Five Star Review

Lee Scratch Perry & Subatomic Sound System: Super Ape Returns to Conquer

At first I was skeptical, very skeptical. Why act out a masterpiece? What's the point of a remake when the original is so readily available? Lee Perry's "Super Ape" album, with which he launched the definitive manifesto of the world via Island Records in 1976 Dub revealed, was probably sold millions of times, is on the record shelf of every reggae fan and Spotify & Co. stream it daily out into the digital airwaves. So why now Lee Scratch Perry and Subatomic Sound System: "Super Ape Returns to Conquer" (Echo Beach)? A very theoretical question, as I had to admit when I first listened to the album. But before I answer them in detail, let's take a closer look at the project and its protagonists. At the center is supposedly a man: Lee Perry. But appearances are deceptive (even if the PR campaign, as is so often the case, focuses on Perry's sole genius). The man at the center of it all is actually John Emch, who is also behind New York's Subatomic Sound System, which has romped across a range of electronic music genres since it was founded in 1999. As early as 2001, the Sound System began touring the world with Perry, combining live instruments with electronic beats. Seven years later, John Emch merged classic Perry pieces with it Dubstep and in 2014 released a very successful song for Perry called “Black Ark Vampires”, which was characterized by heavy sub-bass and electronic drums - and yet somehow sounded like Black Ark. The concept was thus defined: We catapult Perry's Black Ark sound into the present by giving it a lot of oomph. Or - in John Emch's words: "It sounds like the classic Black Ark vibes in the high frequencies but in the low end, it has the weight and punch of electronic music, dubstep and hip hop, that gets people moving ”. No idea how Emch did it, whether he is a champion sound engineer, a gifted musician or simply a sample wizard: The Black Ark sound is one hundred percent right. If you hear the remake by the way, you might think the DJ is playing the original. But a direct comparison reveals the difference: The glorious original from 1976 sounds astonishingly weak. I had never noticed that before, but "Super Ape" is pretty weak on the chest. Especially on the ass, where the bass sits, the original lacks substance. And this is exactly where the remake hits heavy artillery - but without overdoing it. Actually, the "Return" sounds exactly as I had mentally saved the "Super Ape" - although the differences are glaring if you listen carefully. Which now raises a question of a philosophical dimension: Can a relatively uncreative remake be better than an ingeniously innovative original from 40 years ago? Anyone who has seen the remake of the film "Ghost in the Shell" knows what I'm talking about. Visually fantastic, it copies the original in almost every scene (and also simplifies the story). The critics agreed and punished the remake. Fans, however, were deeply impressed by the visual opulence. How can the dilemma be resolved? Not at all. A clear decision has to be made for one of the two sides. That's why I would now, quite self-denyingly, say: The aura of the original is inviolable. Who would come up with the idea of ​​replacing Rembrandt's “Night Watch” with a newly painted copy because the colors of the original no longer have their full luminosity? The original is a historical document of great cultural value - even if today we prefer to watch TV series in 4K HD instead of patina-darkened oil paintings in museums. So Perry's original “Super Ape” is inviolable and forever a masterpiece - even if we prefer today Dub listen with heavy sub-bass. From this follows: "Super Ape Returns to Conquer" is a sacrilege made by the devil. Keep your hands off it! Forego the sensual pleasure of Black Ark magic in Bass Wonderland! Lacks the lust for great mixes and crisp sounds. And above all: Don't you dare to hear it on a real sound system, wallow with relish in the bass waves and lasciviously get you to do it! Jah sees everything.

