It's all a day's work for TRICKY
INTO THE RECORDING CHAMBER
of Hollywood's Ovean Way studio is like entering a hippie shrine. Candles, tapestries and blacklights are lined up amongst framed platinum records and the mixing board used for the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds sessions. Then, out jumps Tricky from one of the recording boothe, apparently in his element.
Rolling himself a European joint of weed and tobacco, Tricky attempts to give an acvurate reading of Blowback, the
album he's nearly finished mixing at Ocean Way. As articulate as he happens to be, he's having a hard time of it.
"I don't really have a style," he says. "I'm not really part of anything. And [the music] sounds like that even moreso.
What's really weird is, it's very contemporary. It's universal, but it's still like a sore thumb. One song sounds to me like '60s
blues rock and roll, yet it don't sound like anything [else out there]."
For an artist as willfully eclectic as Tricky, that's saying something. Yet as he looks back at what' he's created, he sats he believes that all the albums he's released until now - from the gritty trip hop of 1995's Maxinquaye and 1996's Pre-Millennium Tension to the messy rock antics of 1998's Angels With Dirty Faces - have been prelude to the work he's
preparing to unleash on the world this July.
"I think every one of my albums has been a demo. It's been a learning process. I've never had anybody alse producing
me. So it's trying to find out where I"m going all of a sudden, and now I've found out - it's kind of all clicked together."
As the new tracks play, Tricky's commentary makes more sense. Booming out
of Ocean Way's monitors, all the old
elements of Tricky's sound - from nasty dub overtones and brooding samples to aggressive guitar passages -sounds as if they've settled into a new, cohesive and accessible form. In particular, an as-yet-untitled track featuring Alanis Morissette puts both vocalist and producer in a new light.
A lot of people around me wouldn't be into Alanis Morissette. And I don't mean hip-hop kids; I mean just generally," Tricky says. "But after working with her, I think she's one of the best female singers in the world. She can actually sing!"
Other guests on Blowback include Live singer Ed Kowalczyk and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (who play on a cover of the Wonder Woman theme song) as well as members of Tricky protégés the Baby Namboos. But don't expect to hear much of Tricky's vocals this time.
"For some reason, I didn't want to do a lot of vocals. I don't want to be doing vocals unless I can start doing something else with my vocals, until I can go somewhere else. I need to find somewhere new to go with my voice."
But for now, Tricky sounds excited about where he's going with Blowback - so much so that he offers this bold statement: "I think this album moght be the new pop music. Something's gotta change in this industry, and I think it might be this album, because if this is a successful album, it's going to change a lot of stuff. I think it's the pop music of the future."
-- Justin Hampton