parodies by nacrowe
ive been a TRICKY fan since i first discovered MASSIVE ATTACK my senior year of high school. as ive written before, that was a CRAZY year since it started out with me living and attending school in KUWAIT where my family was stationed at the time. 9/11 happened and i was quickly shipped off to live with a relative in a WHITE BREAD suburb of SACRAMENTO. my solace at the time was books and the now DEFUNCT chain of EXCELLENT local record stores called DIMPLE RECORDS. over that year i discovered everything from SKINNY PUPPY and BAUHAUS to APHEX TWIN and PORTISHEAD. it was a pretty MISERABLE year all told as i felt understandably quite ISOLATED from friends and family, but in terms of discovering music, authors and films, it was arguably the most PRODUCTIVE period of my life.
i was lucky enough to see TOOL play at ARCO ARENA that year with ADRIAN "TRICKY" THAWS opening (with MARTINA TOPLEY-BIRD in tow!) in support of his recent BLOWBACK (ANTI-, 2001) album. during this period TRICKY even cameo'd in the ELABORATE and deeply ALLEGORICAL TOOL music video for for the title-track "LATERALUS" off the recent LATERALUS (VOLCANO, 2001) album. i remember the crowd was DISINTERESTED and multiple people in my section openly feeling comfortable in public yelling out the N-WORD at him. my low opinion of SACRAMENTO and its inhabitants really hasnt shifted since. my hope is to never return there for anything, ever.
my first TRICKY album was the ICONIC MAXINQUAYE (4TH & B'WAY, 1995), which i bought at the LEGENDARY TOWER RECORDS in SAN FRANCISCO on my last day in CALIFORNIA after high school graduation before flying home to NEW JERSEY to meet up with my family. by that point i was familiar with TRIP HOP acts like MASSIVE ATTACK, PORTISHEAD, THIEVERY CORPORATION, DJ SHADOW and SNEAKER PIMPS, but with TRICKY there was a real PALPABLE sense of synesthesia between the HAZY atmospherics and his deeply personal songwriting. whats more, he had this ANGELIC female singer named MARTINA TOPLEY-BIRD (whose solo material over the years is well worth checking out on its own merit) sing what presumably are his parts written in his voice. to have a woman speak from the first-person perspective was initially deeply JARRING but really gets at the UNIVERSALITY of TRICKY's perspective as a narrator in his own sonic universe. it also gets at the work of famed psychologist CARL JUNG and his description of the ANIMUS / ANIMA phenomena at the heart of the human psyche. in essence we all have parts of our psyche rooted in the other sex: ANIMUS is the unconscious MASCULINE SIDE of a woman and ANIMA is the unconscious FEMININE SIDE of a man. such is so deeply ingrained that it transcends our conscious psyche. on some level TRICKY is playing with this idea and it works BRILLIANTLY as TOPLEY-BIRD feels like an alternate aspect of his personality commenting on a fleeting EMOTION from an ETHEREAL distant plane a la a GREEK CHORUS. i found the whole thing completely INTOXICATING and very much shifted my expectations of what GREAT music could sound like and the need to push limitations.
TRICKY is one of my favorite artists and i am always looking forward to his latest work, irregardless of whether it hits me as hard as MAXINQUAYE did that first time. the dude is on his own trip and he's exploring realms of sonic artistry that i feel only a few others have ever truly thought to explore: people like KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN, KATE BUSH, JIMI HENDRIX, LOU REED, BJORK, SCOTT WALKER, CHELSEA WOLFE, PHILIP GLASS or even FRANK ZAPPA. people that bend music to their will and not the other way around.
embedded below is a DEER GOD RADIO episode on nonprofit internet radio station MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC that originally aired in early 2021. the playlist includes music from throughout TRICKY's SINGULAR catalogue. enjoy!
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