Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Visionary Reggae Producer, Dies At 85

Entertainment

NPR 29 August, 2021 - 05:13pm 36 views

In an industry filled with boundary-breaking visionaries and spectacularly accomplished eccentrics, Lee "Scratch" Perry stood out. The legendary producer of reggae and dub music has died at the age of 85. No cause of death was given; Jamaican media reported that Perry died in a hospital in Lucea, in the northwestern part of the country. His passing today was confirmed in a series of tweets from from Jamaican prime minister Andrew Holness.

He was born Rainford Hugh Perry in 1936, during the height of labor unrest against the British colonial government. Although he dropped out of school as a youngster, Perry would become a global repository of knowledge about music. (His memorable nickname derives from a 1965 song, "Chicken Scratch.") At Perry's storied Black Ark studio in Kingston, located behind his family's home, Perry worked with Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Heptones, Junior Murvin, and many more, crafting some of their most well-known songs. But Perry fell out with nearly as many people as he promoted and made famous.

"It was clear early on that he was best off as his own boss," reported Christopher Johnson in an NPR profile from 2006 that looked back on the producer's career and is well worth listening to in its entirety. "He created a record label and formed a band called The Upsetters. He wrote songs that dissed his old mentors, and those tunes became hits in Jamaica."

Perry also, Johnson notes, secretly sold the Wailers' tapes to another label and kept the money. As legendary for his otherwordly fashion and esoteric spiritual practices as for his occasionally questionable ethics, Perry translated his aural innovations into rock and rap in his work with Clash, Paul McCartney and the Beastie Boys. More than anything, though, Perry helped synthesize some of the most fundamental musical building blocks many of us listen to today, said the Chicago-area DJ Rikshaw. "He was experimenting with things that people still to this day are inspired by," he commented in that 2006 NPR piece. "He was doing remixes before the term even really existed with these 12-inch dub plays, disco mixes that would splice together different songs, different rhythms and effects."

Perry's flamboyance manifested in various ways in his long, accomplished and idiosyncratic life. He was suspected of burning down the Black Ark studio in 1983 after a breakdown, having covered nearly every available surface in scribbled black marker. "I needed to be forgiven of my sin," Perry told Rolling Stone. "I created my sin, and I burned my sin, and I am born again." He moved to Switzerland temporarily after the fire, in part, he said in an interview with the Guardian, because he was part elf and needed cold weather.

"I tire of the trope that genius rides shotgun with madness, but few people were as weird or cast as long a shadow as Lee Perry," tweeted producer Steve Albini.

"His records were shocking and became talismans for anybody who ever tried to manifest the sound in their head. Requiescat."

Read full article at NPR

Lee 'Scratch' Perry passes away at 85

Geo News 29 August, 2021 - 08:37pm

"My deep condolences to the family, friends, and fans of legendary record producer and singer, Rainford Hugh Perry OD, affectionately known as 'Lee Scratch' Perry," tweeted Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

The Jamaica Observer reported the visionary died Sunday morning at a hospital in Lucea. No cause of death has been given.

A producer for a wide array of artists including Bob Marley, Perry's mastery traversed time and genre, his impact evident from hip hop to post-punk, from The Beastie Boys to The Clash.

Born March 20, 1936 in the rural Jamaican town of Kendal, Rainford Hugh "Lee" Perry left school at age 15, moving to Kingston in the 1960s.

"My father worked on the road, my mother in the fields. We were very poor. I went to school... I learned nothing at all. Everything I have learned has come from nature," Perry told the British music outlet NME in 1984.

"When I left school there was nothing to do except field work. Hard, hard labor. I didn't fancy that. So I started playing dominoes. Through dominoes I practiced my mind and learned to read the minds of others."

"This has proved eternally useful to me."

He began selling records for Clement Coxsone Dodd's sound system in the late 1950s, while also cultivating his own recording career.

Perry broke ranks with Dodds over personal and financial conflicts, moving to Joe Gibbs's Amalgamated Records before also falling out with Gibbs.

