Every true reggae fan has a small (or large) extra section in their record collection, which is dedicated to the work of Lee Perry. This is where the fast-bouncing upset recordings from the very early 1970s are located. But the worn records all come from the period between 1974 and 1978, i.e. from the time when Lee Perry lived in his Black Ark studio and created the craziest and at the same time most mystical sounds that could be heard in reggae up until then. The master also produced a lot of crap, which is marketed again and again as "obscure, unpublished cult recordings" to this day. But he also (and above all) created fantastic masterpieces, some of which he licensed to Iceland-Records and some to Trojan. The latter are now on the double CD Lee "Scratch" Perry & Friends "Sipple Out Deh - The Black Ark Years" (Trojan / Sanctuary) published - a total of 44 pieces, nicely arranged in chronological order. Of course you know them all and already have them in your collection, distributed on different sound carriers. But still it is an uplifting experience to hear them again with such concentration and to follow the master through the years of his work, to perceive the change in his style and to witness the condensation of his sound, up to an impenetrable jungle of sound. Above all, it is fascinating that Perry's recordings are still able to cast a spell over the listener almost 40 years after they were made. What is it that makes this music too timeless? Maybe it's the fact that Perry was little interested in commercial success and therefore just created real art regardless of market laws. But perhaps - to argue a little more rationally - it was simply Perry's focus on the sound that makes his music seem too contemporary today. While his competitors were producing real hit songs, Perry buried himself deeper and deeper in the sound world of his Black Ark studio and created an incredibly complex sound structure there that was so far ahead of its time that it now, 2010, perfectly matches ours today , "Sound-oriented" listening habits fit. Be that as it may, listening to the double CD is not only simply beautiful, it also fuels the respect and appreciation of Perry's genius. Unfortunately it burned out too soon.