Tricky announces collaboration with Tirzah
While other trip-hop survivors – DJ Shadow, for example – have recently offered their takes on current trends (juke in his case), Tricky is sticking to his own path. He has managed to refresh that sound without coming across as forced, and has wisely cherry-picked contemporary talent with rappers Mykki Blanco and Bella Gotti, juxtaposed and paired with London-based vocalist Tirzah – who impressed with her No Romance EP earlier in the year – and Francesca Belmonte’s silky hooks. From opener Sun Down, you’re transported to Tricky’s world. It is dark, seductive and filled with songs that are linked via his inventive production and bleak worldview. Lyrically, the album takes in life on the breadline (Sun Down), a race-hate story that refixes Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy (Gangster Chronicles) and a study of what happens when hedonistic highs meet cold, hard reality (Nicotine Love). Sonically, it ranges from avant garde soundscapes (My Palestine Girl) to low-slung soul (Silly Games) and spiky hip-hop (Lonnie Listen). The album’s standouts, however, are the two collaborations with Tirzah, whose understated vocals fit perfectly with Tricky’s unnerving instrumentation and help to reveal an artist who’s still capable of surprising, disturbing and revelling in his own idiosyncracies.