Forest Swords
“Thor’s Stone” (Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry remix)

If English dub is a triple diaspora, the legendary Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s remix of Forest Sword’s “Thor’s Stone” sketches a half-arc of the return voyage. In the image of Perry as royalty, there subsists not only the imperialism that oppressed Jamaican culture as well as influencing it so deeply, but the echoes of conflict under Cromwell (the ‘Lord Protector’ whose ‘Western design’ on the Caribbean bequeathed his title to so many calypso artists) — conflict in the colonies and also in the red-in-tooth-and-claw, realpolitik-meets-religion struggles of the Civil War, played out across the muddy fields and majestic halls of dear old Blighty.

Perry’s foregrounded beats emphasize the menace and orgiastic ritual rhythms only hinted at in the original. The darkness of his intonations (purified here of his signature scatological and sexual boasts), chanted over an aural invocation of Albion, evokes Linton Kwesi Johnson’s cityscapes transposed back to the pastoral, inna reverse urbanization style. In calling down magic, energy, and above all fire, Perry’s creolized Thor creates a Lionhearted postcolonial syncretism. Gonna chase those crazy roundheads outta town…

Listen below, and feel it for yourself:

• Forest Swords: https://soundcloud.com/forestswords
• Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry: http://www.lee-perry.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Newsfeed