13 songs, and 13 dub versions, produced by Lee Perry and UK Producer Daniel Boyle at the Rolling Lion Studio. Lee Perry is back on the controls, using the very same effects units and equipment from his Black Ark studio in Jamaica, to produce a selection of deep roots rythms and original Lee Perry dub versions.
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, 20 March 1936, Kendal, Jamaica) is a musician and producer that has been influential in the development and acceptance of reggae and dub music across the globe. Lee’s timeless and classic recordings can be heard the world over, but his most striking and visionary productions came from the era when Lee ran the Black Ark studio. Built in 1973 and located on the grounds of his home in Washington Gardens, a suburb of Kingston Jamaica, the Black Ark became a Mecca for the Rasta community and some of reggae’s most important musicians. Here Lee produced many timeless classics that still impact reggae dances worldwide.
Lee created his famous signature sound by the clever use of a few key pieces of studio equipment, namely the Roland Space Echo tape delay, the Grampian reverb, and the infamous Mu-tron Bi-Phase, alongside an analogue mixing desk, reel-to-reel tape machines and a heavy amount of ganja smoke and rum. This set-up allowed Lee to really push the boundaries of his productions, pushing his musicians and this equipment to their limits, steering him ever further into the smoky realm of dub. The result was truly pioneering, with the songs, rhythms, and dubplates all layered with his signature phasing and delay, backed by the power of the Upsetters rhythm section. Thus, the legacy of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, the Upsetter, was immortalised.
Following the contentious closing of the Black Ark studio in 1979, and its eventual burning down in 1983, we fast-forward over three decades to the present day, where Lee has been working in London’s Rolling Lion Studio’ with UK producer Daniel Boyle on a brand new album project, 'Back On The Controls'. For the project, Daniel and Lee amassed original vintage pieces of equipment from Lee’s production heyday and a few vintage extras. filling the studio with Grampian and Fisher reverbs, a multitude of tape delays, the Mu-Tron Bi-Phase, reel-to-reel tape machines, old compressors, valve amplifiers, vintage filters, and a large analogue mixing desk.
The plan was to create a fresh sound that referenced the Black Ark, something new but familiar, with raw, vintage ‘Scratch style’ recording techniques. Acoustic panelling was taken down from the studio walls, old mics were thrown up against battered guitar amps, limited eq was used, and all imperfections have been left in the recordings. This is rough round the edges, ‘Yard’-style music, but sticking to Lee’s original signal chain and ethereal production techniques, to record, saturate, distort, and ultimately dub a brand new Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry production.