Lee Scratch Perry & Subatomic Sound System w/ special guest Daedelus and Addis Pablo
158 Bleeker St.
New York, NY, 10012
This event is 21 and over
Lee Scratch Perry
"I’m an artist, a musician, a magician, a writer, a singer; I’m everything. My name is Lee from the African jungle, originally from West Africa. I’m a man from somewhere else, but my origin is from Africa, straight to Jamaica through reincarnation; reborn in Jamaica..." .. .. Lee "Scratch" Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, on March 20, 1936, in Kendal, Jamaica) is a Grammy award-winning reggae and dub artist, who has been highly influential in the development and acceptance of reggae and dub music in Jamaica and overseas. He employs numerous pseudonyms, such as "Pipecock Jaxxon" and "The Upsetter". Arguably the first creatively driven, "artist-producer" in modern recorded music, Lee "Scratch" Perry occupies the highest level of music making - standing comfortably next to pioneers like George Martin, Phil Spector, and Brian Wilson. .. ..
Perry's musical career began in the late 1950s as a record seller for Clement Coxsone Dodd's sound system. As his sometimes turbulent relationship with Dodd developed, he found himself performing a variety of important tasks at Dodd's Studio One hit factory, going on to record nearly 30 songs for the label. Disagreements between the pair due to personality and financial conflicts, a recurring theme throughout Perry's career, led him to leave the studio and seek new musical outlets. He soon found a new home at Joe Gibbs's Wirl records. .. ..
Working with Joe Gibbs, Perry continued his recording career, but once again, financial problems caused conflict. Perry broke ranks with Gibbs and formed his own label, Upsetter, in 1968. His first single "People Funny Boy", which was an insult directed at Gibbs, sold very well. It is notable for its innovative use of a sample (a crying baby) as well as a fast, chugging beat that would soon become identifiable as "reggae" (the new sound did not really have a name at this time). From 1968 until 1972 he worked with his studio band The Upsetters. During the 1970s, Perry released numerous recordings on a variety of record labels that he controlled, and many of his songs were popular in both Jamaica and the UK. He soon became known for his innovative production techniques as well as his eccentric character. .. ..
In the early 1970s, Perry was one of the producers whose mixing board experiments resulted in the creation of dub. In 1973, Perry built a studio in his back yard, The Black Ark, to have more control over his productions and continued to produce notable musicians such as Bob Marley & the Wailers, Junior Byles, The Heptones, and Max Romeo. With his own studio at his disposal, Perry's productions became more lavish, as the energetic producer was able to spend as much time as he wanted on the music he produced. It is important to note that virtually everything Perry recorded in The Black Ark was done using rather basic recording equipment; through sonic sleight-of-hand, Perry made it sound completely unique. Perry remained behind the mixing desk for many years, producing songs and albums that stand out as a high point in reggae history. .. ..
By 1978, stress and unwanted outside influences began to take their toll: both Perry and The Black Ark quickly fell into a state of disrepair. Eventually, the studio burned to the ground. Perry has constantly insisted that he burned the Black Ark himself in a fit of rage, but it has also been said that fire could have been an accident due to faulty wiring. After the demise of the Black Ark in the early 1980s, Perry spent time in England and the United States, performing live and making records with a variety of collaborators. It was not until the late 1980s, when he began working with British producers Adrian Sherwood and Neil Fraser (who is better known as Mad Professor), that Perry's career began to get back on solid ground again. Perry also has attributed the recent resurgence of his creative muse to his deciding to quit drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. Perry stated in an interview that he wanted to see if "it was the smoke making the music or Lee Perry making the music. I found out it was me and that I don't need to smoke." .. ..
Perry now lives in Switzerland with his wife Mireille and two children. Although he celebrated his 70th birthday in 2006, he continues recording and performing to enthusiastic audiences in Europe and North America. His modern music is a far cry from his reggae days in Jamaica; many now see Perry as more of a performance artist in several respects. In 2003, Perry won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album with the album Jamaican E.T.. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Perry 100 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. More recently, he teamed up with a group of Swiss musicians and performed under the name Lee Perry and the White Belly Rats, and made a brief visit to the United States using the New York City based group Dub Is A Weapon as his backing band. Currently there are two feature length movies made about his life and work: Volker Schaner's "Vision Of Paradise" and "The Upsetter" by filmmakers Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Lough. .. ..
