Kalporz X Monolith Cocktail: TRICKY ‘Fall to Pieces’

October 8, 2020

Album Review/Nicola Guerra

Continuing with our collaboration with the leading Italian music publication Kalporz a short summer break, the Monolith Cocktail will be cosying up and sharing reviews, interviews and other bits from our respective sites each month. Keep an eye out for future ‘synergy’ between our two great houses as we exchange posts.

This month Nicola Guerra goes deep in analysing trip-hop luminary Tricky’s Fall To Pieces album.

TRICKY ‘Fall to Pieces’
(False Idols, 2020)

I spent the whole summer thinking about Tricky. Not specifically about him and not even about the huge tragedy that afflicted the former couple Adrian Thaws (aka Tricky) and Martina Topley Bird (the suicide of their daughter Mazy Mina on 29 May). No, I thought about how crucial to Tricky’s career was a gloomy record like Pre-Millenium Tension. An album that was sacked after the great success of Maxinquaye, a milestone in trip-hop, and which, incredibly, he pulled out of it in an oblique and really personal way. So, I thought, from the pedestal of the world to the suburb of the soul the step was short. But how can you face the opposite? How do you react when the darkness is greater than you can imagine? Look for the light or sink without going back up?

Fall to Pieces does not give answers. The fourteenth (!) work of the Bristol artist is deliberately unfinished, almost as if to re-emphasize the inability to concentrate on details but leave the instinct to communicate something free. But what? What do you try to say when the world collapses under your feet? What do you say when really “Hell is round the corner”? The song that most explains this non-form of self-analysis is ‘Running Off’, a metropolitan tarantella that contrasts the melody of slow and powerful basses that could sink to infinity. Instead, one minute forty-four and you change register. Why not go deeper? Because it hurts too much to investigate. It hurts too much to try to understand.

It is better to hover in search of beauty. In search of Pop, as good Tricky says (“Fall Please”, splendid piece that hides love). Then comes, in the middle, “Hate This Pain”. “What a fucking game What a fucking game I hate this fucking pain I hate this fucking pain Was crying, endless coast Baby girl, she knew me most I hate this fucking pain I hate this fucking pain At ten, I’ll take a flight Try to be there, I guess I might I miss my baby while I fly In my head, I want to die…” I want to die, the former Tricky Kid whispers angrily (one of the few songs sung by him, the rest is entrusted to the female voices of Oh Land and Marta Ziakowska).

Instead, music wins. Once again.

Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.


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