In 1968, he formed his own label, Upsetter Records. His first major single, People Funny Boy -- a jibe at Gibbs -- was praised for its innovative use of a crying baby recording, an early use of a sample.

He gained fame both in Jamaica and abroad, especially in Britain, drawing acclaim for his inventive production, studio wizardry and eccentric persona.

In 1973, Perry built a backyard studio in Kingston, naming it the Black Ark, which would birth countless reggae and dub classics.

Adept at layering rhythm and repetition, Perry became a sampling grandmaster whose work created new courses for music's future.

The producer for a number of landmark dub records -- along with Marley, he worked with Max Romeo, Junior Murvin and The Congos -- Perry was key in taking Jamaican music to the international stage, crafting sounds that would endure for decades.

Perry's layering techniques were the stuff of legend; he used stones, water and kitchen utensils to create surreal, often haunting, sonic density.

Legend has it he created drum effects by burying a mic at the base of a palm tree, and wove the sound of marijuana smoke blown into a mic into his works.

"You could never put your finger on Lee Perry -- he's the Salvador Dali of music," Keith Richards told Rolling Stone in 2010.

"He's a mystery. The world is his instrument. You just have to listen. More than a producer, he knows how to inspire the artist's soul," Richards told the magazine.

"He has a gift of not only hearing sounds that come from nowhere else, but also translating those sounds to the musicians. Scratch is a shaman."

The highly sought-after producer -- the likes of Paul McCartney recorded with him -- continued to mix and release his own music with his band the Upsetters, but began suffering mentally in the 1970s. The Black Ark fell into disrepair.

The studio ultimately burned down; Perry holds he set it ablaze himself in the early 1980s.

Perry began traveling and living abroad, ultimately settling in Switzerland for a time with his family, and remained prolific until his death.

"Pure Innovation. Pure Imagination. This Man Was Plug Ins long before you studio cats today can simply press one button and instantly created sound chaos," wrote Roots drummer Questlove.

"What a character! Totally ageless! Extremely creative, with a memory as sharp as a tape machine! A brain as accurate as a computer!" wrote the British artist Mad Professor, Perry's longtime collaborator, on social media Sunday.

Praising Perry's "pioneering spirit and work," the Beastie Boys also tweeted an homage: "We are truly grateful to have been inspired by and collaborated with this true legend."

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Reggae Producer and Pioneer, Dead at 85

Ultimate Classic Rock 29 August, 2021 - 07:15pm

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, the pioneering reggae artist, producer and songwriter, has died at the age of 85.

Jamaican media outlets reported the musician passed away in hospital in Lucea, a town located on the northwest part of the island.

In a series of tweets, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness remembered the reggae icon.

"Perry was a pioneer in the 1970s' development of dub music with his early adoption of studio effects to create new instrumentals of existing reggae tracks,” Holness noted. “He has worked with and produced for various artistes, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Congos, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, and many others. Undoubtedly, Lee Scratch Perry will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music fraternity. May his soul Rest In Peace."

Born in the small town of Kendall, Jamaica in 1936, Perry dropped out of school at the age of 15. An interest in music eventually took him to the city of Kingston, where he worked in a series of roles ranging from record seller to vocal talent. As a singer, one of Perry’s earliest releases was “Chicken Scratch,” the song from which his nickname was derived.

In 1968, Perry released “People Funny Boy,” one of his first singles as an independent artist. The track is now considered one of the most important in reggae history, reflecting the transition away from Jamaica’s ska and rocksteady sounds.

In 1973, Perry built his iconic Black Ark Studios. It was there that he began further musical experimentation, trailblazing the use of drum machines, sampling and vocal effects. It was Perry who pioneered dub music recordings, creating eerie, echoing sound spaces within his material.

