Tricky – Mixed Race

January 01, 1970





years after the epochal Maxinquaye,
it’s clear that the guy who made that richly layered masterpiece is not coming
back. Indeed, in the notes to his new Mixed
, Tricky says he now considers some of his early work “too
cluttered.” That can’t be said of his latest album, which is direct, often
uptempo and only 29 minutes long. It includes some tracks that rank among
musician’s best — and a few that sound like rough sketches.


based in Paris, Tricky recalls his bad-boy Bristol adolescence on
such crackling numbers as “Kingston Logic” (with vocals by Terry
Lynn) and “Murder Weapon” (featuring the album’s principal female
singer, Frankey Riley). The latter track, which reworks an Echo Minott tune,
exemplifies Tricky’s current approach: It’s propelled by an insistent
“Peter Gunn” loop rather than a murmuring, kaleidoscopic array of


Mixed Race dabbles in lounge balladry
(“Early Bird”), techno (“Time to Dance”)
and Arab music (“Hakim”), but the album’s major influences are reggae
and Delta blues. The sultry “Come to Me” is a bluesy vamp, while
“Every Day” features a bleating harmonica and a work chant that might
have come from the Smithsonian Folkways archives. On the latter track, as on
“Really Real” (which features Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie), Tricky
drifts toward his trademark ghostly slo-mo. But there’s more guitar and
saxophone than aural mist on this album, the work of a studio wiz who’s become
less painstaking, but no less passionate.


DOWNLOAD: “Kingston Logic,” “Come to Me”

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