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Lee "Scratch" Perry

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Lee "Scratch" Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, on March 20, 1936, inKendal,Jamaica) is a Grammy award-winning reggae and dub artist, who has been highly influential in the development and...

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Lee "Scratch" Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, on March 20, 1936, inKendal,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 inJamaicaand 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.

 

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 ahigh pointin reggae history.

Perry now lives inSwitzerlandwith his wife Mireille and two children. Although he celebrated his 70th birthday in 2006, he continues recording and performing to enthusiastic audiences in Europe andNorth America. His modern music is a far cry from his reggae days inJamaica; 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 theUnited Statesusing theNew York Citybased 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 upcoming new full-length album, "Repentance". The album is due in 2008.