Brian Eno is MORE DARK THAN SHARK
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The Financial Times JANUARY 3, 2020 - by Ludovic Hunter-Tilney

LEE 'SCRATCH' PERRY: HEAVY RAIN - STILL DISPENSING COSMOLOGICAL WISDOM

Reggae's elder statesman is a sprightly presence at the microphone in the companion album to the excellent Rainford

Earlier this year reggae's antic elder statesman Lee 'Scratch' Perry teamed up with veteran UK producer Adrian Sherwood on the excellent Rainford. Its companion album is Heavy Rain, a dub interpretation that cracks open the original songs with heavy bass reverberations and reconstitutes them with mystical echo effects, like a signal pulsing into the beyond.

The album opens with Perry reciting his version of the traditional European round Music Alone Shall Live, a celebration of music's powers of fortitude. The Jamaican embodies them. At eighty-three, he is a sprightly presence at the microphone, dispensing esoteric cosmological wisdom like a will-o'-the-wisp amid Sherwood's head-nodding rhythms.

Rainford's Makumba Rock is turned into Here Come The Warm Dreads, a pun on the title of Brian Eno's debut album with deliberately disorienting stereo mixing and Eno himself playing synthesisers. Trombonist Vin Gordon, a regular Perry collaborator dating back to his Studio One days - Gordon also played on Bob Marley's Exodus - adds a nicely weighted accompaniment to several tracks. There are two new songs, including Dreams Come True, a slow, hypnotic affair in which Perry makes an obscure but tangy connection between Mick Jagger and Jamaican cookery.


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