Lee "Scratch" Perry 'Heavy Rain' LP
A dub companion to the critically-acclaimed ‘Rainford’ album that sees the Upsetter and co-producer Adrian Sherwood radically re- version the original tapes with a host of guest musicians including Brian Eno and Vin Gordon.
If ‘Rainford’ is 2019’s ‘Roast Fish, Collie Weed & Corn Bread’ then ‘Heavy Rain’ is its ‘Super Ape’. As well as highlighting the deft musicianship of the original backing band on the ‘Rainford’ sessions (which include core On-U luminaries from Creation Rebel, Tackhead and Dub Syndicate) these re-works also invite some further players into the cosmic mix. Brian Eno makes an unexpected right channel entry into ‘Here Come The Warm Dreads’, a heavily processed sound system overhaul of Rainford highlight ‘Makumba Rock’, cheekily re- titled as a nod to Eno’s own debut solo album. This completes a circle started in 1981 with African Head Charge’s ‘My Life In A Hole In The Ground’ similarly referencing the contemporary collaboration between Eno and David Byrne and their “vision of a psychedelic Africa.”
Elsewhere, legendary trombonist Vin Gordon (one of the hornsmen on Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘Exodus’ amongst many other classic sides) lends his distinctively woozy blowing to tracks such as ‘Rattling Bones And Crowns’ (a late night flipside to ‘Kill Them Dreams Money Worshippers’) and ‘Crickets In Moonlight’ (‘Cricket In The Moon’ refracted through some beautifully louche late summer heat haze lens).
On the closest the album has to a title track, ‘Heavy Rainford’ strips back the narrative from ‘Autobiography Of The Upsetter’ to ride the rhythm with all sorts of mixing desk tricks, anchored by the killer ‘I Am The Upsetter’ hook.
It’s important to note that it’s not all ‘Rainford’ re-works though: ‘Dreams Come True’ and ‘Above And Beyond’ are Scratch and Sherwood originals, heard here for the first time and equally strong material for this purple patch in the career of an unstoppable Jamaican maverick and true musical pioneer.
Catalogue number: ONULP145X
Label: On U Sound