Return of the Super Ape

Lee "Scratch" Perry

Return of the Super Ape

Return of the Super Ape is a dense, murky set of heavily altered rhythms that stands as one of Perry’s strangest and most fascinating releases. The album was recorded amid tumultuous circumstances. Perry was in the process of ending his long and fruitful relationship with Island Records, and he was starting to alienate longtime musical allies with his increasingly erratic behavior. The dark, dread-choked sound of the 10 visionary tracks on the original Return of Super Ape bear musical witness to this turmoil. The wonders on offer here range from dense, bizarre spoken-word offerings like “Jah Jah Is a Natty Dread" to the truly transcendent “Bird in Hand,” a haunting cover of an obscurity plucked from the soundtrack of the Indian film Babul. Sam Carty delivers the song’s Hindi lyrics in a shaky but gorgeous high tenor, making for one of Return of the Super Ape’s most memorable moments.

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