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Sound System Scratch: Lee Perry's Dub Plate Mixes 1973 to 1979
     

Sound System Scratch: Lee Perry's Dub Plate Mixes 1973 to 1979

by Lee "Scratch" Perry
 
Those who are at all familiar with the production style of Lee "Scratch" Perry will know that it's best to expect the unexpected. At any given moment, you may hear a creaking door, a flushing toilet, a lyric about Kentucky Fried Chicken, or the importance of proper bathing practices, or (perhaps weirdest of all) the lowing of the famous Cow of the Black Ark. However,

Overview

Those who are at all familiar with the production style of Lee "Scratch" Perry will know that it's best to expect the unexpected. At any given moment, you may hear a creaking door, a flushing toilet, a lyric about Kentucky Fried Chicken, or the importance of proper bathing practices, or (perhaps weirdest of all) the lowing of the famous Cow of the Black Ark. However, even by Perry's usual bizarre standards, the dub plates and sound system specials brought together in this compilation are seriously out there. Some of the "rhythms" (or basic instrumental tracks) will be familiar to longstanding fans of the Black Ark: there are several cuts on the "Dreadlocks in Moonlight" rhythm (one of them appears to be a previously unreleased vocal version), a super-rare dub version of Junior Murvin's "Roots Train Number One," and alternate mixes of "Bushweed Corntrash," "Dub Organiser," and "Groovy Situation." But the 70-minute program includes some serious obscurities as well, and some of them are downright frightening: "Groove Dubber" and "Groove Rider" are both built on a starkly minimalist one-chord rhythm whose insistent repetitiveness and creepy analog drum-machine sound anticipate the earliest digital dancehall reggae grooves by a good ten years; "From Dub Four," a dub cut on a Clive Hylton song that may or may not have originally been "Judgement Day," is so weirdly muffled and drastically dubbed-up that it is genuinely scary to listen to. (And it's not clear how much of the sonic weirdness stems from deliberate production choices and how much comes from the low quality of the source tape; this being a Pressure Sounds release, every effort has been made to clean up the sound, but the ultimate deciding factor for inclusion is musical quality, not sound quality.) This is not easy listening music, and even established fans of vintage roots reggae are likely to find it challenging; however, for Scratch's worldwide cult, this disc is something very much like the Holy Grail: a generous collection of never-before-heard material from the Black Ark studio, truly the Holy of Holies when it comes to experimental dub.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/31/2010
Label:
Pressure Sounds
UPC:
0689492102821
catalogNumber:
68

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lee "Scratch" Perry   Primary Artist,Percussion
Boris Gardiner   Bass
Pamela Reed   Background Vocals
Lloyd "Tinleg" Adams   Drums
Theophilus Beckford   Piano
Geoffrey Chung   Guitar
Basil "Benbow" Creary   Drums
Glen DaCosta   Tenor Saxophone
Bobby Ellis   Trumpet
Egbert Evans   Flute
Willie Lindo   Guitar
David Madden   Trumpet
Herman Marquis   Alto Saxophone
Candy McKenzie   Background Vocals
Augustus Pablo   Melodica
Ernest Ranglin   Guitar
Robbie Shakespeare   Bass
Noel "Scully" Simms   Percussion
Earl "Chinna" Smith   Guitar
Keith Sterling   Piano
Uziah "Sticky" Thompson   Percussion
Ranny "Bop" Williams   Rhythm Guitar
Aura Lewis   Background Vocals
Richard "Dirty Harry" Hall   Tenor Saxophone
Robert "Billy" Johnson   Rhythm Guitar
Robbie Lyn   Organ
Winston Brubeck Wright   Organ
Vincent Don D Junior Gordon   Trombone
Full Experience   Background Vocals
Mikey "Boo" Richards   Drums
Lowell "Sly" Dunbar   Drums

Technical Credits

David Blackman   Engineer
Lee "Scratch" Perry   Licensing
Jeremy Collingwood   Concept,Sleeve Notes
Ben Bailey   Artwork
Mireille Perry   Licensing

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