Monday, March 24, 2008

Flashback: Tricky "Pumpkin" (1995)

Tricky's Maxinquaye is not only one of the high water marks of the trip hop movement but one of the most critically praised albums of the 1990s with honors that include ranking as Spin magazine's 2nd favorite album of 1995 and one of Q magazine's 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. Portishead and Massive Attack had defined the genre in the public eye by the time the album was released but Tricky's vision changed the mixture of the genre's formula suggesting a British hip hop as even the album's biggest rock moment, the NIN-esque "Black Steel", is really just re-imagining a Public Enemy song. While some critics would argue it was the production that really grabbed the ear Martina Topley Bird got plenty of press, along with booklet photo appearances, as the sweet voiced female foil to Tricky's mumbling raps many marked her as a future star which played out when she released a 2003 Mercury Prize nominated solo album.
The album's sixth (and final) single is an odd piece of music. A largely unedited sample of The Smashing Pumpkins Gish era song "Suffer" provides the backing track as Tricky does his usual vocal interplay not with Martina as he does on almost every other track on the album but with a young vocalist Orbital had recently discovered yodelling during a performance art piece. This is the music video debut of Alison Goldfrapp:

: Following the success of Maxinquaye Tricky had a fling with Bjork, put in a memorable appearance as Gary Oldman's henchman in The Fifth Element and released four increasingly disappointing albums in four years before bragging about his record deal on the flopped single "For Real" which was his last before he was dropped by the previously indulgent Island. Tricky did stage a comeback with Blowback and is currently involved in a variety of projects including an album that might be released on April 7 2008 although you would hope to see some promotion at this point if that is true.
Alison Goldfrapp went on to ride a white horse and create amazing music with Will Gregory.

Fun Fact: "Suffer" was produced by Butch Vig who would call on Tricky to remix his band Garbage's own trip hop inspired single "Milk" shortly after the release of "Pumpkin".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

:Pumpkin" is superb.