Out-of-print in the US. Universal.
Bristol shaman Tricky (Adrian Thawes) is one of today's odder and more inspired artists. His 1995 debut, Maxinquaye
, revealed an eccentric sensibility at play, creating nightmarishly gorgeous tracks such as "Overcome", contrasted by a raucous Smashing Pumpkins sample on the chorus to the brooding "Pumpkin". A little guy with a wicked grin, Tricky is the trip-hop equivalent of Stanley Kubrick, at once original and clever, yet as dark and gloomy as his spliff-produced smoke rings. With DJ Muggs (from Cypress Hill) and rapper Grease, Juxtapose
is streetwise, yet largely missing Tricky's hallucinogenic imagery. On "For Real" Tricky mutters "Some families have to live for real / I don't have to, I've got my record deal" over an itchy blues thump. A classical guitar melody begins "Contradictive", as Tricky grouses about "Mickey Mouse" and spouts "You a hardcore loving machine." "She Said" sounds conspicuously like an Underworld track, especially its lyrics. "I Like the Girls" features Muggs in a hilarious rap about lesbians, whip cream, and group sex. The raps grow more wicked on "Hot Like a Sauna" with the mumbled lines "Wanna be like Jeffrey Dahmer" and "Every day like Hanukkah". "Call Me" and "Wash Away" recall Tricky of old, with groggy vocals and Caribbean-tinged grooves creating wonderfully queasy tableaux. Tricky continues to evolve at his own irascible pace, a riddle always about to reveal itself. His journey remains equally fascinating and frustrating. --Ken Micallef