In addition to his long history of solo releases -- as well as albums recorded with his backing band the Upsetters -- Perry produced work for such notable reggae acts as Bob Marley and the Wailers and King Tubby. His skills caught the attention of artists from different genres as well. The Clash, who famously covered Perry’s “Police & Thieves” on their 1977 self-titled debut, recruited the producer for their single “Complete Control” released later that year (it would be included on U.S. versions of The Clash).

Around the same time, Paul and Linda McCartney sought out Perry, traveling to Jamaica and recording songs at Black Ark Studios.

In 2019, the former Beatle looked back on the experience. "We were hooked on reggae and we went to Jamaica. ... We knew Lee Perry from all of that. We knew he was one of the great local guys and there used to be this fantastic little record shop called 'Tony's' in Montego Bay - and you'd go in and it would just be records, records, records... I remember one of them being 'Lick the Pipe' and I've still got that!... We loved it so much that we asked Lee Perry if he would (record with us)... and he did."

The material from those sessions would eventually end up on Linda’s posthumous compilation album, Wide Prairie.

Perry’s reputation as a producer was only surpassed by his famed eccentric nature. The musician often wore bright, glittering outfits, while colorfully dying his beard. He routinely spoke of music in mythical tones, relating songwriting to connecting with a higher power. Perry was also known to ritualistically blow marijuana smoke onto tapes and (later) computer screens while recording.

"You could never put your finger on Lee Perry - he's the Salvador Dali of music,” the Rolling StonesKeith Richards commented to Rolling Stone in 2010. “He's a mystery. The world is his instrument. You just have to listen. More than a producer, he knows how to inspire the artist's soul. Like Phil Spector, he has a gift of not only hearing sounds that come from nowhere else, but also translating those sounds to the musicians. Scratch is a shaman."

Throughout his prolific career, Perry released more than 70 albums under his own name and produced hundreds more for other artists. According to Discogs.com, he died with more than 1000 production credits to his name.

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Reggae Producer and Pioneer, Dead at 85

JamBase 29 August, 2021 - 07:15pm

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, the pioneering reggae artist, producer and songwriter, has died at the age of 85.

Jamaican media outlets reported the musician passed away in hospital in Lucea, a town located on the northwest part of the island.

In a series of tweets, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness remembered the reggae icon.

"Perry was a pioneer in the 1970s' development of dub music with his early adoption of studio effects to create new instrumentals of existing reggae tracks,” Holness noted. “He has worked with and produced for various artistes, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Congos, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, and many others. Undoubtedly, Lee Scratch Perry will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music fraternity. May his soul Rest In Peace."

Born in the small town of Kendall, Jamaica in 1936, Perry dropped out of school at the age of 15. An interest in music eventually took him to the city of Kingston, where he worked in a series of roles ranging from record seller to vocal talent. As a singer, one of Perry’s earliest releases was “Chicken Scratch,” the song from which his nickname was derived.

In 1968, Perry released “People Funny Boy,” one of his first singles as an independent artist. The track is now considered one of the most important in reggae history, reflecting the transition away from Jamaica’s ska and rocksteady sounds.

In 1973, Perry built his iconic Black Ark Studios. It was there that he began further musical experimentation, trailblazing the use of drum machines, sampling and vocal effects. It was Perry who pioneered dub music recordings, creating eerie, echoing sound spaces within his material.

In addition to his long history of solo releases -- as well as albums recorded with his backing band the Upsetters -- Perry produced work for such notable reggae acts as Bob Marley and the Wailers and King Tubby. His skills caught the attention of artists from different genres as well. The Clash, who famously covered Perry’s “Police & Thieves” on their 1977 self-titled debut, recruited the producer for their single “Complete Control” released later that year (it would be included on U.S. versions of The Clash).

Around the same time, Paul and Linda McCartney sought out Perry, traveling to Jamaica and recording songs at Black Ark Studios.

