Must Be Free

Must Be Free

by Lee "Scratch" Perry


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Must Be Free

Must Be Free arrives six months after the 80th anniversary of dub master Lee "Scratch" Perry's arrival on planet Earth and less than a year after his Swiss studio burned down after he forgot to put out a candle. For the most part, his youthful spirit hasn't changed much over the years, nor has his eccentric personality or his unmistakable delivery. He still has a stream-of-consciousness vocal style and plays cosmic word-association games, frequently punctuating his babbling with squawks, shouts, and other loony vocal outbursts. On many tracks, there are at least two Lees chattering away and bouncing ideas off of each other, and of course there's a thick layer of spacy dub echo and panning effects making him sound even trippier. Perry's later albums are mainly distinguished by the work of his collaborators, and this one was primarily produced by Spacewave (American musician/engineer John Palmer) with additional contributions from the Groovematist, IAmPhloboi, and Subatomic Sound System. The songs are generally busy, mingling with Perry's vocals rather than just providing a generic backdrop. Tracks like "Jungle Tongue" are pretty laid-back, and give Perry plenty of room to do his thing without sounding like the music is on autopilot. A few tracks are augmented by hand drums, acoustic guitars, and horns. With tracks such as the appropriately titled "Too Much Is Too Much," there's a gleeful sense of confusion, suggesting that it's better to do too much at once than too little. Several tracks back Perry's mystical wisdom with buzzy dubstep bass. The album ends on a sublime note with Subatomic Sound System's bonus remix of "House of Sin," which sounds closer to Perry's often brilliant '80s and '90s work produced by Adrian Sherwood or Mad Professor.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/23/2016
Label: Megawave Records
UPC: 0603408004528
catalogNumber: 452
Rank: 117403

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