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Author Topic: Thoughts on engineering & record production by Lee Perry  (Read 4571 times)

RMoore

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Thoughts on engineering & record production by Lee Perry
« on: October 03, 2004, 03:37:25 pm »

 Genius eccentric producer - widely seen as the person who coached Bob Marley to develop beyond one of the run of the mill local Kingstonian singers to the style that made him a superstar - plus, producing some of the best Bob Marley recordings.

Album & single productions must number in the 1000's (of this most would be 45 singles).
 
After his late 70's meltdown in which he torched his own studio, (brought on in part by economic pressures, lack of appreciation by Island Records, marriage breakup, paying weekly 'collection' fees to the local mob, daily 12 hr ganja and rum fuelled sessions)   - LP didn't produce anymore, moved to Switzerland married a wealthy business woman & occasionally performs a freeform spew live in concert - until his wife drags him offstage,signalling the end of the gig...

For an essential BIO and tips on interesting studio techniques like setting it on fire,  well placed bottles of excrement, duck ponds, mooing cows, blowing ganja smoke on the tapes etc check out 'People Funny Boy' by Davis Katz..

Recommended productions:
Lee Perry 'Super Ape'
Congos "Heart of the Congos'
Bob Marley 'African Herbsman'
Lee Perry 'Arkology' - Island Records compilation.
Lee Perry 'Blackboard Jungle'

(Best online source for LP discs: http://www.ebreggae.com)

In the words of Lee Perry

----------------------------------

Q: How did you first become involved with doing production work in Kingston?

To discuss my original force of like is totally impossible for me to tell you how I got involved. I'm not a man who has kept memory of anything I've done. I'm a miracle man, things happen which I don't plan, I've never planned anything. Like I say, I never try, I never plan. And if there is a day that come that I have to try, I will ax the Almighty to let me die. A hate trying.

Q: You just like doing?

Instant. Whatsoever I do, I want it to be a instant action object, instant reaction subject. Instant input, instant output. If it's not the way it gonna work, well kiss my rass; if it even God, God would have to kiss my rass because we never work to a God that I don't get paid instantly. I believe in getting pay instantly.

Q: What albums are you producing now?

Albums!! Zillion and million and trillion and billion records. I art de camera, I art de future. I art de worlds without end, I don't think to talk, man, do y'understand? So if I want albums, I hatch them because I art Scratch the beginning.

Q: Did you start from scratch?

All de time. If you don't start from scratch, then your in trouble, you don't start nowhere.

Q: Can you explain the unique sound you get on all the records you produce?

Would you give away your secret? If you give away your secret, you may be a very stupid man. I will keep mine. Because I want to live.

Q: Why are most of your recordings in mono?

Well mono mean one heart, one thought, one love, one destiny, one aim, one alternative. So I defend only the one; anytime is a split personality I know then can be problem and danger and I don't support it. I support all-in-one, one communication, one Itation, one Iration, one faith, one human destiny. Anytime you come out with that, then I don't think you're parallel. You're confused, you're a mascot! And I don't defend mascot.

Q: Which musicians are you particularly fond of?

At this moment? Well, most of the good thing always pass away, cos sometime I say to myself, "How come de good t'ing die?" Thinkin' of all this, I wish the spirit of Otis Redding could come back alive, a vibration that can never die. I wish the spirit of Fats Domino would come back alive. I wish the spirit of King Cole would come back alive. I wish the spirit of King Solomon Burke, I wish those spirit could come back alive. I not in for the madness, because I can't take it. I don't defend f**keries. Dig!

(Stephen Davis - http://home.swipnet.se/~w-26153/perry.htm)

     ************************************************************ ****************
"Good          evening and greetings to you people of the Universe - this is Lee "Scratch"          Perry, the mighty Upsetter, madder than mad, dreader than dread, redder          than red, dis ya one heavier than lead. We are here at the turntable terranova,          it means we are taking over..."      

"When          I sh*t my enemies cry, when I speak they die."

"I am          on top. With roots records, double music, dub revolution, black arkology.          And I am the black monarchy."

