Review: ‘Tricky’

Tricky (El Rey Theater; 900 capacity; $ 18.50) Produced by Avalon Attractions. Tricky, Martina Topley-Bird, Violet Williams, Jon Tonks, Simon Wilkonson, Patrice Chevalier, Anna Piva. Reviewed Jan. 25, 1997. Hyped by the media as the pioneer of "trip hop," U.K. growl-rapper/producer Tricky seems to be on a mission to shatter preconceptions about himself and his music. With a brilliant, two-hour-plus set that ran the gamut from trippy, post-modern Muzak to punk fury, he crushed his rep for dreary live shows and defied any sort of tidy categorization. Amid moody backlighting, band kicked off the show with a load of spacey atmospherics from Tricky's critically acclaimed debut LP, "Maxinquaye' and the "Pre-Millennium Tension," both on Island. Without warning, the jungle-metal hybrid, "Sex Drive" drastically upped the beat as Tricky spit out sullen lyrics and shook his head madly, his wispy frame twitching and jerking like a possessed marionette. His moves and grooves provided a blueprint for the rest of the night: Tricky beat up the audience with plowing guitar and drum assaults, then cooled them down with slower, soothing beats. While the band duplicated production-heavy album cuts beautifully, nearly every song finished with an improvised, blitzkrieg jam session and off-the-cuff lyrics that lasted up to 15 minutes. When he wasn't on the mike, Tricky kept his back to the audience and "played" his shoe box-sized sequencer like a keyboard. --- David Wollock

Tricky (El Rey Theater; 900 capacity; $ 18.50) Produced by Avalon Attractions. Tricky, Martina Topley-Bird, Violet Williams, Jon Tonks, Simon Wilkonson, Patrice Chevalier, Anna Piva. Reviewed Jan. 25, 1997. Hyped by the media as the pioneer of “trip hop,” U.K. growl-rapper/producer Tricky seems to be on a mission to shatter preconceptions about himself and his music. With a brilliant, two-hour-plus set that ran the gamut from trippy, post-modern Muzak to punk fury, he crushed his rep for dreary live shows and defied any sort of tidy categorization. Amid moody backlighting, band kicked off the show with a load of spacey atmospherics from Tricky’s critically acclaimed debut LP, “Maxinquaye’ and the “Pre-Millennium Tension,” both on Island. Without warning, the jungle-metal hybrid, “Sex Drive” drastically upped the beat as Tricky spit out sullen lyrics and shook his head madly, his wispy frame twitching and jerking like a possessed marionette. His moves and grooves provided a blueprint for the rest of the night: Tricky beat up the audience with plowing guitar and drum assaults, then cooled them down with slower, soothing beats. While the band duplicated production-heavy album cuts beautifully, nearly every song finished with an improvised, blitzkrieg jam session and off-the-cuff lyrics that lasted up to 15 minutes. When he wasn’t on the mike, Tricky kept his back to the audience and “played” his shoe box-sized sequencer like a keyboard. — David Wollock

Tricky

El Rey Theater; 900 capacity; $18.50. Reviewed Jan. 25, 1997

Production

Produced by Avalon Attractions. Tricky, Martina Topley-Bird, Violet Williams, Jon Tonks, Simon Wilkonson, Patrice Chevalier, Anna Piva.
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