Scratch Lee Perry Mixed By The Scientist

About Scratch Lee Perry Mixed By The Scientist

Early life [ edit ]

Rainford Hugh Perry was born on 20 March 1936 in   Kendal, Jamaica , in the parish of   Hanover , the third child of Ina Davis and Henry Perry. [1]   His mother had strong African traditions originating from her   Yoruba   ancestry that she passed on to her son. [1]   His parents were both laborers, but his father later became a professional dancer.[ citation needed ]

Lee left school at age 15 and lived in   Hanover   where he did not have much regard for working, and preferred to play   dominoes   and live according to his own desires.[ citation needed ]   He eventually wound up in   Clarendon   where he got into the dance and music scene and earned the nickname "The Neat Little Thing". Lee later moved to   Kingston   after experiencing a mystical connection to stones ("When the stones clash, I hear like the thunder clash... and I hear words... These words send me to Kingston. Kingston means King's Stone, the Son of the King... the stone that I was throwing in Negril send me to King Stone for my graduation.") where he apprenticed at   Studio One . [5]

Career [ edit ]

Early work [ edit ]

Perry's musical career began in the late 1950s as a record seller for   Clement Coxsone Dodd 's   sound system . As his sometimes turbulent relationship with Dodd developed, he found himself performing a variety of important tasks at Dodd's   Studio One   hit factory, going on to record nearly thirty songs for the label. [3]   Disagreements between the pair due to personality and financial conflicts led him to leave the studio and seek new musical outlets. He soon found a new home at   Joe Gibbs 's Amalgamated Records. [3]

Working with Gibbs, Perry continued his recording career but, once again, financial problems caused conflict. Perry broke ranks with Gibbs and formed his own label,   Upsetter Records , in 1968. His first major single "People Funny Boy", which was an insult directed at Gibbs, sold well with 60,000 copies sold in Jamaica alone. It is notable for its innovative use of a   sample   (a crying baby) as well as a fast, chugging beat that would soon become identifiable as "reggae". Similarly his acrimonious 1967 single as Lee "King" Perry, " Run for Cover ", was likewise aimed at Sir Coxsone.

From 1968 until 1972, he worked with his studio band   the Upsetters . During the 1970s, Perry released numerous recordings on a variety of record labels that he controlled, and many of his songs were popular in both Jamaica and the United Kingdom. He soon became known for his innovative production techniques as well as his eccentric character. [3]

In 1970, Perry produced and released the Wailers track " Mr. Brown " (1970) with its unusual use of studio effects and eerie opening highlighting his unique approach to production.

The Black Ark [ edit ]

In 1973, Perry built a studio in his back yard,   the Black Ark , to have more control over his productions and continued to produce notable musicians such as   Bob Marley and the Wailers ,   Junior Byles ,   Junior Murvin ,   the Heptones ,   the Congos , and   Max Romeo . He also started the Black Art label, on which many of the productions from the studio appeared. [6]   With his own studio at his disposal, Perry's productions became more lavish, as the energetic producer was able to spend as much time as he wanted on the music he produced. Virtually everything Perry recorded in The Black Ark was done using basic recording equipment; through sonic sleight-of-hand, Perry made it sound unique.   Paul Douglas   mentions:

"Scratch had a particular sound and everybody was fascinated by his sound. He had this way of putting things together; it was just his sound and it influenced a lot of people. I’ve even gone to the Black Ark with   Eric Gale   for that   Negril   album; I remember myself and Val Douglas, we laid some tracks there, Eric Gale overdubbed stuff on there, but I honestly don't remember what happened to it." [7]

Perry remained behind the mixing desk for many years, producing songs and albums that stand out as a high point in reggae history.

By 1978, stress and unwanted outside influences began to take their toll: both Perry and the Black Ark quickly fell into a state of disrepair. Eventually, the studio burned to the ground. Perry has constantly insisted that he burned the Black Ark himself in a fit of rage.

