Much has been made of Tricky’s roots in the Bristol, UK, trip-hop scene, but hip-hop has also been at the core of his musical being. It’s no fluke that the rapper/producer covered Public Enemy’s “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos” on his debut Maxinquaye, and that he’s collaborated with both the Gravediggaz and the Hillrguzes.
On Juxtapose, his fifth full-length (counting his Nearly God project), Tricky teams up with blunted beat king DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill and DMX producer Grease. While Tricky’s typically surreal, aural landscapes and tripped-out beats characterize the album, Muggs and Grease certainly make their voices heard as well. Compared to Tricky’s previous work, the trio’s collaboration comes off fairly straightforward, at least sonically.
“For Real,” Tricky’s most accessible track yet, is characteristic of the haunting fever-dream pop that makes up the early portion of the record. Towards the middle of the work, Street Dog’s bouncy toasting gives creed to the steamy, digital funk of “I Like The Girls” and “Hot Like A Sauna”. The title is appropriate, as the songs provide a weirdly hallucinatory juxtaposition to the music Tricky has concocted in the past. Sufrce it to say, Juxtapose will satisfy those willing to spend the time letting the darkly lit vibes seep in.