Really bad slow rap version of Gorillaz
Maxinquaye is the debut album by English rapper and producer Tricky, released on 20 February 1995 by 4th & B'way Records. In the years leading up to the album, Tricky had grown frustrated with his limited role in the musical group Massive Attack and wanted to pursue an independent project. Shortly after, he discovered vocalist Martina Topley-Bird – who he felt would offer another dimension to his lyrics – and signed a solo contract with 4th & B'way in 1993. Tricky recorded Maxinquaye the following year, primarily at his home studio in London, with Topley-Bird serving as the album's main vocalist, while Alison Goldfrapp, Ragga and Mark Stewart performed additional vocals. With assistance from fellow producer Mark Saunders, Tricky used dub music techniques and heavily altered samples taken from a variety of sources to produce Maxinquaye. Its resulting groove-oriented and low-tempo sound incorporates elements from hip hop, soul, rock, ambient techno, reggae and experimental music. Tricky's lyrics throughout the album explore themes of cultural decline, dysfunctional sexual relationships, fear of intimacy and recreational drug use, as he drew on his experiences in British drug culture and the influence of his late mother Maxine Quaye, after whom the album is titled. Maxinquaye reached the number three position on the United Kingdom's albums chart and sold over 100,000 copies in its first few months of release. 4th & B'way marketed the album by relying on independent record promoters and Tricky's appearances in media, including publicity photographs and music videos that portrayed him and Topley-Bird in gender-bending fashion. Maxinquaye was cited by many journalists as the year's best record and the key release of the burgeoning trip hop genre. Since then, it has sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide and ranks frequently on lists of the greatest albums, while regarded as a significant influence on electronica, underground hip hop and British hip hop.
Really bad slow rap version of Gorillaz
It sounded a bit like when you don't wipe properly and you get shit matted in your ass hair. Then later you painfully have to rip it out and it makes your eyes water.
Bleaker than Portishead, more inventive than Massive Attack, one of the albums of the 90s in my view- Dummy edged it out at the Mercurys but whilst the Portishead album was adopted by the mainstream, Maxinquaye remained the choice of the trip hop connoisseur. Dark, deep, drenched in atmosphere. Black Steel and Hell is Round the Corner are the 2 standouts.
Maxinquaye by Tricky (1995) This hip hop joint from Great Britain is well composed, moody, deliberate, sensual, smooth and almost uniformly slow. With lust-protest-drug lyrics that are highly introspective, delivered mainly by the sultry lead vocals of Martina Topley-Bird, this record is not your run-of-the-mill rap. It’s highly eclectic, drawing from jazz, blues, prog rock, funk, reggae, you name it. These tracks have a huge variety of sounds, including delicate scratch that actually makes sense. Tricky has clearly done his audio homework. If you want just a taste, I recommend “Hell Is Round the Corner”, a languid, introverted slow squeeze of a song. But you could start almost anywhere on this record. There are no clunkers. Even the upbeat “Brand New You’re Retro” is so far off the beaten path, it summons with a sense of adventure. And it puts the ‘hop’ in hip hop. We hear very nice jazz flute work by Tony Wrafter on “Aftermath”. And even the pornosonic profanity (“Abbaon Fat Tracks”, “Suffocated Love”) is tastefully done. And “Strugglin’” is a (bad) drug trip stream of consciousness ‘dance with insanity’ that surpasses the paranoia-induced explorations of this theme from the 1960s. Way cool. I’ll be adding this album to my library. Of the several dozen rap albums this boomer has ever heard, this is one of the two or three most listenable. Pour yourself an adult beverage and close your eyes. 4/5
Weirdly sexual and bad to listen to
Unlike the commercially-calculated depressiveness that took the place of personality for his shallow sadsack contemporaries Thom Yorke and Beth Gibbons, Adrian Thaws put the funk in blue funk. His beats are as diverse as they are dark, assaying sewer system gloop, industrial clank, and the cold steel of prison bars and cocked triggers to create a sonic landscape less attractive but just as complexly organic as the bucolic scenes you and I would rather spend our time skipping through. So complex, in fact, that he needs a whole other voice from a whole other gender to describe it in full. And thank god it does. Because if any light's getting into this underworld, it's getting in with Maxine Quaye.
