Tricky’s first two albums Maxinquaye and Pre-Millenium Tension are acclaimed masterworks, but in the years since his mid-90s heyday, he has severely damaged his legacy by churning out a series of uneven, uninspired, or outright awful releases. He’s become self-defeating and solipsistic, but even today he’s still capable of creating an excellent song or two every few years. I don’t mind the guy falling off, but I do worry that his current reputation gets in the way of new listeners discovering his best work, and so I present this compilation covering most of his classics, but also excellent material that was either lost on lackluster albums or cast aside as rarities. This is dark, sexy stuff, and a totally skewed and distinct mutant version of R&B and hip hop. If you’re really into what the xx are doing right now but have never heard this music, you ought to give this a shot.
Overcome / Makes Me Wanna Die / Slowly / Mellow / Ponderosa / Together Now (featuring Neneh Cherry) / Your Name / Pumpkin (featuring Alison Goldfrapp) / Christiansands / Singin’ The Blues / For Real / Feed Me / Puppy Toy / Tricky Kid / Anti-Histamine / Vent / Broken Homes (featuring Polly Jean Harvey) / Hell Is Around The Corner / Suffocated Love / Here Come The Aliens
Nice. There’s just something about Tricky. His music is so invasive.
A friend and I saw Tricky in 1996 at a club in Tampa. The place was normally a rave kind of place, the kind that doesn’t really exist anymore. The walls and floor were all slick, glazed concrete, and it was a pretty loud room. There weren’t many people at the show, so there was that dreaded waiting period where they delay the main act while hoping that more people show up. During that three hour span, my friend and I heard three different DJs spin terrible rave music while we sat on a concrete floor watching dorks play with fucking glowsticks, not able to talk because of the sheer volume of the music. When Tricky and his band finally came on (that’s right, real instruments, no sequencers at all back then), we were greeted by the most ear-splitting shriek noise I’ve heard in my whole lifetime. By FAR it was the loudest show and the loudest thing I have ever heard. Imagine sitting near a running jet engine for a few hours. I literally couldn’t hear when we left, and it took about two days for the ringing to finally go away.
Beyond the noise level, it was awesome. I don’t know what Tricky was on to make his head movements not hurt, but when he was speaking/rapping, he kept shaking his head side to side very viciously for most of the show. Try that real fast. It hurts.