Tricky (h2so4 4)
"Overcome" single
[4th & Broadway]

Cante jondo. The sexiest record I have ever heardand that includes Hariprasad Chavrasia with Zakir Hussain on tabla, Barry White, and (by a small margin) Nurse With Wound's "Soliloquy for Lilith." But...

Tricky (h2so4 4)
Maxinquaye
[4th & Broadway]

...that just don't matter anymore because the longplayer's out, I've got it, and the only question facing anybody who thinks they give a fuck about music (or anything else) in these Last Few Days is, how are we gonna fit our brains and hearts around this guy's dark and completely radicalized vision of music? This record sounds like somebody took hiphop as we know it, and they put all those pieces back together into something that's not so much an object as a swarm, a swarm of rhymes and reasons whizzing around the listener's head, only it's also a cloud, a radioactive toxic cloud that you're gonna breathe, and let it mutate you, because it smells like a mixture of ganj and diesel smoke with a slight afterscent of jasmine... The only things I can compare it with (in terms of density, not sound) are some of George Clinton's post-funk stew-ups or the machine gun burst of late Public Enemy, only Tricky's neither silly nor preachy; for him, sex is political and politics are sexual and his cynicism about both is so total that it brings him right round to a kind of causeless romantic engagement. (His indebtedness to and overturning of P.E. is expressed perfectly in this album's cover of "Black Steel," which sounds pretty much like Billie Holliday on heroin singing with the Buzzcocks and produced by the Mad Professor; Tricky and Martine, the singer, allow all the psychological complexity of Chuck D's analysis of state power as white power to remain while holding it up by the feet and shaking all the change out of its pocketson the much-feared black planet that we may very well already live on, this is the music we'll be making.)

In fact, "Maxinquaye"'s bleakness, sexiness, and intelligence are all aspects of an underlying sensibility. It's a record about being poor, and fucking, and these songs derive all their sexiness from their implicit understanding of the ways in which a certain definition of sanity is maintained by those in powera definition of sanity that is challenged completely by the very way this music is magicked together out of everything society cannot and will not ever understand.

I've listened to it about ten times since I wrote this and every time I hear the sample 2/3 of the way through "Aftermath," I have to shake my head in astonishment. The perfect way it slips in to the flow of the music, its suddenness, and most of all the fact that it's not repeated represent a respect for the listener such as is absent from most avant garde music, let alone post-apocalyptic dubbed-out hiphop blues"popular music." There's a message in this album and it's as clear as the mud we're up to our thighs in here; coded in rhythms hammered out on hollow logs, it's the gauntlet thrown down to the music-making world. Deal wid it.

DJ Theo 69X (thanks HD)