I FUCKING LOVE THIS. Real dark and dreamy trip-hop. Vocals on point. Coherent and consistent. I think this has hopped up pretty high in my top albums.
One of the finest albums of all time by one of the most overlooked artists. Tricky deals with a collapsing world and reconstructs it in his own image. The visceral imagery is delivered over bare thumping tracks and incredible noises. A masterclass in what music can and should be difficult, beautiful and haunting. Topley Birds gorgeous voice gives a counter to the snarls and stones paranoia of tricky vocals. It's a banger folks.
Wow this guy's voice is annoying!
Love this album, it's a long time fav. Big slow rolling languid beats and syrupy vocals. This album has atmosphere to spare. The pacing and track list of the album is great. After I was finished the first instinct was to push play and take it for another spin.
Too fuckin weird and like weird 90's film vibes. Got that tune though
This album raises the age old question: is trip hop chilled, or is it just boring? Based on this, the answer is 'mostly boring'. The majority of this album passed me by. It's not entirely without its moments though. 'Hell is Round the Corner' and 'Brand New the Retro' caught my attention and were enjoyable. The rest was pretty zzzzzzz and too irritating to be relaxing.
Not my jam.
Not very interesting
Compete unknown to me prior to this listen. Great album.
When listening to *Maxinquaye*, Tricky's historical first solo LP, it quickly dawns upon you that Adrian Thaws could not have chosen a better stage name. Almost thirty years after this feat of an album, it indeed remains *tricky* to qualify what makes the latter one-of-a-kind. Freshly out of Massive Attack, where he had previously honed his soft, surreal, passive-aggressive style of rapping, and having found a rare pearl to counterbalance his raspy vocals with the clear-voiced, wispy singer Martina Topley-Bird, Thaws took the trip-hop formula he's never been at ease with, and soured it with massive doses of his own obsessions and paranoia, here taking the shape of altered-state-fueled rants filled with striking turns of phrases. In an astonishing twist, this postmodern rendition of voodoo blues enacted through samplers and sequencers makes for a stifling yet also often oneiric experience, both musically and lyrically. We won't delve too much into the lyrics here, as other reviews have made an excellent job explaining why they were so interesting and personal, but from Thaws' gravelly grunts complaining that "MTV goes too fast" for his own bodily rhythms, up to the many allusions to drugs, sexual dysfunctions and the sad state of England during the nineties, *Maxinquaye* indeed caught the zeitgeist of those disillusioned years like almost no other record at the time. Tricky here gave birth to a LP that is timeless in many different ways--as a loose post-apocalyptic narrative, as an organic feast unafraid of its own little dark corners, and as a groove record pointing the way for several subsequent acts playing "black" music (in all senses of the word, from soul to rap to industrial to post-punk). The bulk of Thaws' DIY message was: do not follow the usual guidelines, and it is one that is still resonating today with acts such as King Krule or Young Fathers, long after 'trip hop' itself is dead and gone. Minus one minor misfire--to which we'll come back later on--the A-side of the album is certainly worthy of its overall legend. Opener "Overcome"--a reinterpretation of Thaws' memorable lyrics in Massive Attack's "Karmacoma"--is a floor-tom-propelled marvel soaked in lush, mysterious synth rivulets and eddies sounding like so many pagan flutes. Tricky himself is nowhere to be heard on the track, there's just Topley-Bird's acid-tinged vocals to lighten the dark proceedings. For anyone remembering Thaws' original verse on Massive Attack's track, it was as if his female collaborator was here playing the role of a graceful sybill possessed by a devilish, fuming spirit speaking incantations through her mouth. And even if you were not familiar with "Karmacoma", the contents of those incantations against the "west" and its lack of spirituality hit the mark from the get-go. Next in line, "Ponderosa" displayed a monsoon of moist and relatively agitated tropical percussions celebrating a hedonism all too suspect not to betray the existential malaise that lies underneath it all. "I'll drink 'til I'm drunk, and I'll fuck 