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Delta Force

[whitespace] Palo Alto's Trikkbaby pays homage to old-school beats on new E.P.

By Nicky Baxter

There are certain things about which Trikkbaby's mastermind, D'yrikki Dre'-Siikk (Die-Ricky Dre-Sick), is adamant: he likes his Godzilla Japanese, he likes his homies unprocessed and he likes his funk uncut. For the East Palo Alto musician, there is little about life in the '90s he finds positive.

He is derisive about contemporary soul music and has scant use for much of today's hip-hop. Mention masters of funkin' rock George Clinton, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone or Eddie Hazel, however, and the musician sounds ready to hit the roof with excitement.

Trikkbaby's sound is unashamedly anchored by the waist-deep grooves these artists conceived in the 1960s and '70s. Dre'-Siikk dubs the band's musical style "voodoo funk": old-school beats, bashed out on real instruments with the full-on aggressiveness.

Trikkbaby's debut E.P., Delta 9 Level 4 Da 3rd Kind (an indie release), is loaded with punchy melodies, propulsive rhythms and black-knuckled guitar. Though assistance is provided by noise-maker Taip Wurm and singer Zuri, among a gang of others, the recording is indubitably Dre'-Siikk's baby; besides handling lead guitar and vocals, he also wrote and produced the recording.

Things commence with "Provirvs," a trisectioned piece beginning with a glassy-eyed political screed ("The Evilution Theory"), immediately followed by a sonic meltdown consisting of teeth-rattling five-alarm sirens, garbled radio signals and ear-piercing screams ("Taip Wurm").

"Tell Me Something Good" concludes the mini-song cycle. Chaka Khan will forever be associated with song (it was originally penned for her by Stevie Wonder), but Trikkbaby delivers a memorably sick and twisted revision of the song.

Rather than reiterating the song verse for verse, Trikkbaby's "Tell Me Something Good" demands to be taken on its own terms. Those familiar with Khan's version will have trouble recognizing this take, which showcases singer Zuri's dungeon-master vocal. Sure, Chaka's version was sexy enough, but Zuri sounds as if she'd rather beat you than bed you.

Adding to the leather and chains seaminess are a clanging, hard-rock rhythm section (Blaq1, bass; Ramon Snowden, drums) and Dre'-Siikk's weird atonal guitar pyrotechnics. "The song gave me an excuse to show my ass," the guitarist snickers.

Funk Credentials

If Trikkbaby's funk credentials are irrefutable, on "The True Hardcore Old-School Godzilla Stomping a Mudhole in the New Hollywood Godzilla's Punk Ass & Marching It Dry With a Feelin' " is undeniable evidence that the pissed-off spirit of punk-metal is an main ingredient in this band's oeuvre. Manically played guitar shreds away over a jungular drumbeat; in the background, hysterical citizens can be heard screaming in terror.

The tune must be considered a leading candidate for the "wordiest title" category. Ironically, the song itself is a piddling one minute long. But what a minute. Superficially, just another excuse for Dre'-Siikk to get his guitar-spanking on, the song has a deeper meaning. Says he: " 'Hardcore' was a fluke. It was supposed to be an introduction to a reggae jam. But what happened is I got upset about the new Godzilla [Hollywood's update], which was a punk-ass version. I got into an argument over it. So, I just went into the studio and laid down some guitar tracks over the reggae rhythm track."

Before we hang up, Dre'-Siikk turns pitchman, raving about a wild live show he has devised. "See, when I was growing up, I saw Kiss, P-Funk and Earth, Wind & Fire, in concert. And they all had really theatrical shows. That's what I want to do."

He plans on enlisting the services of the set designer for White Zombie to create his supershow. "It's gonna be a big voodoo orgy with tons of funk as the sound track. All I need is to sell about three thousand copies of the E.P., to do it!" Click on www.trikkbaby.com for more details.

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Web extra to the January 7-13, 1999 issue of Metro.

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