In 2019, the former Beatle looked back on the experience. "We were hooked on reggae and we went to Jamaica. ... We knew Lee Perry from all of that. We knew he was one of the great local guys and there used to be this fantastic little record shop called 'Tony's' in Montego Bay - and you'd go in and it would just be records, records, records... I remember one of them being 'Lick the Pipe' and I've still got that!... We loved it so much that we asked Lee Perry if he would (record with us)... and he did."

The material from those sessions would eventually end up on Linda’s posthumous compilation album, Wide Prairie.

Perry’s reputation as a producer was only surpassed by his famed eccentric nature. The musician often wore bright, glittering outfits, while colorfully dying his beard. He routinely spoke of music in mythical tones, relating songwriting to connecting with a higher power. Perry was also known to ritualistically blow marijuana smoke onto tapes and (later) computer screens while recording.

"You could never put your finger on Lee Perry - he's the Salvador Dali of music,” the Rolling StonesKeith Richards commented to Rolling Stone in 2010. “He's a mystery. The world is his instrument. You just have to listen. More than a producer, he knows how to inspire the artist's soul. Like Phil Spector, he has a gift of not only hearing sounds that come from nowhere else, but also translating those sounds to the musicians. Scratch is a shaman."

Throughout his prolific career, Perry released more than 70 albums under his own name and produced hundreds more for other artists. According to Discogs.com, he died with more than 1000 production credits to his name.

Reggae Legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry Dies at 85

Yahoo Entertainment 29 August, 2021 - 10:47am

The news was confirmed in a tweet from Jamaica’s prime minister, Andrew Holness.

“My deep condolences to the family, friends, and fans of legendary record producer and singer, Rainford Hugh Perry OD, affectionately known as ‘Lee Scratch’ Perry,” Holness wrote. “Perry was a pioneer in the 1970s’ development of dub music with his early adoption of studio effects to create new instrumentals of existing reggae tracks. He has worked with and produced for various artistes, including Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Congos, Adrian Sherwood, the Beastie Boys, and many others. Undoubtedly, Lee Scratch Perry will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music fraternity. May his soul Rest In Peace.”

My deep condolences to the family, friends, and fans of legendary record producer and singer, Rainford Hugh Perry OD, affectionately known as "Lee Scratch" Perry. pic.twitter.com/Eec2MEd6yC

— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) August 29, 2021

Perry made his name in the late 1960s and ’70s for producing some of the most cutting-edge reggae artists, with his Upsetter label helping establish many of the genre’s greats, like the Wailers. As a performer, he won the Grammy for best reggae album in 2003 for his recording “Jamaican E.T.”

Musicians from many genres quickly began weighing in on Perry’s importance. “Few more important figures in the music of the 20th century,” tweeted the band the Mountain Goats. “He expanded the vocabulary of studio sound, lived a long life & leaves a lasting legacy. Play his music for your kids, see how instantly they love it. It’s universal. Safe travels home to God.”

Keith Richards is among the rockers who has weighed in on Perry over the years, telling Rolling Stone in 2010, “You could never put your finger on Lee Perry – he’s the Salvador Dali of music. He’s a mystery. The world is his instrument. You just have to listen. More than a producer, he knows how to inspire the artist’s soul. Like Phil Spector, he has a gift of not only hearing sounds that come from nowhere else, but also translating those sounds to the musicians. Scratch is a shaman.”

Perry had little doubt of his own significance in the music world. “I am the best record producer that Jamaica has seen. Many say that l am the best in the world!” he said in 1984.

Even in a form that has some eccentrics, Perry particularly stood out. “Being a madman is good thing!” Perry told Rolling Stone in a 2010 profile. “It keeps people away. When they think you are crazy, they don’t come around and take your energy, making you weak. I am the Upsetter!” he said, alluding back to his 1968 single of that name.

Active professionally from 1961 to the end of his days, Perry was known internationally by his nicknames “Scratch” (drawn from “Chicken Scratch,” the title of an early song cut for Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s Studio One label) and “the Upsetter” (springing off the 1967 single “I Am the Upsetter,” a stinging slap at his former boss Dodd).