'til I'm senseless", Topley-Bird singspeaks. Both erotic and claustrophobic, the track is an admirable showcase for *Maxinquaye*'s many ambiguities and suspended/suspenseful moments. A little further down the line, "Hell Is Round The Corner" is another reinterpretation of Thaws' lines found in Massive's *Protection* album. It is worth noting here that this cut spins the same Isaac Hayes sample as the one used by Portishead for their hit single "Glory Box", a borrowing of "Ike's Rap II"'s organ riff played over a descending bass line (it was a coincidence that both projects used the same sample, apparently). But *Maxinquaye*'s use of Isaac Hayes is so smart, so well-arranged, and so perfectly in tune with Thaws and Topley-Bird's vocals about public and private hells, that the results are actually as good as "Glory Box" while managing to sound *way* different from it. If both cuts thus retain the same basic ingredient at their core, none of them can be deemed as superior to the other, and it's almost a miracle the two songs can exist side by side without one intruding on the other in your memory. Right after, the lascivious "Pumpkin"--featuring Alison Goldfrapp--both namechecks and samples The Smashing Pumpkins, infusing much welcomed twangy guitar digressions to the laid-back formula (a rock influence that sounds far different from the one on "Black Steel", but more on that later). As for "Aftermath", it is another killer track, taking its sweet time to mesmerize the listener with its flute solos over a promiscuously slooooow funk backdrop. And so on... Many other songs in the record have those sorts of incredible ideas, even the less impressive ones crammed towards its end. Because, yes, as much as *Maxinquaye* is groundbreaking, it admittedly still drags a little in its second part, to put things rather bluntly. We won't name the tracks responsible for this overall lessening of quality, because they're not *that* bad. It's just that shorter versions of them would have done the job right without killing the overall flow. Moist, claustrophobic ambiences, scratchy samples, and dreamy solipsistic delusions are still very much to the fore on those later developments, but one can't help thinking Thaws would have made *even more* of an impression if he had applied a little self-editing for those specific forays. We also take issue with the third track of the album, "Black Steel", a clunky, repetitive, alt-rock cover of Public Enemy that overstays its welcome, going far too long for no discernible reasons. The concept was good, maybe--suddenly, here come all-out rock guitars and drums for a rap cover, and this in the middle of so-called 'trip-hop'--but the inclusion of this somewhat hackneyed track so soon, right in the third slot, could have killed *Maxinquaye*'s momentum if the rest had not been so convincing as a whole. To his defense, Tricky has always been a very instinctual artist, not bothering too much about rhyme or reason in his sylistic inclusions and digressions. Just like for his lyrics, you either take it or leave it, so to speak, and this might just be as good as it is, to be honest. Because, for all our little complaints up there, you can't really blame Thaws for taking risks. Indeed, that uncompromising stance of his is also the reason the album ends with offerings as impressive and uncompromising as the droney, psychotic "Strugglin'", followed by that unexpected last-minute balm "Feed Me", whose soothing yet still uneasy music-box-like chimes echo throughout the mist long after the album is over. For all the minor drawbacks in *Maxinquaye*, there are still many treasures of this kind to dig out of the rainy, desolate beach at the end of the world that this legendary record is at heart. You may uncover a few secondary trinkets half-buried in the sand here and there, but they won't tarnish the gold you're still able to find out of the place. That's why gold-diggers keep on returning to that beach after all these years, and rightly so. Soul-searching is an endless quest, and as such, *Maxinquaye* is as endless a statement as it should be. [Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 988 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 5 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 5 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (as I think many others are more important): 3]
As claustrophobic and entrancing as when I first heard it. A high point.
