Lee Scratch Perry Break Boundaries With New Album
Reggae legend and pioneer, Lee "Scratch" Perry's latest album, The End of an American Dream has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category for this year's 50th Grammy Awards. Released on Lansing, Michigan-based MEGAWAVE Records, The End of an American Dream is the most recent release by the groundbreaking engineer, producer, songwriter and performer, Perry.
Perry is unquestionably one of the most important figures in the history of reggae music. Not only did he help develop the early reggae sound captured in a number of important recordings, but as an engineer, producer, songwriter and performer he pioneered a number of innovations, including dub reggae and the "scratch" turntable effect used by DJs today
In The End of an American Dream, Perry brings forward a timely narrative drawn from his spirituality and today's global events, setting a seductive lyric and counterpoint to a postmodern dub rhythm provided by multi-instrumentalist Steve Marshall and producer John Saxon. Ever observant and at times playful, Lee Perry's commentary touches music aficionados across the board.
The End of an American Dream is a key album for the artist. It is the resurrection of a very pure vision of transformation for Lee Perry, born out of a period of intense personal strife and also great upheaval in the world at large. Recorded between 2004 and 2006, the album contains 16 new tracks featuring the vocals and lyrical genius of Lee Perry, set against a background of stylish contemporary beats, blues, soul, reggae, drum and bass. At 71 years old, Lee is as committed as ever to pushing the barriers and putting out music that cuts.
Lee "Scratch" Perry recorded this album at State of Mind Studios in London (U.K.), with multi-instrumentalist and longtime collaborator Steve Marshall. The End of an American Dream was produced and mixed by John Saxon in Somerset, England, and mastered by John Palmer in Lansing, Michigan.
About the Project from the Producer's Eye:
"There is quite a story behind this album (the first to represent the musical collaboration between 'The Upsetter' and English musician/songwriter Steve Marshall)," reports producer Saxon. "They first got together way back in the winter of 1984, when 'Scratch' literally burst into a tiny back-street studio in Dalston, Hackney, East London, and took over Steve's band World Service. Together they subsequently toured in the U.K. as Lee 'Scratch' Perry and The Upsetters, playing tunes like One Drop, The Liquidator, Who Killed The Chicken and Daniel Saw the Stone to a largely uninitiated audience who were often unprepared for "Scratch" and his anarchic stage act."
People turned out to see a 'legend of reggae music', expecting to hear the classics of roots and dub for which he had originally become famous. Audiences were amazed to hear Lee Perry delivering an apparently insane 'stream of consciousness', backed by a mixed race London outfit who were knocking out an urbanized blend of funk, jazz, punk, rock, reggae, soul and blues. Purists were shocked and disappointed; some shouted 'Traitor!' "I'm proud to be a traitor!" 'Scratch' replied. "Revenge is sweet!"
"The fans could take it or leave it. They could stay fixed in their preconceptions of roots music; or they could join Lee 'Scratch' Perry, the original genius of Jamaican music, and move with the times. He was, and is, on a mission ... for life, for change and for new vibrations," adds Saxon.
About the Label:
"I first met producer John Saxon last January at MIDEM, the music conference held in Cannes France. He was looking for an indie label that would make this a priority," recalls MEGAWAVE label president John Palmer. "We were excited that he had stopped by to see us and didn't think much about it until he came back and started asking what we could do."
MEGAWAVE Records is a Lansing, Michigan-based independent label. MEGAWAVE went national this June for the first time in its 35-year history with a release schedule that showcases an eclectic, exciting and energetic approach to jazz, world music, and beyond. The label's roster of recordings that underscores its moniker -- Small Label - Big Sound -- is distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Innovative Distribution Network (IDN), a division of Alliance Entertainment, and in Europe by Membran International GmbH.
The Grammy Award winners will be announced at the 50th Annual Award Ceremony on February 10, 2008 live from Los Angeles.
The Reggae News Agency
The Reggae News Agency