Regarded with awe throughout themusic world, Lee “Scratch” Perry holds status as one of the most enduring andoriginal reggae producers and artists of all time. From his early days in the 1960’s as a singerand engineer for Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One in Kingston, through his productionof the seminal Wailers’ classics African Herbsman and SoulRevolution, Perry’s innovative style marks him as one of reggae’s originaltreasures. His on the edge creativegenius remains evident in his own solo albums of the 1970’s through his steadystream of mind-boggling releases of the 1980’s.
One of reggae’s undisputedpioneers, Lee “the Upsetter” Perry has worked with almost everyone from theHeptones to the Skatalites to the Clash. Certainly one of his most notable contributions was the pairing of BobMarley, to Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer with the Barnet Brothers (Carley and“Familyman” who had been the heart of the Perry’s group, the Upsetters) andthus the forming of the Bob Marley and the Wailers.
After his own studio, “BlackArk,” burned to the ground in the late 1970’s, Perry laid low for a while, onlyto resurface with a vengeance in England in the mid-1980’s. He went back into the studio with a varietyof partners, from Adrian Sherwood to Terence Trent D’Arby. During this time, Perry took up residence inthe Swiss Alps (“The mountains give me the fresh Swiss air to replenish mystructure so I can soon join the immortal race”). Proof positive that talent on this scale willwin out no matter what, since the “madman” has come down from the mountain, theWorld Music market has been gifted with more Lee Perry Product.
Perry’s stream of consciousnessrants have been called the babblings of the lunatic by some to the offerings ofa prophet by others. Either way, hisunique dubbing style is infectious. Often, the words are broken down into theirpurest elements, sound and feeling. Perry’s groundbreaking use of sound effects, echo reverb, and rewindadds a new dimension to the folk tradition of Reggae and has influencedcountless other artists.
In his plethora of newermaterial, “Scratch” expounds on his favourite themes of extraterrestrials,judgment, justice, corruption, carnality, and self proclamation, all over somekiller riddims.
Always one to follow the beat ofhis own drummers, the eccentric genius Perry continues to break new ground withthe hardest rebel Rasta tunes and the most unpredictable instrumentaldubs. Lee Perry has most recently beentouring Europe, riveting both old and new fans with a full measure of hisblessings.
The “Upsetter” charges forwardmaking music that recalls African roots, at the same time, it reaches for thevastness of the outer space.
Lee isperhaps the only 80 + year old that can dance on one leg for 1 hour straight!