Tricky goes East
With his 13th album, the prince of dark trip-hop drifts towards Moscow
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 anybody. I eat good food. I go for walks. I've got a bike. I'm trying to look after myself. I don’t drink here. Some people call it boring, but I wake at 9am and I’m asleep by 11 o'clock at night. I'm looking after myself. As for Moscow, that’s my favorite city in the world. I didn't want to spend Christmas at home, so in December 2016 I spent 3 weeks there recording and 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 offers us an MRI scan into the complex brain of a musician who’s never stuck for ideas.
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