Skilled Mechanics is the new project of Tricky, and it is one that sees him adopt a more synergetic way of producing a record. Along with DJ Milo and Luke Harris, Adrian Thaws has put together a record of perfectly executed, baroscopic beats, and the result is that we just may have a Tricky record that can be talked about in the same breath as his 21-year-old debut. The mood smolders from start to finish, and with only two of the album’s thirteen tracks running for more than three minutes, each track is sharp and incisive. With any Tricky record, guest vocalists are going to be commonplace, and his nous for finding the most suitable voice for his precise mindset is hugely evident. The vocals on opening track I’m Not Going come from Danish singer Oh Land, and the embers peel from her voice to intensify a smog of intoxicating fumes. Chinese rapper Ivy brings a stinging attitude to warping track Beijing to Berlin, and Francesca Belamonte’s exposed, cutting tones make full use of the album’s shortest track, We Begin. Skilled Mechanics is an intelligent, pertinent piece of work that shows just how fresh the ideas of Thaws remain.
[FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD]