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Even among the chosen few artist currently experimenting with the sonic
black pop music, Tricky walks to the beat of a different drum-machine. "I've always felt
comfortable doing things the hard way instead of going for the obvious," says Tricky.
"I've never been into compromising my sound for anyone else."
On his latest opus, entitled Juxtapose, Tricky has fallen down a surrealist
where players slayers dwell and blunted beats have become the constant soundtrack; an
illmatic world where electric-guitars blare, gleaming turntables scream, and above it all
Tricky's inimitable vocals moan in the mix. "I chose to name this disc Juxtapose,
because the concept was to create a hybrid of my favorite music," says Tricky
"I developed a passion for music at an early age," remembers Tricky. "I
everything from reggae to punk, but it was the sound of hip-hop that would change my
Transfixed by the powerful sounds of America's gritty underground, which
holy trinity of Rakim, Chuck D and Slick Rick, young Adrian (Tricky) Thaws' entire
musical aesthetic shifted once he began to absorb these boastful, foreign voices from
across the ocean. "The first time I heard Slick Rick doing 'La-Di-Da-Di,' I'd never
heard anything like that in my entire life. "From that moment, I started telling my
homeboys I was a rapper; in fact, I told people I was a rapper for a year before I even
wrote my first rhyme."
Over a decade later, when Tricky began mixing the monster movie funk and
electric spunk of his sonic cocktails - smoky dub --Maxinquaye (1995), Pre-Millennium
Tension (1996), Angels With Dirty Faces (1998) and countless side projects, he still
embraced the words of rap-speak. "When I first came out everyone considered me an
alternative artist, but, in my opinion there is no music more alternative than hip-hop,"
says Tricky. "And, in the same way I think producers like Premier and RZA are wicked,
these are hip-hop producers who have been checking my style."
Witness Juxtapose, an album that marks the first time Tricky has decided
to loosen his
creative reigns in favor of boombastic collaborations. "I've never allowed another
producer to incorporate their music into my albums," explains Tricky. "But there are
dudes like DJ Muggs (of Cypress Hill fame) and Grease (Ruff Ryders, DMX producer)
that I really wanted to work with," says Tricky. "And with Juxtapose I feel that my
original vision has become a reality."
"I was familiar with Grease's work, so I felt privileged that he wanted
to work with me,"
says Tricky excitedly. "We went into the studio and straight away he played me material
that just blew me away. Unlike a lot of hip-hop producers, Grease has the ability to
make big songs with diverse sensibility that goes beyond any genre."
On "Bom Bom Diggy," the first track that Tricky and Grease worked on together,
obvious that these two creative darlings were made for eachother. The track also
introduces the potent rhyme stlye of Mad Dog (from the UK hip-hop outfit London
Posse), perhaps the illest rapper to rise above the London fog.
Listening to the intense "Hot Like A Sauna," which also utilizes Mad Dog's
Grease's slippery sound, Tricky also finds room to showcase his latest vocal discovery
Kioka. "It was decided that Martina would concentrate on creating her solo album, so I
had to find a different voice," explains Tricky, who has signed Kioka to his Durban
Posion label. "Her voice is almost magical."
Tricky recorded the track "She Said", with its futuristic Latin beats and
while hanging with DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill fame in Miami. "I never hung out more in
my life," recalls Tricky. "And in Miami, there were a lot of Spanish girls who were
always talking to me. It was the beautiful Cuban women of Miami that that song was
written about." In addition, Muggs co-produced the first single off the album, "For
Real," the song ask other creative artist to tone down thier own gangsta-centric
language on wax.
"Of course there were true artists like Biggie who had an understnding
of real violence,
but there are many others who just get a kick out of being shocking. For most it's not
about struggling, but being an urban cowboy. And that can be very boring.
As with every Tricky album, a lengthy world tour is in the planning stage,
summer's worth of dates in Europe in addition to a full slate of cities in America in late-
summer and fall.
Although most of his fans are aware of what hip-hop has offered Tricky,
one is still
curious of what he can offer the culture itself. "Hip-hop ia a part of my history, and I
feel my musical stance brings a different perspective to an artform that I love and respect.
I'm not trying to be a tough guy or a pimp, and I feel that Juxtapose can bring a different
way of thinking about hip-hop."
For more information please contact:
John Vlautin at Island/Def Jam Music Group