He is considered to be the pioneer of Dub music, he is considered as one of the best producers to emerge out of Jamaica as he helped shape the careers of artists such as Bob Marley, Junior Marvin, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Max Romeo; he has even worked with Paul McCartney. This week on New Music Monday, we have none other than Lee ‘SCRATCH’ Perry also known as The Upsetter.
Having the honor to meet Lee ‘SCRATCH’ Perry alongside Subatomic Sound System last summer at Bumbershoot festival and interviewing him , I was appalled that he was back once again with a new single for his fans, whom he loves very much.
The new single titled “Black Ark Vampires” has three versions: the bass steppers, dub bass steppers, and roots rockers mix.
The single finds The Upsetter in a creative zone filled with lots of sound-ranging from heavy bass lines, vocal echoes that draws you into his lyrics, synthesizers, and other sounds that are inexpressible. Black Ark Vampires is a narration of Lee ‘SCRATCH’ Perry’s experience in Jamaica when he used to own his studio named Black Ark Studios. Majority of Reggae artists used to go to Black Ark Studios for their sessions (check out this video of Perry in his studio Black Ark with The Heptones and Junior Marvin below).
After a while the fame and attention was getting too much for Perry to the point where some people who came to Black Ark studios had malicious intentions and brought “bad vibes” to his sacred studio. To eradicate this problem, Perry decided to burn down his studio and get rid of the “vampires” as he recounts in his new single that he will kill the vampires from Kingston to London to America and everywhere else with electric wire.
Black Ark Vampires illustrates the creativity of Perry and Subatomic Sound System in a way that highlights various instruments and styles to life in a dazed, dark, psychedelic Reggae dub element that will draw you towards their world.
Even at the age of 80, Perry still has the fire to produce sounds that are pleasant to the ears while teaming up with people who can see his vision in parallel such as Subatomic Sound System to keep pushing the envelope of Dub-Reggae to the masses. All this is done while keeping the persona of Lee ‘SCRATCH’ Perry some what abstract and weird.
Check out the single Black Ark Vampires below.