In 2007, Perry surprised the music world again when he invited "king of party music" and television personality, Andrew W.K., to produce his new full-length album, "Repentance". In 2008, Mr. Perry teamed up again with Adrian Sherwood for the release of "The Mighty Upsetter." In 2008 he released the more electronic tinged double album "Return from Planet Dub" with Vienna's Dubblestandart and started a series of dubstep remix projects with Subatomic Sound System that involved filmmaker David Lynch, Ari Up of the Slits, and dancehall artist Jahdan Blakkamoore. For more information about Lee Scratch Perry, read the excellent authorized biography by David Katz.
"Panic In Babylon" originally released in Switzerland and available on CD and vinyl LP, follows on the heels of Perry's Grammy award for Best Reggae Album. Drenched in Perry's signature dub-echo style, the
album is musically hypnotic with an uncluttered instrumental simplicity. The lyrics explore global fears, political corruption and narrative; with Perry boldly declaring on the title cut "I am the Upsetter."
From the bawdy "Pussy Man" to "Inspector Gadget 2004," Perry leavens his more political and spiritual songs with lyrics that expose his fun, human and instinctual side. The album comes with a bonus disc that features a Dave Sitek/TV on the Radio Remix of the title tracks and a DJ Spooky Remix of "Purity Rock," illustrating Perry's cross-over appeal and spotlighting hip-hop artists paying back the musical debt they owe Perry.
Encapsulating Perry's entire long astonishing career is difficult at best. Chronicling his recordings as a solo artist and as the leader of various groups, along with his overflowing catalogue of productions, all released on a myriad of labels, could fill a book.
Perry was born Rainford Hugh Perry in the small town of Kendall, part of the Hanover section of northwest Jamaica on March 28, 1936. A dancer and domino player of renown when he was young, Perry began his musical apprenticeship on the Kingston, Jamaica music scene of the 1950's as part of Duke Reid's Trojan sound system. From there he became involved with celebrated producer Coxsone Dodd and his Downbeat sound system. He subsequently worked as an A&R man at Dodd's influential Studio One, eventually supervising the famed Sunday afternoon auditions held at Dodd's Orange Street record store. In 1959, Perry cut two singles that launched his career, "Old or New" and the song from which his nickname is derived, "Chicken Scratch." In the early 60's, Perry's reputation as a songwriter and producer exploded with recordings for the likes of Delroy Wilson, the Maytals and the Wailers, while he continued to record himself, sometimes under such pseudonyms as King Perry.
In 1966 Perry left Studio One under a cloud of acrimony. He was so upset with Dodd that he wrote a song called "The Upsetter," an attack on Dodd that became the name of Perry's band the Upsetters. It also became the name of his label and of his Charles Street record store. In 1969 he released "Return To Django," which shot up to number five on the U.K. charts; he followed the success of the song with a highly successful U.K. tour. In 1973 Perry opened his famed Black Ark studios in Washington Gardens, a suburb of Kingston. It was there that Perry's abilities as a groundbreaking producer became fully formed. Using only a TEAC 4-track recorder (the heads of which he would clean with his t-shirt), a Soundcraft mixing board and an Echoplex tape delay, Perry established himself as reggae's premier record producer through innovation, alchemy and a mysterious ability to take even the most moribund song and performances and create magic.
In the small, 12-foot studio that was filled with his beloved small rubber balls and thick with ganja smoke, the Perry legend grew and he was the first reggae producer to experiment with drum machines and phasers. Some of the Perry-produced recordings that followed became the seminal releases of 70's reggae, including Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves" (later covered by the Clash), Max Romeo's "War In Babylon,"
and other recordings by the Heptones, Mikey Dread and Augustus Pablo. It was around this time that Chris Blackwell began licensing much of Perry's output and releasing it on his label Island Records.
From 1977 on, Perry not only worked with Bob Marley on various productions and released perhaps the first 12-inch reggae single, Carlton Jackson's "History," but he also produced such non-reggae
artists as the Clash, John Martyn, Robert Palmer and even Linda McCartney.
