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Just for the record: Take your Pik of the Staples and have a ...


Just for the record: Take your Pik of the Staples and have a Perry good time

A fortnightly review of music on vinyl

Andrew Donaldson

Dub pioneer and legendary producer Lee “Scratch” Perry is definitely not going gently into that good night. A skankingly spry 83-year-old sui generis maverick, he’s just released a new album, Rainford (On-U Sound), in which his eccentricity and creative genius burn as brightly as they ever did over the course of a career that dates back to the late 1960s.

Perry is credited with helping steer Jamaican music from ska and rocksteady to reggae. But he cemented his reputation as a super-producer in the 1970s, working on seminal recordings by Bob Marley and the Wailers, Max Romeo, the Congos and Junior Murvin, among others. 

He also released a number of classic albums with the Upsetters, his Black Ark studio house band, in which his mixing desk pyrotechnics — innovative sampling, deep echo and hallucinatory reverb, and other effects — would establish a dub template that set the stage for musical experimentation far beyond reggae’s boundaries, particularly in electronica and post-punk...

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