Following the release of his 13th album ‘ununiform’, Tricky is back today to share the new single ‘When We Die’ which features Martina Topley-Bird. The track receives a melancholy yet beautiful visual accompaniment, directed and produced by Jenny Marie Baldoz. It offers an intimate look at the diverse range of people going about their individual, and individually complex, city lives – a filmic treatment of the ‘Humans of New York’ story-telling approach.
‘Ununiform’ is a delicate, storming, intricate album that sees Tricky take perhaps his most radical step yet – a journey into happiness and contentment. It’s a record that shows the legendary British producer confront his legacy, history, family – even death itself. And in all of this, he finds the strangest, least familiar thing – peace. ‘Ununiform’ was conceived in Moscow and completed in Berlin, where Tricky has been living for the past three years – not lavishly, but instead leading a clean, reflective and positive life: “I don’t know anybody. I eat good food. I go for walks”.
Testament to Tricky’s dynamism, ‘ununiform’ sees him further work with new, up and coming singers as well as collaborators of the past. ‘When We Die’, premiering today via www.trickysite.com, features Martina Topley-Bird, who first made an appearance on Tricky’s debut 1995 album, ‘Maxinquaye’ – released a month before the pair’s daughter was born. They haven’t collaborated on one another’s output in almost fifteen years.
Eerie, haunting yet enveloped by a sense of peace and acceptance, ‘When We Die’ sees Tricky take hold of a new zest for life he has come to possess: “If you don’t accept death you don’t really accept life” says Tricky.
Highlighting Tricky’s typical genre-expansive sound, ‘ununiform’ features a string of collaborators old and new. These include some of Russia’s most famous rappers such as Scriptonite, who features on ‘Blood Of My Blood’ & ‘Same As It Ever Was’, plus Vasily Vakulenko (Basta) who helped produce single standout ‘The Only Way’, and Smokey Mo also makes an appearance on ‘Bang Boogie’. Tricky confesses of a 20 year long love affair with Russian hip-hop, to which he has paid homage through recording these tracks in Moscow.
‘Ununiform’ also sees Tricky rekindle working relationships with the likes of Francesca Belmonte and Asia Argento, and flip expectations further with a cover of Hole’s 1994 single ‘Doll Parts’ performed by another bright emerging talent, Avalon Lurks. Meanwhile album highlight ‘Running Wild’ features vocals from Mina Rose, who will also be joining Tricky’s touring party this year.
Interestingly, the effect of his new-found outlook, freedom and lifestyle has led to Tricky turning back to his classic sound – perhaps the final frontier for such an inveterate experimentalist. “I’ve got nothing to prove now, and I’m comfortable with referencing myself.” Indeed, he’s since described last month’s single ‘The Only Way’ as “Hell is Round The Corner, Part 2”. This sensation is perhaps a response to a wave of artists referencing Tricky’s ‘90s records and his approach, from The xx to boundary-pushing London rappers Gaika and CASisDEAD, the latter of which Tricky recently collaborated with. “I’ve got a really wide audience. So I’ve got nothing to prove. I feel like sometimes it’s OK to do it again.”
The first album that Tricky has released as a truly independent artist free from the pressure of debt and destruction, ‘ununiform’ is a glorious, beautiful and intensely personal attempt to answer the simple question “What does Tricky sound like?”
Tricky has also announced his first London show since 2013, which will be taking place at Islington Assembly Hall on 13th December.
1. Obia Intro
2. Same As It Ever Was (feat. Scriptonite)
3. New Stole (feat. Francesca Belmonte)
4. Wait For Signal (feat. Asia Argento)
5. It’s Your Day (feat. Scriptonite)
6. Blood Of My Blood (feat. Scriptonite)
7. Dark Days (feat. Mina Rose)
8. The Only Way
9. Armor (feat. Terra Lopez of Rituals of Mine)
10. Doll (feat. Avalon Lurks)
11. Bang Boogie (feat. Smoky Mo & Scriptonite)
12. Running Wild (feat. Mina Rose)
13. When We Die (feat. Martina Topley-Bird)