TRICKY – Skilled Mechanics

TRICKY – Skilled Mechanics

Tricky liebt Veränderungen. Er ist ständig in Bewegung, mutiert immer wieder um sich weiterzuentwickeln und schaltet mit Skilled Mechanics erneut einen Gang höher.

Nach seinem Umzug nach Berlin Anfang 2015, begann er sofort die Arbeit an seinem neuen Musikprojekt namens „Skilled Mechanics“. Das selbstbetitelte Debüt wird wieder auf seinem eigenen Label False Idols veröffentlicht. In seinem typischen Husky West Country Slang, erklärt der in Bristol geborene Musiker, Produzent und Rapper, woher der Name stammt : „It’s from a documentary about espionage. There was an ex-C.I.A. agent on this programme speaking about assassins who were sent abroad by the US to start revolutions and topple governments. He called them ‘skilled mechanics’. I thought that was a great name for someone who was a killer basically. The name was so dark and cynical it just stuck with me.”

Für die meisten Musiker ist die Gründung einer Band und das zurückstellen von Solo-Arbeiten ein untrügliches Zeichen dafür, dass sie das Rampenlicht satt haben, aber auf perverse Art und Weise scheint es bei Tricky genau das Gegenteil zu sein. Er erklärt, dass einige Leute ihm gegenüber ihre Frustration geäußert hatten, daß er neben seinen verschiedenen weiblichen Co-Sängerinnen stimmlich oft nur die zweite Geige spielt. “People have been asking me for years, ‘Will you ever take charge vocally? Will you ever lead as the singer on one of your albums?’

Auf seinem letzten Solo-Album „Adrian Thaws“ trat Tricky stimmlich bei 3 Songs in den Vordergrund, stellte aber fest daß die meisten Fans seine Releases als Tricky mit weiblichen Sängerinnen assoziieren. Er wollte aber weiter seinen Katalog mit Songs ausbauen, auf denen er nicht auf eine weibliche Stimme angewiesen ist. “I haven’t been alone at the front of the stage on my own since before I released my first album Maxinquaye 20 years ago. I needed to change. It is good to change and to keep on pushing yourself.”

So gründete er mit Skilled Mechanics ein lockeres Kooperationsprojekt, das ihm erlaubt mit vielen verschiedenen Künstlern zu arbeiten, während er gleichzeitig seinen eigenen, einzigartigen Gesang in den Vordergrund stellen kann. Der prominenteste Partner auf dem neuen Album ist DJ Milo, der nicht nur einer seiner ältesten Freunde ist und mit dem er seine ersten Aufnahmen gemacht hat. Milo hatte ihn auch mit The Wild Bunch bekannt gemacht.

Im Gespräch über die bahnbrechenden Bristol-Sound-System-Crew, die ausschlaggebend für den Start der Karriere von Massive Attack und Soul II Soul Gründer Nellee Hooper waren, sagt Tricky: „ When I was eight years old, I lived with my aunt and Milo did as well. She was like a stepmother to him. He was about 16 and already putting on parties with The Wild Bunch. They would be playing at St Paul’s Festival in Bristol and he’d get me to come down and appear on the mic. It wasn’t battle rapping or cussing people’s mothers. It was just about who had the best rhymes, the best flow and the best lyrics. I used to practice with Milo round at Daddy G from Massive Attack’s house. I can remember we did a cassette. This was the first time I ever released music and this tape went all around Bristol. He would be cutting up a break and I’d rap over it. But me and him went very well together. There was a little bit of magic about it. That night after the St Paul’s Festival, we had a party at G’s house and it was just me on the mic and Milo on the decks and it was only about 20 or 30 people in the house. At first you could have heard a pin drop but then they just went mad. And then I realised, maybe, that this was for me.”

Nach einigen gemeinsamen Underground tracks ist dies ist das erste große Projekt das sie zusammen realisieren. Tricky, sagt: “Milo is on five of the tracks. Some of the tracks I did with him sound like old school hip hop but not dated – very modern. We talked about it for many years but before now the timing wasn’t right.”

Ein weiterer wichtiger Akteur auf dem Album ist Luke Harris, Tricky´s regulärer Drummer, aber seine vocal-features entstanden fast zufällig: „We were on tour recently and the band were soundchecking while I was in the dressing room. I could hear the vocals loud and clear but then my regular singer, Francesca Belmonte walked past the dressing room. I thought, ‘What the fuck?’ So I went out to have a look and there was my drummer filling in for her on vocals because she needed the bathroom. There and then I said to him, ‘Do you know what? On my next project you’re going to be my vocalist..”

Einer der Tracks, die Lukas singt, ist ein ungewöhnliches Cover von „Bother“ von Corey Taylor – besser bekannt als Frontmann der Hardrockband Stone Sour und Mitglied der maskierten Nu-Metal-Band Slipknot. Tricky lacht: „I imagine people will be surprised at this. but when Luke and I went into the studio I knew he could sing but I didn’t know what kind of voice he had. I had to know so I could write for it in the future. So I said we should cover a song he really loved. And he said that when he was really young he used to listen to this song all the time, on his headphones. So we covered it because he was obsessed by it.”

Neben Gastauftritten der chinesischen Rapperin Ivy 艾菲; der Londoner Sängerin Renata Platon und der dänische Sängerin und Songwriterin Oh Land, featured das Album auch erneut die Gesangstalente von Trickys aktueller Sängerin Francesca Belmonte.

Tricky hat auch Zeit gefunden, seinen bisher persönlichsten Song für die kommende Single ‚Boy‘ zu schreiben. Er erklärt: „All the problems I have now are because of my childhood. I went to Bristol at Christmas time a couple of years ago and I ended up having an asthma attack. My eldest daughter drove down to the hospital to collect me and I said, ‘I think it’s because I’ve eaten something.’ And she said, ‘No it’s not. You’re remembering stuff. It’s because you’ve come back to Bristol, you’re being reminded of stuff.’ Most of my problems stem from when I was a kid. The first time I remember seeing my mum was in an open, glass topped coffin in my grandmother’s house. I was about four years of age and she was in the room opposite mine. I found my dad in the phone book when I was 12 years of age. For some reason I used to sit in my auntie’s house and go through the phone book. This says to me that I was looking for an identity. Looking for myself. I found someone who had the same last name as me and my aunt said, ‘That’s your dad. Why don’t you give him a call?’ I used to go and see him and he would literally forget my name. It’s almost like I could have written this track 20 years ago but it was something that had to come out eventually, I had to put it down. But everything on that track is true. Every word on Boy is actual fact.”

Skilled Mechanics ist die Aussage eines echten und ursprünglichen britischen Talents – einer, der sich nie auf seinen früheren Erfolgen ausruht und sich immer für Veränderungen und die Zukunft gerüstet hält.

Info: www.facebook.com/TrickyOfficial

Tricky presents Skilled Mechanics – 'Beijing To Berlin' feat. Ivy from K7 Records on Vimeo.