The Baby Namboos
Durban Poison/Palm Pictures
Upon first listen to Ancoats2Zambia , by the Baby Namboos, it sounds more like Tricky than Tricky’s last album, Juxtapose , did. It’s no surprise or mistake that it sounds this way, of course. The driving force behind the collective known as the Baby Namboos is Mark Porter, Tricky’s cousin, the album is released under Tricky’s own Durban Poison imprint, Tricky co-wrote and MC’d on three of the songs, and the other MC on the album, Claude Williams, had previously been known as MC Willie Wee in the Wild Bunch (who happened to evolve into Massive Attack).
This album carries with it the “Bristol” sound that seemed to be so popular a few years back. It’s a virtual melting pot of dark downtempo, dub, hip-hop, soul, and drum n’ bass. The title track, “Ancoats2Zambia,” brings up images of the golden days of Massive Attack, as Claude Williams and Tricky trade rhymes behind a heavy, dubbed out bassline and the rasping, yet ethereal voice of singer Aurora Borealis. “Provoked” is a darker track, where Tricky (in a surprising Maxinquaye -esque style) drops knowledge and Aurora Borealis’ voice once again completes the track perfectly. The track “Holy” makes comparisons of Aurora Borealis to Tricky’s former singer, Martina, impossible, while “Trials and Tribulations” is a dubby, drum n’ bass piece with Claude Williams MCing. There are also two bonus remixes of “Ancoats2Zambia,” by Geoff Barrow and Dillinja (who drops an absolute techstep stormer) on the end of the disc.
Aside from all Tricky comparisons, Ancoats2Zambia is a quality album, with a classic Bristol sound that should appeal to fans of more experimental hip-hop, drum n’ bass, and dub music.