Lee "Scratch" Perry

Jamaican E.T.

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The original Jamaican extra-terrestrial is still going strong and this record marks a return to the power of Lee "Scratch" Perry's most spaced-out work, picking up where his last great record, 1990's From the Secret Laboratory, left off. On Jamaican E.T., Perry creates a contemporary and challenging set by applying his psychedelic dub to roots reggae ("10 Commandments"), modern reggae ("I'll Take You There"), hip-hop ("Hip Hop Reggae"), and dazed, otherworldly exotica ("Jah Rastafari, Jungle Safari"). The riddims are groovy, transporting even, but Perry's greatest strength has always been his mixology. On this album, instead of his usual dub mixes full of insane rhythmic effects, Perry utilizes the voice as his primary instrument of dub. Throughout Jamaican E.T., vocals -- laid-back toasting, singing, mumbling, and gospel backups -- come in and out, criss-crossing and swirling, truly setting a new mark for the reggae voice. At the beginning of "I'll Take You There," Perry repeats, "Lee 'Scratch' Perry forever," a statement that, after a decade of misses, listeners can finally get behind and chant along with him.

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