Tricky, "Mixed Race"
Tricky, the Bristol-born godfather of trip-hop, filters his influences unlike any other artist. He's not reverent or iconoclastic; neither seamy nor seamless. But while his music, especially in the post-trip-hop period, openly nods to an army of other styles and artists, it sounds completely new. With his latest album, "Mixed Race," Tricky picks up where 2008's "Knowle West Boy" (named after his rough birthplace) left off, exploring his diverse background, sonic heritage and frequently unforgiving surroundings with sounds as much as words. The track "Murder Weapon" remakes the dancehall classic by Jamaica's Echo Minott with Irish/Italian singer Frankey Riley, and "Hakim" features Algerian rai star Rachid Taha vocalizing in Arabic over uptempo beats that recall Thievery Corporation. Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie sings about faux fame on "Really Real," while lighthanded synths pop over an unperturbed bass hum that's got less than half of the old trip-hop rumble. This is 30 minutes of melting pot magic