After the Black Ark (1980s and 1990s) [ edit ]

Perry performing in 1998

After the demise of the Black Ark in the early 1980s, Perry spent time in England and the United States, performing live and making erratic records with a variety of collaborators. [3]   His career took a new path in 1984 when he met Mark Downie (Marcus Upbeat) with whom he worked on the 1986 album   Battle of Armagideon   for Trojan. It was not until the late 1980s, when he began working with British producers   Adrian Sherwood   and Neil Fraser (who is better known as   Mad Professor ), that Perry's career began to get back on solid ground again. Perry also attributed a later resurgence of his creative muse to his deciding to quit drinking alcohol and smoking   cannabis . In his earlier days, the act of producing for Perry was a frenzied and ritualistic one where he stated that "he blew smoke into the microphone so that the weed would get into the song." [8]   Perry stated in an interview that he wanted to see if "it was the smoke making the music or Lee Perry making the music. I found out it was me and that I don't need to smoke." [9]

In 1998, Perry reached a wider global audience as vocalist on the track "Dr. Lee, PhD" from the   Beastie Boys ' album   Hello Nasty . [10]

Later career [ edit ]

In 2003, Perry won a   Grammy   for Best Reggae Album with the album   Jamaican E.T.   In 2004,   Rolling Stone   ranked Perry number 100 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. [11]   He teamed up with a group of Swiss musicians and performed under the name Lee Perry and the White Belly Rats, and toured the United States in 2006 and 2007 using the New York City-based group Dub Is a Weapon as his backing band.

After meeting   Andrew W.K.   at   SXSW   in 2006, Perry invited him to co-produce his album   Repentance . The album, released on 19 August 2008 through   Narnack Records , featured several guest artists including   Moby ,   Ari Up , producer   Don Fleming , drummer   Brian Chippendale , and bassist   Josh Werner .

In 2007, Perry's song "Enter the Dragon" was sampled on the track " Carrots " by   Panda Bear   of   Animal Collective . As well, Perry was selected by Animal Collective in 2011 to perform at   All Tomorrow's Parties , which the band curated in May 2011. [12]   That same year, he recorded   Rise Again   with bassist and producer   Bill Laswell ; the album featured contributions from   Tunde Adebimpe ,   Sly Dunbar , and   Bernie Worrell , and was released on Laswell's   M.O.D. Technologies   label. [13]

In 2008, Perry reunited with   Adrian Sherwood   on   The Mighty Upsetter.   Between 2007 and 2010, Perry recorded three albums with British producer Steve Marshall who he met at   Pyramid Arts Development   in   Hackney . The albums featured performances by   Keith Richards   and   George Clinton . Two of these albums,   End of an American Dream   (2008) and   Revelation   (2010), received Grammy nominations in the category Best Reggae Album.

Perry in 2009

In 2009, Perry collaborated with Dubblestandart on their   Return from Planet Dub   double album, revisiting some of his material from the 1970s and 1980s, as well as collaborating on new material with Dubblestandart, some of which also included   Ari Up   of   the Slits . In 2008, leading up to this release, Perry's first foray into the   dubstep   genre was released on   12" vinyl , a collaboration with Dubblestandart and New York City's   Subatomic Sound System   called "Iron Devil". [14]   That record was followed by several more reggae-oriented dubstep collaborations with Dubblestandart and Subatomic Sound System on digital and vinyl, first   Blackboard Jungle   volumes 1 and 2 (2009), featuring   dancehall   vocalist Jahdan Blakkamoore, then   Chrome Optimism   (2010), [15]   which also featured American filmmaker   David Lynch . Following that, in 2010, Perry and   Ari Up   of   the Slits   collaborated on a limited-edition   Subatomic Sound System   7" called "Hello, Hell Is Very Low", a rootical   dubstep   release that would turn out to be one of Ari Up's last recordings and the final release during her lifetime.

In 2010, Perry had his first ever solo art exhibition at Dem Passwords art gallery in   Los Angeles, California . [16]   The show, titled "Secret Education", featured works on canvas, paper, and a video installation.

In 2011,   The Upsetter , a documentary film about Perry, narrated by   Benicio Del Toro , [17]   was released worldwide in theaters after its premiere at the 2008   SXSW Film Festival . [18]   The film was directed and produced by American film makers   Ethan Higbee   and   Adam Bhala Lough , and opened in Los Angeles in March 2011. [19]   It continued to screen worldwide into 2012, with the DVD,   iTunes , and   Video on Demand   following soon thereafter. [20] [21]

In 2012, Perry teamed with   the Orb   to produce   The Orbserver in the Star House , which was recorded in   Berlin   over a period of several months. [22]   The album earned critical acclaim, [23] [24]   and featured the single "Golden Clouds", named after the   historic property   located near Perry's hometown in Jamaica. The recording sessions were filmed by Volker Schaner and were part of the documentary   Lee Scratch Perry's Vision of Paradise .

