Tag Archives: Rhythm Shower

Trojan collects four Lee Perry sets on one album

TJDCD565_-_hires_copyTrojan Records has collected four Lee Perry produced albums – Africa’s Blood, Battle Axe, Rhythm Shower and Double Seven – on one album called The Trojan Albums Collection.

This new compilation highlights a part in Lee Perry’s career when he was just starting to make a name for himself as a producer. It was at a time when he was working with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer and before his dense, trippy and swirling productions at his own studio Black Ark.

The cuts showcased here – a swinging 53 originally released between 1971 and 1973 – are mostly instrumentals played by The Upsetters. Some are little more than versions or backing tracks, while others show a producer that has just started to experiment with sonic effects that would soon be an integral part of dub. But even though these recordings were pre-Black Ark Lee Perry still had his very own, and unique, sound with rock-solid rhythms.

Some of the tracks feature well-known vocalists like Delroy Wilson, I Roy and Junior Byles, while other performers are virtually unknown, for example The Hurricane’s, an outfit that make a memorable performance on Isn’t It Wrong.

Standout cuts include Junior Byles’ heartfelt A Place Called Africa, and its dub version by Winston Prince aka Dillinger, Dave Barker’s exuberant Do Your Thing and The Upsetters funky Jungle Lion. The compilation also showcases a few of Lee Perry’s wackier efforts – Kentucky Skank with its flowing water and idiosyncratic vocals as well as the psychedelic Waap You Waa.

This is timeless and classic Lee Perry.

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Adventurous sounds on Kung Fu Meets the Dragon

220px-TheUpsetters-KungFuMeetsTheDragonIn 1974 Lee “Scratch” Perry opened his mythical studio Black Ark. A year after he dropped the dubstrumental album Kung Fu Meets the Dragon, credited to The Mighty Upsetter.

This set was recently reissued by UK’s Sunspot Records. But not as the initially released album. This version collects no less than seven bonus cuts and comes in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with two LP’s.

According to the excellent liner notes by Harry Carpenter, Lee Perry was obsessed with martial arts, hence the album title and several song titles referring to motion pictures from the 70s and kung fu.

Musically Kung Fu Meets the Dragon is similar to Scratch albums such as Musical Bones, Rhythm Shower and Cloak and Dagger. It’s not dub, but not completely instrumental either. Scratch plays with the mixing board like a child on a sugar overdose and showcases his forward thinking and innovativeness.

It’s funky with lots of odd sound effects and gracious melodica played by the late Augustus Pablo. Just listen to the haunting and spaced out Iron Fist or the up-tempo Scorching Iron.

Kung Fu Meets the Dragon collects several riddims only utilized on very few occasions and it has been reissued several times before, but I believe this version excels all the previous ones.

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