he knew how to spin his signatures just right, so they jelled into something brilliant. He has the same gift here, and he extends it throughout the record, so this is the first record that really plays smoothly from start to finish since Pre-Millennium Tension. That, of course, isn't the same thing as being as good, since he has ceased to innovate, and he has a couple of annoying flaws, including his tendency to create one mood and sustain it without developing it, plus his love of dancehall toasting. The thing is, for all of his genius, Tricky doesn't really have the greatest taste in the world. Yes, he's worked with Björk and PJ Harvey, but he's also brought Bush into the studio, and here Live's Ed Kowalczyk, three members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Cyndi Lauper all contribute sonic coloring. The genius of Tricky is, he knows how to pull out the best in such unlikely collaborators, making it sound like a natural extension of his work. Then again, it could just be that John Frusciante and Flea know "Brand New You're Retro" so well, it's easy to turn it out again on "Wonder Woman." So, it's a mixed bag, but it plays sharper than his albums of late. Yes, there are some astonishing slips -- the backing track of "Something in the Way" sounds great, but Hawkman, the ragga bane of this album, castrates it of its power -- but, at this point, that's a given with Tricky. Once you get past that, once you stop expecting genius -- or at least something that matches Maxinquaye (or even Tension) -- it's much easier to enjoy BlowBack. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£10.26

Rock - Released January 1, 2002 | Island Records

£10.26

Rock - Released January 1, 1999 | Island Records

Tricky's potential once seemed boundless, but by the time of his fifth album, Juxtapose, he hadn't expanded his trademark sound: a creeping, menacing blend of hip-hop, alternative rock, and ragga, all delivered with stoned paranoia. Perhaps Tricky realized that its rewards were smaller with each subsequent album, since he designed Juxtapose to be his most ambitious, eclectic album since Maxinquaye, and the one that finally broke him to the mainstream American hip-hop audience. So, he teamed with DJ Muggs (the architect of Cypress Hill's sound, a clear precedent for Tricky's) and DMX's producer, Grease. The end result is hardly a collaboration -- in fact, it feels truncated, weighing in at a mere 35 minutes -- but it works in other ways, since Tricky often seems revitalized. That much is evident on the stellar opening cut, "For Real"; the music is spaced-out, sexy, melodic, and appealing, even when it gets foreboding. It's a terrific beginning, suggesting that this will be the first album to offer significant variations on Tricky's signature sound. And it does, but it may not go far enough for some tastes, since a good portion of this brief album is devoted to retreads, which reveal his weaknesses all too well. Tricky remains unduly infatuated with ragga, letting British toaster Mad Dog run wild; his frenetic delivery single-handedly breaks the spell of each track he's featured on. But elsewhere, Tricky pushes forward in inventive ways that add weight to Juxtapose -- "Contradictive" is his best pop move to date, blessed by Spanish guitars and elongated strings; the paranoid drums of "She Said" successfully deepen the menace; and "Scrappy Love" is a haunting blend of soul and trip-hop, with eerie piano reminiscent of DJ Shadow. Juxtapose is a qualified success, but it is a success since the moments that work are his best in years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£6.49

Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1998 | Island Records Ltd.

Perhaps Maxinquaye was such a startling, focused, brilliant debut that Tricky's subsequent albums would have paled in comparison, regardless of their quality. Nevertheless, his desire to distance himself from the coffeehouse trip-hop that appeared after Maxinquaye forced him into a dark, paranoid corner. Determined to strip away all of his fair-weather fans, he delivered the claustrophobic Pre-Millennium Tension, a paranoid record that its follow-up, Angels With Dirty Faces, mirrors. Since it builds upon Pre-Millennium instead of breaking new ground, Angels may strike some listeners as merely a retread, but it gradually reveals new layers upon repeated listens. Tricky has been redefining his rhythms, adding skittering jungle loops and hardcore hip-hop beats to his trademark dub-warped trip-hop. On top of that, he's expanding his sonic palette, adding cheap synthesizers and avant-garde guitarists to create a nightmarish junk-pile of hip-hop, dub, electronica, rock, and gospel. Again, Martina is on board and her stylish croon adds moments of relief to the enveloping dread, as does Polly Harvey on the odd gospel-tinged "Broken Homes." Specific tracks work well individually -- "Mellow," "Singing the Blues," "Angels With Dirty Faces," and the absurd, bile-ridden "Record Companies," in particular -- but on the whole Angels With Dirty Faces is less than the sum of its parts. By being slightly different but essentially the same as Pre-Millennium Tension, Angels With Dirty Faces demands that listeners meet it on its own terms. Whether they'll want to is another matter entirely. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£7.99