In August 2012, it was announced that Perry would receive Jamaica's sixth highest honour, the   Order of Distinction , Commander class. [25]

In 2013, Perry performed at the first Dub Champions Festival in   Vienna , a sold-out performance, backed by Dubblestandart with   Adrian Sherwood   handling the dub mix. Perry also performed at the first two Dub Champions Festivals in New York City in 2011 and 2012, backed by   Subatomic Sound System . Perry performed at the 2013   Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival   in   Indio, California .

Perry is featured as the DJ on the dub and reggae radio station " The Blue Ark " in   Grand Theft Auto V . The station includes a number of dubs by Perry and the Upsetters including "Disco Devil" and "Grumblin' Dub". [26]

In October 2013, it was announced that Perry will be awarded a Gold   Musgrave Medal   later that month by the   Institute of Jamaica . [27]

Perry recorded an album with Daniel Boyle in London, released in May 2014 as   Lee "Scratch" Perry – Back on the Controls . [28]   The album received a   Grammy   nomination later that year. [29]

Perry remixed the "Thor's Stone" single by UK producer   Forest Swords   in November 2013. [30]

Perry performing in   Saint Petersburg , Russia, in August 2015

In 2015, the documentary   Lee Scratch Perry's Vision of Paradise   had a worldwide release in cinemas as well as on DVD and VOD after premiering at the   East End Film Festival   in London. The film gives an insight into the spiritual world of Perry, after director Volker Schaner spent more than 15 years filming with the Upsetters, witnessing the building of Perry's "Secret Laboratory" in Switzerland from the beginning until its destruction by fire in 2015. Shot in Switzerland, Jamaica, London, and Berlin, the movie also shows scenes from   Aksum   and   Lalibela, Ethiopia   to provide necessary background information. Over the years, Schaner collected over 100 hours of unique scenes and the both still continue the work, planning to release a sequel.[ citation needed ]

In 2015, Perry worked together with Belgium-based band Pura Vida and released   The Super Ape Strikes Again , which was mixed at The Last Ark Studio in Belgium using a combination of vintage gear and modern recording techniques.[ citation needed ]

In September 2015, Perry and   Subatomic Sound System   launched a 40th anniversary tour for Perry's 1976 album   Super Ape . The tour began as part of Dub Champions Festival and continued over the next two years with more than 50 dates in North America and some isolated dates in Europe. Nearly every show was sold out on the 2015 and 2016 tours. It culminated with the release of the   Super Ape Returns to Conquer   album in September 2017 which debuted at number 2 on   iTunes   US reggae chart behind   Bob Marley 's remastered   Legend   album, and on number 3 on the   Billboard   reggae chart.   Larry McDonald   performed as part of the band and on the recorded album. A   Kickstarter   campaign was organized in 2015 by Emch of Subatomic Sound System to raise funds to build a custom 15-foot-tall gorilla similar to the one on the original album cover art. [31]   The Kickstarter campaign reached its goal and the gorilla appeared on stage during 2015 and 2016 tour dates. [32]

In October 2018, Perry and   Subatomic Sound System   launched a 45th anniversary tour for the 1973 album   Blackboard Jungle Dub , produced by Perry. The tour began in North America and tour posters includes the tag line "World's 1st dub album, Live for the first time".   Rolling Stone   published a preview of the tour. [33]

2019 saw the release of   The Revelation of Lee "Scratch" Perry , a film about the making of his 2010 album   Revelation , directed by Steve Marshall for State of Emergency. The film features intimate behind the scenes footage of Perry at work in his home studio in the   Swiss alps   and an in depth interview with him.[ citation needed ]

In April 2019, hip hop producer   Mr. Green   announced that he would be doing a record made out of Perry's famous audio stems. In July 2019, Perry announced that the record is entitled   Super Ape vs. 緑: Open Door   and that it would release through Tuff Kong Records on 19 August 2019. The record combines over 20 different genres of music [34]   and was critically acclaimed.[ citation needed ]   Hypebeast said it was "Perry's best work in years" and that it "pushes boundaries of various genres. The record reached the Top 10 on the iTunes reggae charts and the Top 100 on the billboard reggae charts. [35]

Just a couple weeks prior to his death, Lee released his last song, No Bloody Friends. The song was a collaboration with Ral Ston, it was released on August 13, 2021.   [36]

Personal life

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