Tricky is one of the members of Massive Attack (an electronic group that I actually like quite a bit) so it's unsurprising that I found this album pretty listenable. It's slower, darker, and more moody than most MA albums are generally. And that's saying something since MA lives best in that heavy trip space. This is a good album. Is it amazing? I don't know. To me, an amazing album is one that I can listen to almost any time. This isn't that kind of album. But, when I'm in the headspace for something moody, chill, and beat-driven, this is exactly what I'm gonna want.
Now I think I know why people were talking about Tricky when this was out. The Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos cover was interesting.
Actually a really cool album, not what I expected at all based on the album cover (don't judge an album by it's cover). The sound is quite varied throughout and certain aspects of a tracks seem familiar to me for some reason.
A nice follow-up to Moon Safari, I think. Would also probably have liked this a lot in High School.
Nice lil mellow chill album. Gets a little repetitive on some tracks, but otherwise really solid.
Wow, an album I am actually very familiar with. This whole Bristol trip-hop scene thing was actually on my mind yesterday. Thinking about how different areas have specific local cultures that sometimes break through and spread and I was wondering how organic that always is... Anyway, this album isn't really organic. I gave it another listen just now to see if age had changed my views but no, I still feel it has the same issues. Perhaps in a Spotify playlists everywhere world it could stand even stronger but for me it still feels like it has no flow - each track is pretty good on its own, but put together and they just kind of jar: there's no real cohesive soundscape of the album itself. It jumps from full tilt reinterpretation of "Black Steel" to the dreamy Portishead sampling "Hell is Round the Corner"... and we do stay in that groove for a fair bit but then "Strugglin'" just slams on the brakes without a lot of breaks. It's a weird little album - the tracks still stand up, the lyrics are often intriguing little snippets of cool and there's lots to enjoy about it, but yeah. Still doesn't work as a cohesive whole for me.
If you had told me that Black Steel was a cover of a Public Enemy song I wouldn't have been surprised. If you told me that I owned the album, I would have been more surprised, but then, Public Enemy didn't have a punk band backing them up. Oh well, I prefer the Tricky version and it's a song I never get tired of. As for the rest of the album, it was a brilliant idea to bring in his girlfriend, Martina Topley Bird and the other female vocalists. They make this a far more enjoyable (and sexier) offering than it would have been with just Tricky. This LP made Tricky, and his mates from Massive Attack the kings of trip-hop in the mid-90s (along with Portishead of course, who he samples on Hell is Around the Corner). I have to give a bonus point for Black Steel.
The album together with the year 1995 had me dreading what was about to come. But I was quite surprised. Didn't know Tricky was a collaborator of Massive Attack, but it makes sense. It's pretty good, but I won't return to it anytime soon probably.
Alors que je savourais la première partie de l'album, je m'absentai un instant dans le but de vérifier que les vêtements que j'avais mis à sécher progressaient vers cet objectif. Lorsque je revins près de l'enceinte, je m'aperçus avec effroi que Tricky avait tenté d'incorporer un morceau reggae dans le projet sans que je m'en aperçoive. "J'aurais dû m'en douter..." pensai-je. L'album s'intitule Maxinquaye. MaxinQUAYE... Jusque-là, le seul album de reggae du générateur était l'œuvre d'un certain Finley Quaye. Finley QUAYE... "La trahison est un plat qui se mange froid." disaient probablement Churchill ainsi que Jésus. À méditer...
I was looking forward to this one, I’ve a mate who raves about it. Sadly, it’s just ok. I enjoyed parts and others seemed to just stretch into the agony and ecstasy of the sweet embrace of death. Maybe I’ll listen again and give it another try but at the moment it’s a solid 3.
A little enigmatic. Liked the originality. Not really my thing though. It's good for listening while working. Nothing distracting.
