Scratch informs you that “Music shall live”, “Music shall echo” and then you’re immediately hit by the aural equivalent of 3-D – as a collaboration with Brian Eno pans from left to right. From right to left. Spins around and inside your head. Phased, and zooming from the far distance to all in your face. Completing a circle that connects Eno`s My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, African Head Charge`s My Life In A Hole In The Ground and Lee Perry`s life spent mistreating his machines. Percussion crashes, soaked, drenched in delay, in barely controlled explosions. Highlife guitar providing a certain disorder in the treble range. Eno clearly enjoying himself. Cutting radically between channels like a man similarly possessed.
Bones and crowns rattle and the sound is stripped back to Sci-Fi rimshots and a wah-wah`s cry. Fellow veteran Vin Gordon’s trombone blowing all the while through digital stutter, electrical storms and steppers keys. Revox reel-to-reels fast-forward (“ever, backwards never”). Cymbals are sent spinning out into orbit. Scratch announces himself as “the mind-remover…the groover…”, over rolling piano funk, organ grind, and talking drums. Sharp six-string shards. Melodica floating in like poor Pablo`s ghost, from north, south, west, and east of the River Nile.
History, in the form of Bucky Skank, gets knocked right through to the future. Sent staggering punch drunk. Into the Blackboard Jungle and out the other side. Its lop-sided gate caught in a loop like a coiled spring vibrating. Perry`s African Starship huffing and puffing at the steampunky-reggae party. Wheezing, like a steadfast locomotive still boldly going were no dread, or ballhead, has gone before.
Blues harps make like lonesome whistles. A violin serenades Scratch’s dreams. The vibe is sometimes sedate yeah, but still jaunty. Horns honking in a rocksteady reprise. If 54-46 was his number, well he’s no longer banged up in Babylon, but free. More myth now than man. He is the Upsetter. Like his music, immortal, untouchable.
Heavy Rain, the dub companion to Lee Scratch Perry`s Rainford, is released today care of Adrian Sherwood’s ON-U Sound.
ADRIAN SHERWOOD LIVE DATES
30th Jan – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate – UK
21st Feb – Jazz Cafe, London – UK
22nd Feb – Band On The Wall, Manchester – UK TICKETS
28th Feb – Charlatan, Gent – Belgium TICKETS
29th Feb – VK Concerts, Brussels – Belgium TICKETS
4th April – Con Con Club, Lewes – UK
LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY LIVE DATES
19 Mar – O2 Academy, Oxford, UK