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About Tricky

Taking inspiration from Jamaican sound systems—including one run by members of his family—British vocalist/producer Tricky gradually merged dub’s slow, sleepy rhythms with his own sweet spots in rock, blues, post-punk, and elsewhere. Born Adrian Thaws in Bristol in 1968, Tricky fell in with local sound system the Wild Bunch, which evolved into trip-hop ensemble Massive Attack. After rapping on the group’s 1991 album Blue Lines, he made his solo debut with 1995’s Maxinquaye, named in tribute to his late mother, Maxine Quaye. Mingling askew samples and his own intermittent vocals with collaborator Martina Topley-Bird’s dusty murmurs, Tricky helped to define trip-hop’s melancholic cool—while also announcing his dab hand at transformative cover versions with a seething rework of Public Enemy’s “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos.” He has since carved out a prolific career as a genre-blending solo artist, all while collaborating far and wide.

Bristol, England
January 27, 1968
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