Belvedere Jehosophat - Monday, 27 June 2005
Bringing together a generous 17 tracks A Ruff Guide is an excellent introduction to the early years of this talented and seminal artist.
This is a headphones album all the way and it's only through close listening that one can take in the intricacies of the beats and the whispered, claustrophobic feel that made Tricky a sensation in the mid-90s.
Everything up to and including Juxtapose, the collaboration with DJ Muggs and Grease, is sampled here, with Maxinquaye, Tricky's first album, getting the biggest workout - Maxinquaye songs are in fact featured twice as often as the songs from the other four albums.
A Ruff Guide is a fine summary of a fine career. It's just a shame that the next retrospective that Tricky releases won't boast the same high quality of songs.
[A few of the songs are radio and/or single edits and not album cuts.]
Originally written for Defunkt magazine and limited to 150 words.