Tricky returns with his thirteenth album, Ununiform - a delicate, storming, intricate collection that sees the artist take perhaps his most radical step yet – a journey into happiness and contentment. It's a record that shows the legendary British producer confront his legacy, history, family – even death itself. And in all of this, he finds the strangest, least familiar thing – peace. Tricky credits much of the freedom of Ununiform to something more grounded: "This album now is the first album I've made (in years) which isn't going to pay off some kind of debt. So it's more relaxed! I was doing these records thinking ‘the quicker I do this album, the quicker I pay off the tax people.' So Ununiform has been very chilled out. Now, I own the label, I pay for everything myself. I'm a truly independent artist. Now I do what I want. Freedom is a beautiful thing."
Interestingly, the effect of this new-found financial freedom, and a newly healthy lifestyle, has led to Tricky turning back to his classic sound – perhaps the final frontier for such an inveterate experimentalist. "I've got nothing to prove now, and I'm comfortable with referencing myself." Indeed, he's since described lead single "The Only Way" as "Hell is Round The Corner, Part 2." This sensation is perhaps a response to a wave of artists referencing Tricky's ‘90s records and his approach, from The xx to boundary-pushing London rappers Gaika and CASisDEAD, the latter of which Tricky recently collaborated with. "I've got a really wide audience. So I've got nothing to prove. I feel like sometimes it's OK to do it again."
In this spirit of revisiting the past, Ununiform also sees the return of previous collaborators Francsca Belamonte as well as former girlfriends Asia Argento (the delicate, trembling and achingly beautiful "Wait For Signal") and Martina Topley-Bird (the sumptuous "When We Die"). "New Stole" is a fresh take on "Stole," a song from Italian singer Belmonte's Tricky-produced and False Idols – released 2015 album Anima. Tricky is still eager to discover and collaborate with emerging talent as well. Enter female vocalists Terra Lopez (part of the group Rituals of Mine) who features on "Armor," Mina Rosa who features on album highlight "Running Wild" and Avalon Lurks who delivers the vocal on the cover of Hole's 1994 song "Doll Parts."