The term “living legend” gets thrown around a lot, but there’s no doubt about it: Lee “Scratch” Perry is a certified living legend. The man has had such an influence on both Jamaican and world music and has had a hand in producing such a wide range of acts from The Clash to Bob Marley to the Beastie Boys that it would almost be easier to name the bands that haven’t spent time in the studio with the man.
But let’s not just focus on production credits as Lee “Scratch” Perry is also responsible for one of the most unique and heavy dub records of all time. I’m talking of course of Super Ape. The album is a perfect document of its time and still sounds pure and fresh.
Even though he’s now in his 80s, Lee “Scratch” Perry is showing no signs of slowing down. Whether on tour or working with other artist like Subatomic Sound the man is still out there as a creative entity. For those of us who missed his Boston performance last year, fear not. On May 12th, Lee “Scratch” Perry will be playing the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greensfield Massachusetts with the Alchemystics where, along with some other choice cuts, he will be performing Super Ape in its entirety. A chance like this only comes once in a lifetime and you can be sure that you’ll regret it if you miss it.
Here is the press release:
Lee “Scratch” Perry will perform the Super Ape album in its entirety with NYC’s Subatomic Sound System, his hybrid band of new school electronics and veteran Jamaican musicians from Perry’s Black Ark era recordings. They will also perform brand new music like their latest single “Black Ark Vampires” and other classics from Perry’s work with the likes of Bob Marley & Max Romeo.
Lee “Scratch” Perry & Subatomic Sound System’s new release “Black Ark Vampires” is currently topping charts
Producer, mixer and Grammy-winning reggae dub artist, Lee “Scratch” Perry has been overturning tradition and confounding conventional wisdom for more than five decades. In the process, the widely acknowledged father of dub reggae became arguably the first creatively driven “artist-producer” in modern recorded music. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Perry on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Born in Jamaica in 1936, Lee Perry began in the music business in the 1950’s and by the 1960’s became known for his innovative production techniques as well as his eccentric character. His first single “People Funny Boy” in 1968 was notable for its innovative use of sampling as well as a fast, chugging beat that would soon become identifiable as “reggae”. Concurrent with his own releases with the Upsetters, Perry produced numerous reggae artists at his Black Ark studio, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Heptones, and Max Romeo.
After his famed Black Ark Studio was consumed by fire, Perry took refuge in England and the U.S., performing live and making records with collaborators from a wide range of musical genres, all artists who had been inspired by his innovative work: British dub producers Adrian Sherwood and Mad Professor, punk legends The Clash and Public Image, rap innovators the Beastie Boys, and in recent years the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, Funkadelic’s George Clinton, rocker Andrew W.K., electronic artists like The Orb, and of course NYC bass music specialists Subatomic Sound System who back in 2007 collaborated with Dubblestandart on Scratch’s first dubstep remixes.
For over six years in the USA, Subatomic Sound System has been Scratch’s go to band for bringing his Black Ark Studio sound live to the stage, a unique hybrid configuration that brings together a handful of live musicians like veteran Jamaican percussionist Larry McDonald with computers and live dub mixing of classic recordings as well as brand new sounds Scratch hears from outer space. Lee “Scratch” Perry, now into his sixth decade as a pop-music provocateur, has few peers when it comes to fresh ideas and their implementation. He remains one of the world’s most imaginative sonic architects.
Get your tickets here!
Listen to some choice cuts from his recent collaboration with Subatomic Sound:
Black Ark Vampires (Steppers Bass Mix):