After a long apprenticeship working for Dodd and the prominent producer Joe Gibbs, Perry stepped out on his own in 1968. One of the first releases on his fledgling label Upset (later Upsetter) was “People Funny Boy.” The song, a sharp put-down of Gibbs, rode a slow, heavily accented rhythm (sparked by music Perry heard at a local “Pocomania” church) that was new to the island’s popular music, then still dominated by the up-tempo sounds of ska and rocksteady. A local sensation that reached the charts in England after its release there by Trojan Records, it is considered one of the very first reggae recordings.

He broke further into the international market with a series of ska-influenced instrumentals released under the Upsetters handle with spaghetti Western-inspired titles. The biggest of these was “The Return of Django,” which climbed the British charts on the back of its use in a TV spot for Cadbury chocolate bars.

Perry’s most productive creative alliance came in 1970, when he reconvened with a vocal trio he had worked with at Studio One: the Wailers. On their sessions he produced for Perry’s Upsetter imprint, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer hardened their sound, and they became one of the first Jamaican groups to outspokenly champion Rastafarian beliefs.

Though the association lasted only a couple of years, the Wailers’ recordings for Perry proved to be the foundation of the group’s repertoire; those compositions (some of them written with or refined by Perry) included “Small Axe,” “Keep On Moving,” “Trenchtown Rock,” “Concrete Jungle,” “400 Years” and “Kaya,” all of which would be re-recorded by Island Records.

In “The Rough Guide to Reggae,” historian Steve Barrow noted that the Upsetter sides “confirmed not only the full fruition of the Wailers’ songwriting and interpretive powers, but also a new stance in Jamaican music: unmistakably tougher, yet simultaneously spiritual.”

Marley and Perry maintained a close yet highly volatile professional and personal relationship until the reggae superstar’s death from cancer in 1981. The pair collaborated on such later songs as “Jah Live” (a posthumous tribute to Emperor Haile Selassie, the icon of Rastafarianism) and the cross-genre celebration “Punky Reggae Party.”

Perry racked up significant U.K. hits in the early ‘70s with stunning productions for the gifted, troubled vocalist Junior Byles (“Beat Down Babylon,” “A Place Called Africa,” “Curley Locks”) and singer Susan Cadogan (a chart-topping cover of Millie Jackson’s “Hurt So Good”).

He also was a crucial figure in the development of the homegrown art form of dub, which involved the stripping of vocals from previously released recordings and treating the instrumental beds with a variety of otherworldly effects. Perry serviced dozens of unique “dub plates” to Jamaican sound system dancehalls. “Upsetter 14 Dub Blackboard Jungle,” a 1973 collaboration with renowned mixer King Tubby, was one of the first stand-alone dub LPs, and it helped ignite a sub-genre of its own.

In 1974, Perry established his own fabled studio, wired up by Tubby, in his home at 5 Cardiff Crescent in the middle-class Kingston suburb of Washington Gardens. The Black Ark’s four-track board, Echoplex delay and Roland echo/phaser combo created a wealth of outré sounds in the producer’s skilled hands.

In his reggae history “Bass Culture,” Lloyd Bradley wrote, “Unfettered by time or expense, Lee Perry could literally do what he liked, and his almost perpetual rhythm-building, tune deconstructing or extending of an original idea often went way past the point at which logic tells most people to stop, into a place where the instrumentation took on ethereal qualities.”

Perry told British critic and musician David Toop, “The studio must be like a living thing. The machine must be live and intelligent….When I making music I think of life, creating life, and I want it to live. I want it to feel good and taste good.”

In 1976-77, Perry produced some of the most original reggae albums ever cut (which were released by Island in the U.K. and U.S.): Max Romeo’s “War Ina Babylon,” the Heptones’ “Party Time,” Junior Murvin’s “Police and Thieves” (the topical title track of which was swiftly covered by the English punk band the Clash), George Faith’s “To Be a Lover” and Perry’s own unclassifiable combination of vocals and dub “Super Ape.”

