There are always reasons to make an album with material by Lee Perry to publish. Often they are flimsy pretexts to commercially exploit old material again. But Pressure Sounds has now had a new, surprising idea: you have old ones Dub-Collected plate specials that Perry had cut for various sound systems in the 1970s, these partly smooth-planed acetate discs were extensively restored and made into the fascinating album "Sound System Scratch" (Pressure Sounds / Groove Attack) compiled. It turns out that Perrys Dub Plates were by no means just a copy of a mere rhythm track, but rather that the creative dervish that he was made an exclusive remix for each assignment. It's easy to imagine that with a product as ephemeral as one Dub Plate, a product for a limited audience and with a short half-life, Perry's thirst for experimentation got hot. The aim here was not to achieve commercial success, i.e. sanding down corners and ironing away edges. On the contrary, anything was possible here; a broad field of experimentation, the limits of which were no obstacle to Lee Perry. And so he used the studio technology not only extremely creatively, but also far beyond its possibilities - which often came at the expense of sound quality. But it was only the endless copying of various audio tracks and samples into one another that produced the typical, multi-layered complex Black Ark sound. The present ones pay homage to this sound Dub Plates. They take us on a fascinating excursion through the multiple dimensions of the sound space of the Black Ark, with their typical bouncing bass, non-stop phasing and of course the clanking cymbal sounds. Before the inner eye emerges an image of the Black Ark Studio, which was an apartment for Perry, crammed with instruments, studio equipment, voodoo utensils and all kinds of things. The walls are paved with pictures and prints. Heat, ganja smoke and the aroma of Jamaican rum that permeated Perry's bloodstream. The music that was created in that atmosphere was out of this world. Maybe it was a direct outflow of Perry's genius at the time, without the controlling influence of consciousness: a direct materialization of Perry's unfathomably confused mind. Mystical, obscure and mysterious, and that is exactly why it is so extremely fascinating. Music that has retained its value to this day and which I fall for every time I listen to it. After some seemingly academic releases, Pressure Sounds has once again succeeded in a really fundamental compilation with “Sound System Scratch”. An album that wonderfully brings to mind the beauty and unbelievable innovative strength of reggae of the 1970s and that doesn't belong in the collection, but in your ears!
Joy: another new album by Dubblestandart: "Marijuana Dreams" (Collision / Groove Attack). This is now the twelfth and barely a year behind the last, rightly acclaimed “Return From Planet” Dub". The Viennese guys really have bumblebees up their asses. They just want to play! And you can hear that in their music too. Because most of the programmed, synthetic ones Dub-Music of our days, the four-piece combo sets itself apart with its virtuoso, hand-played sound. A sound, by the way, that often reminds me of Adrian Sherwood's style of the 1990s. It's an urgent, fast, and in a way even aggressive sound that can't deny its proximity to industrial. Powerful beats, peppered with vocal scraps from illustrious guests like Lee Perry or David Lynch - with which “Marijuana Dreams” seamlessly ties in with the previous album, because some of the tracks like z. B. the Jean Michel Jarre remix or Perry's “I Do Voodoo” and “Chase The Devil” come from the planet Dub and are fired again at the assembled audience in a remixed form. If you add the four bonusDubVersions, then the collection of new material with seven pieces turns out to be reasonably clear - but this should not be understood as a negative criticism, because with Dub the remix is known to be a virtue. Which brings us to the second quality of the Viennese, namely theirs Dub-Mixing skills. They do that really well. Your Dubs have a good dramaturgy, are variedly instrumented, quite lavishly arranged and peppered with many FX and samples. It's not exactly minimalism - but I wouldn't enjoy playing the tracks myself first, only to then strip them to drum & bass. However, I enjoy the few but outstanding vocal tunes. While Dubblestandart knew how to cut the non-stop blabbering of Mr. Scratch to small vocal snippets, two “real” singers or deejays appear in their marijuana dreams: Anthony B and Elephant Man. I have to admit, I'm not really into Elephant Man Dubblestandart-Sound could have imagined - but has to admit that Ele is a really good service provider and that the Viennese have a perfectly fitting song for them Dub-Beats made. Anthony B is even a touch better. Then there is David Lynch, who is more of a marketing gag than a real vocalist. It's cool though Dubstep remix of his "song", fabricated by the New York Subatomic Sound System, which closes the album. In conclusion, let's summarize: album = good!
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.