Feels cool, like Gin and cigarette smoke. I like the Feminine vocals, the dude singing not so much honestly.
These trip-hop records don’t really grab me in any way. Massive Attack, Portishead, now Tricky…it feels like homework trying to appreciate these records rather than an enjoyable, engaging listening experience. Although, the spy movie music on this one is better than the others so far.
I still don't love trip hop, and albums from the 90s are still too long.
An album I've listened to countless times in a vain attempt to like it as much as some other people do and as much as I probably/possibly should. The answer might be that I've never had the need for a late-at-night album for stoners. It's one of those albums where you get 5 or 6 songs in and wonder how it's not yet at the end. One thing I will say about Tricky is that he has the greatest West Country accent.
Background music at best, try to listen to it while doing something more interesting.
I did not like the album
Bad, I don't understand how successful it was.
Electronic music just doesn’t connect with me.
Always excited to listen to Tricky. Dude can make a beat, and he has a voice like none other. He recruits great vocalists as well.
Trip hop vibes, vocals reminiscent of Fiona Apple some times. Apparently he's a Massive Attack alum Fave songs: Hell is Around the Corner, Pumpkin, Suffocated Love - 5 Stars
OKKKKAT this was FUEGOOOOO
Confusing but I liked it, beats were really nice, British accent threw me off
Sexy, stolpernd, verkifft, fast ausnahmslos homogen diese dunkle Boudoir Stimmung; als würde „Karmachoma“ zu einem Album ausgewachsen sein mit Gruß rüber nach Portishead. Vertrackt und gradlinig zugleich. Ich erkenne keine Schwachstelle und feiere dazu noch lyrics wie: „I fuck you in the ass / just for a laugh“ Tight 4.8
Great! Experimenral triphop, tight up my alley.
Genre opening era defining classic. Filled with things I like to hear, and beautifully balanced voices and samples
Brilliant vocals, unique (and brilliant) lyrics, wonderful instrumentation and production. Loved it, and would probably not have listened to the whole thing unprompted. 4.5 🌟 rounds up to 5 🌟
really digging! 4 or 5 so far
Not quite what I was expecting, but I am very much enjoying it. Yep. Wish I'd heard it 25 years ago.
Интересная, экспериментальная музыка
Blown away by this tbh. Never heard of Tricky before, but the album is excellent. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Brilliant vocals, unique (and brilliant) lyrics, wonderful instrumentation and production. Loved it, and would probably not have listened to the whole thing unprompted. 4.5 🌟 rounds up to 5 🌟
Trick managed to somehow make a Public Enemy cover that’s better than the source material… so much cool stuff here
1995 - rip hop; experimental; electronic; R&B; post-rock; British hip hop
Oh I loves my Trip-Hop.
Enjoy this, very much in the realm of Portishead etc
Forgot how much I loved the tunes on this album - sending me back on a chilled 90’s vibe. Beautiful to remember the influence women had on this era of music - which has often been overshadowed. Effortless homage striking of the mid 90’s. Sexy chilled 90’s vibe thanks for the reminder.
Amazing album and probably my favourite of all the music labelled Trip Hop. I even rate this over Massive Attack.
Beh, di cosa stiamo parlando?
Hadn't heard of this guy before but I had already heard his work in a massive attack album I got almost 400 albums ago. Goldfrapp is on this album and he was a contemporary of Portishead whose music I love. I enjoyed this a ton. Chillout vibes and some good trip hop. Going to check out his other work.
Trip hop,experimental,electronic,R&B,post-rock,British hip hop. Tiene una colaboración con Portishead.
Love the blends!
Hadn't heard this before but absolutely loved it, obvious huge influence on UK music. Could have seen this would have been an album played again and again if I'd have gotten it at the time.
This album makes me feel like I’ve been smoking the kushiest herb. All CBD; no THC. That, and Goldfrapp doing her best Bjork (or is it Bjork who’s been doing Goldfrapp all along?) on Pumpkin makes me realise what the noise about this disc is all about.
