When I spoke to Tricky a few hours before his show last Friday, he explained how people had mentioned to him that when he’s on stage there is a tension and a vibe that would be welcome in larger doses in his live appearances. Tension and vibe are key ingredients of the recordings by the man from the Bristol neighborhood of Knowle West and he decided to first make a record that didn’t rely on a guest chanteuse but gave him a chance to build up his material that he could perform without one. That’s not to say that Skilled Mechanics Featuring DJ Milo & Luke Harris, released earlier this year, doesn’t have any guests. It does. In fact, one of its strongest tracks – Beijing to Berlin – features Ivy who hails from the former city. Oh Land, the Brooklyn based Danish singer/songwriter/producer who has worked with Tricky a handful of times this decade, also returns to excellent effect on Skilled Mechanics’ opening track I’m Not Going. The idea to hit the road without a guest vocalist, however, had taken root and Tricky took the stage on Friday as a trio accompanied by guitarist/singer Paul Noels andhttps://vimeo.com/189989967 drummer/singer Luke Harris.
Tricky is living in Berlin these days after living in London, Paris, L.A., and New York which he called home around the Pre-Millennium Tension days. He said that after a few years he generally stops noticing the scenery and that’s his cue to roll on. Skilled Mechanics was sculpted by he and Harris in his Berlin apartment. The interview’s most memorable moments occurred when he revealed things about his childhood including the basis for the autobiographical song Boy that is something of a masterpiece. The show at Webster Hall was part of his first American tour in six years following some previous delays due to visa problems.
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