The world began beating a path to his door: During the ‘70s, Paul and Linda McCartney, Robert Palmer and John Martyn recorded at the Black Ark, and the Clash flew Perry to London to produce their single “Complete Control.”

However, by 1978 Perry was showing signs of serious mental instability, some of it fueled by the heavy abuse of potent ganja and white rum. He was living a pressurized existence: Local gangsters were dunning him for protection money, and an unwelcome cult of Nyabinghi (devout Rastafarians) had started squatting on his property.

Important relationships dissolved. He broke sharply with Island after label chief Chris Blackwell refused to issue the Congos’ “Heart of the Congos” (now considered the producer’s masterwork) and two of Perry’s solo albums. In 1979, his common-law wife Pauline Morrison left him for a member of the vocal group the Meditations, which he had produced.

Several years of globetrotting and aberrant behavior climaxed with Perry’s incremental defacement and destruction of the Black Ark, which finally burned to the ground in 1983. He would later tell both his biographer David Katz and Lloyd Bradley that he himself had torched the studio. “It burned. Now I am free again. I have never regretted that moment,” he told Variety contributor A.D. Amorosi. “I would not have ever been free. No wicked spirits. I have to stay away from vampires.”

Yet Perry proved unstoppable. He still displayed a continuing propensity to create music industry feuds: He attacked Chris Blackwell, who had released his 1984 album “History, Mystery & Prophecy,” in a libelous 1985 single, “Judgement in a Babylon.” (Of his association with Bob Marley, Perry told NME, “We worked like brothers ‘til Chris Blackwell saw it was something great and came like a big hawk and grab Bob Marley up.”)

Collaborators flocked to him during a five-year sojourn in England, and his life gained some stability after his Swiss wife-to-be Mireille Campbell weaned him off marijuana and alcohol in the late ‘80s.

His second act proved nearly as prolific as his first. He recorded with such acolytes as British producers Mad Professor (Neil Fraser), Adrian Sherwood and Daniel Boyle, Americans Bill Laswell and Andrew W.K., the U.K. electronic duo the Orb, the Brooklyn collective Subatomic Sound System and even old Jamaican contemporaries Niney and Bulwackie. In 2003, he received his only Grammy out of five nominations, as the self-produced “Jamaican E.T.” was named best reggae album.

Though he toured internationally into his 80s, scatting wildly, cutting a mad figure in bespoke, glittering costumes and often flashing a colorfully dyed beard, Perry is best remembered for his voluminous catalog of recordings.

A 2010 discography ran to nearly 300 large-format pages. He issued more than 70 studio and live albums under his own name, and his early work was mined heavily for reissues from Trojan, Pressure Sounds, Heartbeat, Island, Blood & Fire and Doctor Bird. The market was also flooded with illegitimate releases bearing the Upsetter name. In 2019 alone, he released six new albums.

He was born Rainford Hugh Perry on March 20, 1936, in Kendal, Hanover Parish, in northwestern Jamaica. His mother bestowed the pet name Lee on him. An indifferent student who disliked manual labor, he left school in his teens. His love of dancing at the local country dancehall fired a fixation with music and led him to escape Kendal for the southern coastal town of Kingston, the hub of the island’s burgeoning record business, in 1960.

In his first years in the industry – which got a boost after Jamaican independence from British rule was declared in 1962 – Perry worked among its pioneers: Duke Reid, Prince Buster, Clancy Eccles, Byron Lee, Bunny Lee. He spent half a decade with Coxsone Dodd, who employed him as a go-fer, sound system security man, record hawker, arranger and ultimately vocal talent. But Dodd was fond of neither Scratch’s singing voice nor Rastafarianism, and that ultimately hastened his departure from the Studio One fold. His time with Gibbs was brief.