In the late 70's and early 80's Perry fell on hard times. Island refused to release two of his albums and his studio fell into disrepair. In the summer of 1983, the studio burned to the ground, possibly of arson which forced Perry to relocate, this time to the U.S.A. Soon after he returned to Island Records and relocated once again, moving across the Atlantic to Britain. By the start of the 90's, he had buried the hatchet with Coxsone Dodd, relocated to the Netherlands, then on to Zurich Switzerland, where he eventually married Swiss millionairess Mirielle Campbell in a Hare Krishna temple. They have two children and the family still lives in Zurich.
In recent years, Perry has continued to work as a songwriter and a producer, but more importantly, he has continued to record himself, making fresh, new music while maintaining his mastery of the
Alfred Darlington isn't your average cookie-cutter musician. From how he looks (early Victorian Dandism), to how he makes music, to how he expresses himself and views the world, his is a very individual, a 'bespoke' outlook.
Alfred was born in Santa Monica in 1977 to an artist mother and psychologist father. Musical from very early on, as a child he was classically and jazz-trained in a number of instruments, but his interests were broad and varied – less a prodigy than a renaissance boy whose obsessions ranged from Greek legend to the mountains of Wales. As a 15 year old he finally persuaded his parents to take him to the Principality. Whilst in a YMCA in London he flipped the radio dial, found a pirate radio station and taped some UK rave and hardcore. "It was my first 'Eureka!' moment in music," he says.
Back in the US he joined local rock bands, jazz bands and ska bands, which he enjoyed but felt limited by,too. At home he was listening to Warp, Ninja and your harder electronic stuff. He started DJing out the more leftfield side of drum and bass and making his own rudimentary productions. They were meant to be drum & bass but they kept turning out different and from his outsider's experiments his own style was born. He chose the name Daedelus as he had a childhood obsession with invention, and what was he doing, after all, if not tinkering and fiddling and experimenting like the "gentleman inventors" of old?
In 1999 he started DJing on Dublab.com for his "Entropy Sessions" and began dropping in his own early demo productions. Carlos Nino (of ammoncontact) had the show after him and usually pushed Alfred out the studio as quickly as possible as he was not so into Daedelus' confrontational DJ style, but when he heard a tranquil Daedelus production he took, in typical Nino style, Daedelus under his considerable wing around the LA scene. Nino placed
Daedelus tracks on two influential compilations and then persuaded Plug Research to release his debut album, "Invention" in 2002, Remixers included Madlib, who later took Daedelus' accordian parts and used them on the Madvillain record, closely followed by his "The Household" EP on Prefuse 73's Eastern Developments label.
In 2003, he was booked to play a show in San Diego by Brian Crabtree and Peter Siegerstrong and they asked him to test out an early prototype of the Monome box. "It's a Non-traditional electronic instrument," Daedelus explains. "Basically it allows for massive improvisation." Since then Daedelus has continued to use this revolutionary box, bringing much genuine liveness to the sometimes static world of performed electronic/dance music.
In 2003 he did "The Weather" album with Busdriver and Radioinactive and the remix album "Rethinking the Weather" on Mush records (home of cLOUDDEAD, also on Big Dada/Ninja Tune). 2004 saw the release of "Of Snowdonia" on Plug Research, the album with which Daedelus says he first "felt true artistic confidence, finding a true voice. I was finally in the right zone."
There was certainly no let up in his creativity. Also in 2004 he released the concept album "A Gent Agent" on tiny German label Laboratory Instinct. The 2005 album "Exquisite Corpse" on Mush album featured the likes of TTC, Mike Ladd, MF Doom. Ninja signed Daedelus for UK/Europe (a relationship which has reached its full expression on "Love To Make Music To," his first album for the label worldwide and put together with the help of their team). In 2006 "Denies the Days Demise" came out, a record showcasing his love of Brazilian music. Last year he released his first live album, "Live At the Low End Theory," and "The Fairweather Friends EP". Later this year will see the release of his collaboration with his wife, Laura Darling, as Long Lost!
And while his reputation has grown internationally, his place in the LA scene has also solidified. The musician that many of the hottest names in the city turn to for everything from bass clarinet licks to advice on obscure electronics, Daedelus has worked extensively with Taz from Sa-Ra, the pair of them opening for the likes of DJ Assault, Justice and Two Live Crew as well as appearing in Erykah Badu's most recent video.
As for "Love To Make Music To," Daedelus says that this album is "the imaginary memory of a time that never was! It's my drug/love record, harking back to that time in the YMCA in London, when I first heard rave…"