I can’t believe I’d never got round to listening to Scratch’s Return Of Pipecock Jackxon before now. Its own merits aside, it’s a real watershed – the last album recorded at the Black Ark, the beginning of his European exile (it was overdubbed in Amsterdam and released by the Dutch Black Star label (and rare as all hell till a recent Honest Jons reissue).
The story has it that Perry was adding acid to the formula, which would make sense. It’s a mess, but a glorious one. To me it sounds like the birth of that loping, free associating jamming style that came to the fore with his eighties albums with Adrian Sherwood, and like those, what initially sounds a bit thrown together turns up some lovely touches. Some of the bass especially is funky as hell. Not easy to recommend as a starting point or even a classic in any ordinary sense, it’s totally worth your time.
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