As an independent, Perry worked with a cross-section of superior Jamaican musicians. He recorded DJ toasters like U-Roy, Dillinger, Doctor Alimantado, Prince Jazzbo and Dennis Alcapone; gifted singers like Eric Donaldson, Keith Rowe, Junior Delgado and Jimmy Riley; and instrumental aces like trombonist Vin Gordon and melodica wizard Augustus Pablo. His house bands sported some of the island’s top talent: The sibling rhythm section of bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett and drummer Carlton Barrett were purloined by the Wailers.

It is in Perry’s Black Ark sound – a distinctive, murky mass of echo, phasing and off-the-wall effects (like the mooing cow that graces several memorable ‘70s tracks) — where Perry’s most enduring impact is heard. His atmospheric style was adapted by acts working in electronica, trip-hop, dubstep, and modern reggae, dub and dancehall. His catalog was heavily sampled by such rap artists as Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Jay Z and Busta Rhymes; the Beastie Boys, avowed fans, featured him on “Dr. Lee PhD,” a track on their 1998 album “Hello Nasty.” Even his own latter-day albums have sometimes featured samples from his earlier work.

“It was great, great fun,” he recalled of the collaboration. “They were nice Jewish boys and they were clean inside. Very lovely. They called me ‘Dr. Lee, PhD’ because they could feel that I loved them. They were very good boys, wonderful.” He had similar words for the Clash, saying, “They were listening and wanted to learn and I could teach them what they wanted to learn. They were happy working; they were all good boys.”

Paul McCartney spoke of how he ended up enlisting Perry to work on solo material by Linda eventually released on the “Wide Prairie” album, speaking to the impact the producer had on artists from far afield. “We loved early reggae and I had the ‘Tighten Up’ albums – ‘Tighten Up’ volumes I and II,” McCartney said. “We were hooked on reggae and we went to Jamaica. … We knew Lee Perry from all of that. We knew he was one of the great local guys and there used to be this fantastic little record shop called ‘Tony’s’ in Montego Bay – and you’d go in and it would just be records, records, records… I remember one of them being ‘Lick the Pipe’ and I’ve still got that!… We loved it so much that we asked Lee Perry if he would (record with us)… and he did.”

Beyond the magic spell he wove for other artists, it is Perry’s own solo albums that remain his most engaging, mysterious offerings to music, reggae and beyond.

While many of Perry’s most mesmerizing moments were in his creepy, soul-strewn instrumental workouts (like 1969’s “Return of Django”) and his haunting, hypnotic dub efforts (1975’s “Revolution Dub”), Perry’s vocal recordings are often doubly intriguing. While he started singing in the late ’60s (humorously lending a country twang to his voice on tracks as “Tackoo”), starting with 1978’s “Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread” — the first album to feature Perry as lead vocalist on every cut — he was confident enough to mix his nasal whine high in front of the funky, punky reggae.

Moving into the 21st century and albums such as “Techno Party,” the dub master found a fresh way to vocalize over trip-hop and jungle-based rhythms. By the time, Perry got to 2016’s “Must Be Free,” he saw himself as much as a healer as artist. “The people look for good vibes, good feelings… They want a cure and I cure them,” he told Amorosi while touring behind that album. ”God has used me as an instrument. God went to my mother and made it rain and sent her the Holy Spirit for me to know dub – the Holy Dove. Have you ever heard a bird coo? ‘Akoo. Akoo. Akoo. Make Holy Dub. Akoo.”

He saw working with computers as an almost spiritual enterprise. “The computer is like my brother,” he said. “I put my brain in the computer… I blow ganja into the computer. Why not?”

Though Perry’s ultimate relocation to semi-permanent quarters in Switzerland in the ‘80s and his marriage to Campbell in 1991 brought a modicum of peace to the musician’s tempestuous life, it was not free of calamity, some of it chillingly familiar. In 2015, he left a candle burning in his home studio, the Secret Laboratory, and it was gutted by fire, destroying his unreleased masters and stage wardrobe.

A documentary, “The Upsetter,” narrated by Benicio Del Toro, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2008 and was released in theaters three years later. A second documentary, “Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision of Paradise,” came out in 2015. Still another doc came out in 2019: “The Revelation of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.”

