I almost choked on my tea when I spied Goldie on Strictly Come Dancing recently. A man with golden teeth and skills in graffiti must have given up on his roots entirely to do this. One man who would not be seen dead doing any kind of foxtrot is Adrian Thaws. The Tricky Kid.
Beloved of trip hop fans and kids of the 90’s everywhere. He’s back with a new album, amazingly his 9th. Of course everyone remembers Maxinquaye and maybe Pre Millenium Tension, but since then he has sunk slightly into churning out his signature dark, brooding melodies and everyone has got a little bored. But this album…oh boy. He’s picked up his pace and the sun has finally come out. At only 29 minutes long and 10 tracks, it’s a very brief piece. Every song is different in style, from the sexy, jazzy ‘Early Bird’, to the almost-Daft Punk ‘Kingston Logic’ (actually, spookily similar to ‘Technologic’). It’s still dark, it’s still whispery and it’s still heavy, man, but he’s definitely exploring new avenues, perhaps as a result of him living in Paris these days, with its’ mix of nationalities and cultures.
There’s a stunning track on here, ‘Hakim’, with Arabian sounding instruments playing a trip hop style track with Eastern rapping over the top. It just works. The first single off the album, ‘Murder Weapon’, is a reworking of the classic dancehall hit from Jamaican-born Echo Minott, originally released in the early ’90s. ‘Really Real’ is a druggy, bass heavy slink, with vocals by Bobby Gillespie. And Tricky’s own brother raps on the final track Bristol to London, sounding like Tricky but less gruff. All in all, this is a really really good collection of intelligent and creative songs, demonstrating Tricky’s talent in picking the feeling he wants in a song and then making the sound around that feeling. A return to form. Well done The Kid.
By Lizz Page.