Release Date: Sep 22, 2017
Record label: !K7
Genre(s): Electronic, Trip-Hop
Strange things are afoot on Tricky’s 13th LP: its quality, for one. The trip-hop maverick’s former foil, Martina Topley-Bird, guests for the first time in 14 years; a sombre treat. Elsewhere, Russian rappers jostle against a perplexing cover version of Hole’s Doll Parts. The former are excellent, with the lairy Scriptonite juxtaposed against Tricky’s malevolent drawl on Same As It Ever Was (a Talking Heads reference, surely).
In the mid 90s his name was synonymous with the trip-hop invasion, Tricky being one of the key architects of the sound. Fast forward a couple of decaces and the decision to title a record in such a way suggests that we are in for another ground breaking whirl. The title is a bit of a misnomer in its relation to the music, but perhaps perfect for the story of his life.
Since 1996's Pre-Millennium Tension, Adrian Thaw, aka Tricky, has unrightfully faded from the realm of influence, mapping a legacy that hides in poorly referenced and footnoted Wikipedia pages. Music and its fans are no less fickle today as they were then, and from the heavy reliance on journalistic labels, the Bristol-born artist finds himself as a relic of trip hop's heralded history. Look past the label and witness an artist who flows unlike any other British rapper, along with the most distinctive voice and rasp that grates like a razor across leathered skin.
While Tricky’s latest album title ununiform, complete with its non-traditional punctuation, feels a little like a mission statement—his unwillingness to revisit past glories now well-documented—the story of the album itself won’t be able to escape its nods to the celebrated genesis of Tricky’s confounding solo career. Maxinquaye is, of course, a genre classic. As one of the albums that defined the very genre of “trip-hop”, it found a mood and stuck with it, offering the sinister haze that alongside Massive Attack came to be known as the Bristol sound.
The album of domestic bliss is notoriously difficult to pull off. We may wish our musical idols long and happy lives, but the shameful reality is that we generally prefer to hear the fruits of their struggles rather than their reflections on happiness. It comes as a particular surprise that ununiform, the 13th studio album from the British rapper Tricky, is billed as .