Ask five years ago what it meant to be 80, Perry told Amorosi that he considered himself “Jesus’ black brother.” He added, “If I put in nothing but good into my body, I expect to be perfect — an explosion of righteousness. ”

Perry was an eccentric to the end, telling Tapeop.com in one of his last interviews in 2020: “The music is perfect. I’m sure the music is perfect. I am a mystic. I am a fish. I am a chicken.”

Perry is survived by his wife, their two children and five children from previous relationships.

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Hurricane Ida is looking eerily like a dangerous and perhaps scarier sequel to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, the costliest storm in American history. Ida made landfall on the same calendar date, Aug. 29, as Katrina did 16 years ago, striking the same general part of Louisiana with about the same wind speed, after rapidly strengthening by going over a similar patch of deep warm water that supercharges hurricanes.

Jacques Rogge approached the job of running the Olympics the same way he approached his work as a physician: Listen, analyze and consult. Before taking over as president of the International Olympic Committee, Rogge, whose death was announced Sunday, was an orthopedic surgeon who saw 5,000 patients and performed 800 operations a year at his medical practice in Ghent, Belgium. While his predecessor, Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch, operated in an autocratic and secretive fashion, Rogge embraced a more open, democratic and collegial style.

He also said the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan is not the same thing as ending the war.

The Vikings reward the former Irish star

Hours after President Joe Biden issued a dire warning that it was "highly likely" the Kabul airport could see another attack in the 24 to 36 hours leading up to the final U.S. troop withdrawal, Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored the warning in an interview for ABC's "This Week." The Pentagon confirmed Saturday that the final drawdown of troops had begun, intensifying pressure on the United States to evacuate the remaining Americans looking to leave the country as the terror threat is ratcheted to new heights. Blinken, who met with the president and top commanders at the White House Saturday morning, said the U.S. was doing "everything possible" to get the remaining Americans safely out of the country.

Behind the show with hot questions and even hotter wings is a small New York City restaurant that turns out wings, cheesesteaks, and hoagies.

The husband of former Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes is “transitioning to the other side,” she announced to patrons […] The post Nene Leakes says husband Gregg is “transitioning to the other side” appeared first on TheGrio.

Tommy Fury wins in his U.S. debut, outpoints Anthony Taylor at Paul vs. Woodley pay-per-view event.

Scott never got the trophy from his lone Cup Series win after a scoring error originally awarded the win to another driver.

The subscription service's abrupt reversal of its plan to ban sexually explicit content highlights the competing interests that decide where sex work is welcome on the internet.

He said maintaining American forces in Afghanistan had kept the lid on terrorism.

Lee “Scratch” Perry Dies at 85

Pitchfork 29 August, 2021 - 10:45am

Lee “Scratch” Perry, along with his band the Upsetters, helped spread the music of Jamaica around the world, producing records by groups like the Congos and Bob Marley & The Wailers, and serving as an influence on acts including the Clash and the Beastie Boys. Perry was born in Kendal, Jamaica in 1936. In the ’50s, Perry began working with Clement Coxsone Dodd, selling records and later working at Dodd’s recording studio, Studio One. Using this experience, he started his own label, Upsetter.

Perry released his innovative first single, “People Funny Boy” through the label, which highlighted his distinctive production technique. His studio experimentations—which included early uses of sampling and remixing—helped lead to the creation of the dub genre, which he solidified at Black Ark Studios—a new space he built in his backyard. After a series of successful albums with his band the Upsetters and countless production credits, Perry’s music was brought to new audiences during the 1980s, when he worked with British producer Adrian Sherwood.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Perry told The Guardian, “Music is magic. If you have good music you have good magic. If you have good magic you will be followed by good people.”

Numerous artists such as El-P, Flying Lotus, TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, Mad Professor, the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle, and others have shared remembrances or statements in memory of Perry on social media.

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