At the time, I liked this more than the Portishead debut album, even though that one is still 5 star too. In any case, Maxinquaye is still great in every aspect. Later albums, especially Nearly God and Pre-Millennium Tension, still had their moments but are not so good as Tricky's debut album.
Dark. Mysterious. Honest. The Singing of Martina. The lyrics. Public Enemy's Picture Me a damn I said never. Sung by a woman (Martina) Hell Is Round the Corner. As I grow I grow Collective. Struggling with the Insane. Saw him often live and he never disappoints. This one and Pre Millennium Tension and Nearly God and unfortunately the last 2 ones after his and martina's kid died are all 5 stars. Hero.
I loved the moody, dark, sultry feel of this. Lots of styles blended in here from rock to electronica to jazz - Tricky has put a lot of treats in this! I really dig it!
Superbonito. Trip hop,experimental,electronic,R&B,post-rock,British hip hop. Tiene una colaboración con Portishead.
I love downtempo trip hop, this is great.
One of the darkest trip hop albums from the 90. It is raw, obscure, primitive. Its tribal percussion connects you with some kind of voodoo ritual. Similar to what Massive Attack had been doing at that point, the feminine voice adds some kind of mystique. Definitely a must if you enjoy trip hop, industrial, shoegaze, or IDM.
Trabalho seminal, que me indicou o impacto do trip hop e da música eletrônica experimental. A sensibilidade se evidencia ao criar uma atmosfera sombria e introspectiva em todo o álbum, que é repleto de samples de jazz e soul, bem como influências de dub e punk.
Another artist I'd not given much of a chance to in the past but now regret - this is fantastic. Much rockier than I expected. I'm now finding that I think I misunderstood what "Trip hop" was, cos if this is it then I need to reevaluate a lot of stuff.
A hugely important album - both on a personal and a wider macro level. Maxinquaye shouldn't work. Fucked up Bristol beats from an outsider who somehow caught the attention of the inkie indie kids. I bloody love it. Even the Public Enemy cover works. The beats seems to exist in a different dimension, such is the doped up delivery. Tricky has a twisted mind. You need this to record, and appreciate Maxinquaye. Essential listening.
It is an abstract painting of sound
It's a new sound for me and it's fucking amazing
This is one of the all time great albums. It actually makes it hard to listen to most other trip hop. It still sounds like the future three decades later. It’s a world of its own and mind blowing.
Finally, an album from the golden age of trip-hop. This album pales in comparison to Mezzanine by Massive Attack, but in isolation it has a lot to recommend it. The music is relaxed, but complex. The vocals blend in well, standing in front without obscuring the music. 4/5
Seminal trip hop album but a bit dull at times
Yep liked this quite a bit - not as good as Massive Attack or Portishead but still great Bristol music
I enjoy this album. I always get excited to listen to it. Although, I listened to it during the day, and it is better at night
Yeah this is a good one mate
Yeh. Nice. Bit of trip hop. I got really into trip hop like 11 years ago but then I got out of it again. Great.
Trip hop good
Haunting 90s soul RnB, with some breakbeat. Sweet.
I think this is trip hop? Nice, mood driven.
Hadn't listened to this in about 20 years. Still fantastic. Sinister.
Massive Attack mit ein bisschen weniger Massive Attack, insbesondere vielleicht ohne deren Tiefe, dafür aber mehr Bock auf Prolligkeit und Sex. Why not?! 3,8
Probably a 3.5er tbf
Best tracks: Ponderosa
Appreciated this far more than I did in the mid 90s - a brilliant album and will send me back down the tricky rabbit hole
Still sounds fresh nearly 30 years later. Inventive and powerful, great drum rhythms and use of samples throughout and the vocal combination work so well, playful and sinister. A fantastic album.
Great to listen to while high. Would look into other music in this genre.