As he was leaving Massive Attack to focus on his own material (namely, 1995's demon-expelling Maxinquaye), Tricky's music had a gray cloud hanging over it, a feeling that his songs were willing to delve into the shadowy recesses of urban London and pull out the crummy wiring that made it tick. It was trip-hop, sure, but it didn't seem to have the faint smell of rising blunt smoke that his contemporaries trafficked in; his smoke was all industrial, the grimy product of a thousand machines coughing up blackness, all of it buried under creeping, weighty echoes. Now that syrupy, dub-influenced music is (slowly) on the rise, last year's re-release of Maxinquaye seems impeccably timed, but Tricky has already moved past his old work, now painting with a palette that includes more dance and world beat than before. It might not have the same heft as his mid-'90s masterpieces, but like Tricky himself, his music is unafraid, willing to branch out in knotty, tangled ways and reaching for the rarefied air of the unfamiliar. 18+.
Tue., Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., 2010
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