Dance - Released January 29, 2008 | Anti - Epitaph

Previously the darling of the alternative dance scene following his groundbreaking 1995 trip-hop debut Maxinquaye, Adrian Thaws, aka Tricky, has spent the subsequent eight years almost destroying his visionary status thanks to a worrying God complex and a series of increasingly erratic albums, none of which have come close to matching the aforementioned's inventively sinister soundscapes and contrasting blends of sweet-sung melodies and claustrophobic lyrics. Two years after the star-studded BlowBack, the former Massive Attack cohort returns with his seventh studio album in eight years, Vulnerable which, as its title suggests, has been described as his most honest and open record to date. While its 13 tracks are unlikely to capture the zeitgeist in the same manner of his most celebrated record, it's unarguably his most accessible offering since, thanks to a newfound, sunnier disposition, perhaps inspired by his relocation to Los Angeles, and the presence of Italian vocalist Costanza Francavilla, a fan who attracted Tricky's attention after giving his drummer one of her demos following a gig in Rome. She may not possess the beguiling sultry qualities of his former muse, Martina Topley Bird, but her delicately fragile and honeyed tones provide a welcome companion to his trademark mumbling growls, particularly on the playful boy/girl melodies of opening track "Stay" and the indie-funk rhythms of the Madchester-esque "Antimatter." Elsewhere, "Car Crash" is a gorgeously languid slice of dream pop reminiscent of the acoustic chillout of Zero 7, likewise "Hollow," a blissful fusion of skittering beats, trippy guitars, and enchanting choral voices, while "Lovecats" is an inspired, dub-heavy reworking of the Cure's 1983 classic hit single. Unfortunately, the nu-metal leanings that dogged his last album are still very much evident, such as on the doom-laden and plodding thrash-out "How High," and the Rage Against the Machine pastiche production of "Moody," while his unapologetic diatribe against the editor of The Face magazine on "Search, Search, Survive" is a rather unpleasant way to close a predominantly optimistic effort, which shows that Tricky is still prone to the occasional paranoid rambling every now and then. Eight years on from Maxinquaye, it's seeming increasingly unlikely that Tricky will ever properly fulfill his huge promise. But while Vulnerable undeniably lacks the unpredictability and genuine innovation of his early days, it's a solid and surprisingly melodic affair which is a huge improvement on his often unlistenable last few efforts. ~ Jon O'Brien
£2.39

Trip Hop - Released July 18, 2011 | Domino Recording Co

£0.79

Trip Hop - Released August 29, 2010 | Domino Recording Co

£11.56

Rock - Released January 1, 1998 | Island Records

Perhaps Maxinquaye was such a startling, focused, brilliant debut that Tricky's subsequent albums would have paled in comparison, regardless of their quality. Nevertheless, his desire to distance himself from the coffeehouse trip-hop that appeared after Maxinquaye forced him into a dark, paranoid corner. Determined to strip away all of his fair-weather fans, he delivered the claustrophobic Pre-Millennium Tension, a paranoid record that its follow-up, Angels With Dirty Faces, mirrors. Since it builds upon Pre-Millennium instead of breaking new ground, Angels may strike some listeners as merely a retread, but it gradually reveals new layers upon repeated listens. Tricky has been redefining his rhythms, adding skittering jungle loops and hardcore hip-hop beats to his trademark dub-warped trip-hop. On top of that, he's expanding his sonic palette, adding cheap synthesizers and avant-garde guitarists to create a nightmarish junk-pile of hip-hop, dub, electronica, rock, and gospel. Again, Martina is on board and her stylish croon adds moments of relief to the enveloping dread, as does Polly Harvey on the odd gospel-tinged "Broken Homes." Specific tracks work well individually -- "Mellow," "Singing the Blues," "Angels With Dirty Faces," and the absurd, bile-ridden "Record Companies," in particular -- but on the whole Angels With Dirty Faces is less than the sum of its parts. By being slightly different but essentially the same as Pre-Millennium Tension, Angels With Dirty Faces demands that listeners meet it on its own terms. Whether they'll want to is another matter entirely. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
£10.79
£7.19

Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2017 | False Idols

Hi-Res Booklet
On Skilled Mechanics which came out in 2016, Adrian Thaws (a.k.a. Tricky) never emerged from the darkness. The same is true for Ununiform, his thirteenth album that he published a year later. Disc after disc, the British artists reminds us that he is without a doubt the most gifted painter/singer in terms of exploring the darkness of the human soul. He is familiar with the obscure side of the force, having been made an orphan at a young age and convicted not much later… A few months shy of 50 years of age, Tricky (who’s lived in Berlin since 2015) offers a new beautiful and disturbing collage of his various phobias, passions and nightmares. Incidentally, the German capital has made an impact on this work. Just like the Russian capital. "I like Berlin because I don’t know anyone. I eat well, I go on walks, I have a bike… I try to take care of myself. I don’t drink here. Some people might find this boring, but I wake up at 9 in the morning and I’m in bed by 11 at night. I take care of myself… As for Moscow, that’s my favorite city in the whole world! I never want to celebrate Christmas at home, so in December 2016 I spent 3 weeks there, recording while eating Russian food." As a result, Tricky invited several Russian rappers onto the tracks to join his descent into hell. Among them we find Scriptonite, MC on Blood Of My Blood and Same As It Ever Was, as well as Vasily Vakulenko, one of the most popular rappers in the country who composed the beat for The Only Way. The rapper Smoky Mo makes an appearance on Bang Boogie, a track composed by Gazgolder, the owner of one of the biggest Russian rap labels. Tricky clearly doesn’t speak russian. "I don’t need to understand what they rap. I feel it. They live each day like it’s their last, and I like that." All this hardly stops the ex-member of Massive Attack from bringing back some past collaborators, from Francesca Belamonte to Asia Argento and even his ex Martina Topley-Bird… Between dark new wave, subdued trip-hop, avant-garde rap and numbed rock, Ununiform is an MRI scan into the complex brain of a musician who’s never stuck for ideas.
£2.39

Alternative & Indie - Released August 25, 2017 | False Idols

Artist

Tricky in the magazine
  • Tricky goes East
    Tricky goes East On Skilled Mechanics which came out in 2016, Adrian Thaws (a.k.a. Tricky) never emerged from the darkness. The same is true for Ununiform, his thirteenth album that he published a year later. Disc after disc, the British artists reminds us that he is without a doubt the most gifted painter/singer...
  • The Qobuz Minute #20
    The Qobuz Minute #20 Presented by Barry Moore, The Qobuz Minute sweeps you away to the 4 corners of the musical universe to bring you an eclectic mix of today's brightest talents. Jazz, Electro, Classical, World music ...