Martina Topley Bird : Quixotic

Guests galore as trip-hop lives on. Kind of...

Hers was the elegant languorous whisper: The exquisite contrast to[a]Tricky[/a]’s thuggish growl on his classic debut ‘Maxinquaye’. Set for stardom she should have been made her debut a decade ago but instead she’s been dabbling in session hell.

It’s a dark but stylish affair throughout and tracks like the soulful rock of ‘Need One’ (featuring [a]Queens Of The Stone Age[/a] rockers Josh Homme and Mark Lanegan) are much more than just the doodling of an uppity sessionist. [a]Tricky[/a], the mad professor of old Bristol town fires his usual spate of confused ranting through some thick plumes of hash smoke during the dizzyingly claustrophobic ‘Ragga’. But despite these excellent standouts and Topley Bird’s wonderfully evocative vocals, ‘Quixotic’ is doomed to be a record that has dinner parties nodding in mute agreement at its quality. Albeit half a decade ago.

Hardeep Phull