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Author Topic: Lee Perry meets the McCartneys @ Black Ark Studio  (Read 3051 times)


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Lee Perry meets the McCartneys @ Black Ark Studio
« on: November 16, 2010, 07:20:53 PM »

Not really an example of the best work from either party - but I'd long heard about these unlikely sessions in the 70's..just found clips on da toob:




The Black Ark was the recording studio of reggae and dub producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, built in 1973 and located behind his family's home in the Washington Gardens neighborhood of Kingston, Jamaica. Although the studio itself was somewhat rudimentary in its set-up and particularly basic with regard to some of the dated equipment employed by Perry, it was nonetheless the breeding ground for some of Jamaica's (and arguably the world's) most innovative sounds and recording techniques in the latter half of the 1970s.

[edit] Innovative musical techniques

An example of Lee Perry's inventive style was his ability to overdub layers of sound effects and instrumentation on each recording track of a basic 4-track machine, with such precise timing and in such a way that the resulting sound would destroy the competition from Jamaica's other top producers using the latest 16-track mixing consoles. Perry once buried microphones at the base of a palm tree and thumped it rhythmically to produce a mystifying bass drum effect; his drum booth at the Black Ark was for a time surrounded with chicken wire to further his distinctive sound; many of his songs are layered with a variety of subtle effects created from broken glass, ghastly sighs and screeches, crying babies, and a mooing cow children's toy. These and other notable recording techniques helped define the Black Ark sound, as well as Lee Perry's creative legacy.
[edit] Musicians and the Black Ark

In addition to providing pioneering sounds for such reggae stars as Bob Marley and The Wailers, Junior Byles, The Congos, Junior Murvin, and Max Romeo, Lee Perry and his studio were formative in creating the highly innovative reggae sub-genre called Dub, in which the producer/engineer becomes the focus of the music, manipulating a pre-recorded track and creating something entirely new using his or her mixing console as nothing less than an instrument. Perry worked with The Clash and Paul McCartney and his band Wings (Band) had recorded there between 1972 - 1979, the most notable track of which is Linda McCartney's reggae track Seaside Woman.

[edit] The end

In 1979, following years of increasingly bizarre and erratic behavior, Lee "Scratch" Perry, armed with a magic marker, covered every available surface of the Black Ark with impenetrable writings before allegedly burning it to the ground. This event, with the loss of the studio's unique sound and a hiatus in Perry's extraordinary creative skills, effectively ended an era during which much of Jamaica's most innovative sounds had captured the world of music. However, it has been related by several Perry family members that the studio in fact caught fire in 1983 after an ill-fated attempt to rebuild it, the result of an electrical accident. More often than not, Perry has claimed that he personally destroyed the Black Ark due to "unclean spirits" - an allusion to some of the undesirable people who were constantly at the Black Ark in later years. There are also stories that Perry was being blackmailed by gangsters who wanted a cut of the record profits. Perry himself stated in an interview with clashmusic.com regarding the fire, "Too much stress in Jamaica, all the time. Everybody want money, everybody want paid. Everyone got problem and want me to solve their problem. Nobody gave me anything, people just took everything. Everybody take this, and take that. So the atmosphere in the Black Ark studio was changing; it wasn’t like it used to be. Then I decided to make a sacrifice as the energy wasn’t good anymore." Shortly thereafter, he moved to London and then Switzerland.
People's Republic of Ryan

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Re: Lee Perry meets the McCartneys @ Black Ark Studio
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 07:15:58 PM »

RMoore wrote on Wed, 17 November 2010 00:20

Not really an example of the best work from either party

Even he, (as good as he was) couldn't get blood out of a stone...
Sam Clayton
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