|Celebrate Lee Perry's 80th birthday with Scratch and his pals in Toronto. Get tickets right here.|
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 breakthrough single "People Funny Boy" – a shot at Joe Gibbs following his 1967 Coxsone Dodd diss "Run For Cover" – was notable in 1968 for its innovative use of sampling as well as a chugging beat that would soon become known as reggae. It also sold an estimated 60,000 copies in Jamaica alone. Concurrent with his own releases with the Upsetters, Perry produced numerous reggae artists at his Black Ark studio, including some of the finest work by 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-provocateur, remains one of the world’s most imaginative sonic architects.
Watch Perry's 80th birthday tour performance in Paris (below) followed by the trailer for Volker Schaner's new film Lee Perry's Vision of Paradise.