Lee "Scratch" Perry
Lee Perry has been developing the sound of reggae since the 1960s, and though others have achieved similar results, no one has created music with the same zest and eccentricity. Artists like Max Romeo, Junior Murvin, Dr. Alimintado and Bob Marley have made some of their finest work thriving under Perry's production in the famed Black Ark studios (which the unpredictable Perry eventually burned down). On classic solo albums like Blackboard Jungle, Kung Fu Meets the Dragon and Super Ape, Perry helped create Dub, tweaking proto-Drum 'n' Bass tracks with phasers, echo and vintage synthesizer swirls. A large portion of Lee Perry's success is due to the extremely insistent, rhythmically tight dread rhythms of his studio band, the Upsetters. Named after Perry himself -- the original "Upsetter" - the band was composed of a core group of musicians. Brothers Carlton and Aston "Family Man" Barrett held down the bottom on drums and bass respectively, while organists Winston Wright and Glen Adams provided the vintage swirls and upbeat overlays. Perry pulled the faders in and out, and laid his primitively perfect effects, bouncing percussion, vocals and other instruments on their rock-solid foundation. His vocals, production and songwriting are thick with mystique and influence, while his music aurally describes nature, food, sex, ganja and the occult. Make sure not to smoke too much -- this music is sure to bug you out.