3 replies to "Lee Scratch Perry & Subatomic Sound System: Super Ape Returns to Conquer"

Oh, that wasn't absolutely necessary now. But now that it is there, why not ?! If you consider that there are around 40 years of technical development in between, THE ORIGINAL is actually still very good. However, you have to push the slider for the bass more than twice as high to get close to the sound of the remake. Well, for me, another difference is from that Dubs from 40 years ago, but not only recognizable in the abundance of bass. Today's modern Dubs ( Dub will hopefully never become modern) delight me above all with their general sonority. Most of the time, the slide for the riddim is pushed in much more often these days and then stays “online” longer. There are many more small sound gadgets, with many different instruments that are either sampled or played live. With their spherical sounds, synthesizers usually create an extreme atmosphere that makes you stoned even before you've smoked anything. Of the Dub from the early days was very minimalistic and often stripped down to bass and drum. That too is fantastic! Because it was (still is) something very special and it also cleared the dusty ears of what was otherwise known in the music world. It was innovative and, above all, freaky. Nothing for “Grandma and Oppa” but nothing against Grandma and Grandpa either. JAH have her blessed. I like the development of Dub towards more richness of sound, more technical sound gadgets and almost continuous riddim, which is very good Dub also makes it more danceable overall. Sure Steppa-Style always jerks, but Steppa with riddim and a lot of noise really sends me off.
Doesn't mean that I'm just such Dubs want to hear, because DubI definitely don't want to miss out on constructions like the one from the “Professor” with JAH 9.
Nevertheless, I think that the crazy professor has had something on his ears for a long time, because my ears don't need so many highs that almost go into noise. Well, luckily I don't have a high-end system. I have a lot of buttons and sliders with which you can adjust the "VP-Hearing-Impaired Sound" in a somewhat healthier way.
Uh, yeah, what was it all about? …………. Oh yes ! For me, “The Super Ape Returns To Conquer” is a very clear win-win situation. Super original vs. super high grade remake! It was, is and will be great!

Lee Scratch Perry legalize cannabis, tschikky tschikky tschikky shape or something like that …………………… .. lemmi

For me, a lot comes a little later. And so was the time last night when things really went off at home again. Even if I repeat myself and / or quote Rene 'too often, my joy and enthusiasm while listening to the disc was simply overwhelming. Much has already been said about the waaahnsinns sound of this disc, so I have to confirm that again here and there. I really have to turn my slider down a lot if I want to stay where I live. Otherwise, the normal settings of my system will tear apart the walls. More oomph is not possible. Just want to get rid of a little swipe in self-defense towards John Emch.
The man stabs me in the eye from behind through the chest when he really means:
"... .. but in the low end, it has the weight and punch of electronic music, dubstep and hip hop, that gets people moving ”. How he did it I wouldn't call art. he just has technology at the start that didn't exist 40 years ago. So Mr. Emch: "don't fumble, just be humble !!!" HipHop has never had a better bass than reggae, Dubstep has no bass at all (apart from abysmal tones up to unbearable booming) and I have never noticed a punch in connection with electronic music anyway. Electronic music is rather that with this very brutal, shrill synthesizer sound garbage that one can only endure as a mobile phone-damaged "petty criminal". Of course, the low notes also have only one and the same per tune. (Wait a minute, I have to wipe the foam off my mouth for a moment).

Well, actually I wanted to write that, apart from the sound and the riddims, I especially like the way Lee “Scratch“ Perry is used here.
I got a lot of discs from him, where he gets on my sack as a “talking machine”, but here his uses are very well measured and extremely spicy. Here his voice and his "singing" become themselves Dub. Here all the magic that the man undoubtedly carries in himself can fully unfold. And it unfolds !!!

I thought for a long time whether I would like to lean that far out of the window but I can only recommend everyone to treat themselves to a little hopes and herbes, put on this record and then shit on the rest of the world. Yes ! ... .. give it a big hoot. In contrast, skydiving and bungee jumping are only children's birthday parties! And one more thing, whoever has this disc no longer has to worry about the originals.

So, sorry that the horse went through with me a bit again but yesterday I had a great evening again! And I'm just FAN, what should I do? The enthusiasm has to go.

… .. hey, “electro has a boom” …………… I still can't believe it …… lemmi

Post a comment

This website uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn more about how your comment data is processed.