The inimitable Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry returned in May 2019 with Rainford - a heady, philosophical set and one of the Upsetter’s best LPs in years. Now Rainford begets Heavy Rain, a collection of dub versions that blow up Rainford’s originals to an even bigger size.
One of the main strengths of Rainford was Adrian Sherwood’s production, so it’s a canny move for Perry to tackle Heavy Rain’s dubs with the On-U Sound boss in tow. However, this pair aren’t the only two involved on the record. None other than Brian Eno makes a contribution on the wryly-titled ‘Here Come The Warm Dreads’, a driving soundsystem re-rub of Rainford highlight ‘Makumba Rock’ in which the trio’s smoke-shrouded production spirals ever-higher into the stratosphere. Elsewhere Perry’s long-time buddy and former Wailers/Heptones trombonist Vin Gordon toots his horn on the nocturnal ‘Rattling Bones And Crowns’ and heavy-skanking ‘Crickets In Moonlight’.
As well as Sherwood and Perry’s powerful Rainford re-rubs Heavy Rain also contains a pair of original tunes. Both ‘Dreams Come True’ and ‘Above And Beyond’ are mournful, soulful numbers that take their vibe in different directions. While the former is a psychedelic digitised riddim, ‘Above And Beyond’ piles on the harmonies with violins and saxophones. Coming on the back of both Rainford, Heavy Rain and the ‘Makumba Rock’ 10” single, these tunes serve as further indication that Perry appears to be experiencing a late-career renaissance.
With Heavy Rain, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Adrian Sherwood turn in some masterful dubs of the former’s Rainford LP.