"I          am the first scientist to mix the reggae and find out what the reggae          really is."      

"When          I left school there was nothing to do except field work. Hard, hard labour.          I didn't fancy that. So I started playing dominoes. Through dominoes I          learned to read the minds of others. This has proved eternally useful          to me."    

"It          was only four tracks on the machine, but I was picking up twenty from          the extra terrestrial squad."

"Why          I am so happy is because the people who want to hear the truth are hearing          it. And one of these days all of these record companies are going to kaput,          and they are going to be liquidated, and run out of money and run out          of good luck and run into bad luck, and that will serve them right for          stealing Lee 'Scratch' Perry, sir!"    

"I          am the Upsetter, and I can put my upsetting power into any musician and          they become Upsetters."  

"If          you look into the alphabet from A - Z, you will see L is for Lee, L is          for light, and L is for love, and L is for the Lord. S is for the sky,          and S is for sh*t, and for ships. P is for power and the pyramids, and          I am the pyramid and the power."  

"This          is my brand new song: lightning and thunder, hailstone, brimstone and          fire, music, hurricane and tidal wave judgement. Mixed by earthquake,          produced by flood."      

"I discovered          that teachers could teach me nothing. I refused to waste my time listening.          I go to trees and flowers in the jungle and have them show I what I should          know, learn what I should learn.
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People's Republic of Ryan

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By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

RMoore

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Re: Thoughts on engineering & record production by Lee Perry
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2004, 06:18:21 pm »

People Funny Boy - the essential Lee Perry bio by David Katz.

Avail at  Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0862418  542/qid=1096839766/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/102-7435128-7470549?v= glance&s=books&n=507846

or http://Http://www.ebreggae.com


FWIW - I found it interesting that he had worked with literally every musician, artist, singer, producer, studio of note in Jamaica..a kind of musical hub.

Plus still had a hand of some kind in most Bob Marley 1970's productions for Island Records.

Apparently Marley still regarded LP as a genius & was into working with him throughout the 70's, voicing underground trax as a favour, even after LP essentially 'bootlegged' 3 albums worth of early BMW material - licensing it off to labels in the UK unbeknownst to the artiste.

An interesting glimpse into the reggae music world.

I found the lengthy chronicles of LP's post 1970's antics less interesting..

Amusing in a / reality TV / Osbournes kind of way I guess.

I once forgot a copy at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport & when I returned from a trip, it was not turned in to lost & found.

Can't imagine what some unsuspecting traveller would have made from picking it up & reading the crazed LP on tilt tales!
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People's Republic of Ryan

http://www.myspace.com/twilightcircus
 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

RMoore

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Re: Thoughts on engineering & record production by Lee Perry
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2004, 06:31:33 pm »

And if you don't have time for the analogue book vibe here's a little synapsis which is quite an excellent overview of LP written in sardonic stylee by Perryphile Mick Sleeper:

http://www.tcn.net/~bjudah/P7.htm
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People's Republic of Ryan

http://www.myspace.com/twilightcircus
 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

RMoore

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Re: Thoughts on engineering & record production by Lee Perry
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2004, 09:24:41 pm »

The closer he got to his 'meltdown' the more mooing cows appeared in his mixes - apparently a tape of one of his artists making cow noises through a toilet paper roll...early sampling style - running back off cassette or something to that effect..MOO.
Perhaps you think I jest - but this is 4 real.
FWIW - the moo's fit the music quite well.
The bizarre and brilliant mind of Lee Perry!
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People's Republic of Ryan

http://www.myspace.com/twilightcircus
 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

RMoore

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Re: Thoughts on engineering & record production by Lee Perry
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2004, 06:10:01 am »

Please pass the matches mon!
Moo,
RM
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By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

RMoore

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Re: Thoughts on engineering & record production by Lee Perry
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 11:48:40 pm »

Lee Perry's Black Ark studio circa 2008:

http://www.afflictedyard.com/scratchark.htm

A work in progress apparently

If you scroll down to the bottom & the pics with the burnt-looking desk, I think it may show the famous studio duck pond...
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People's Republic of Ryan

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 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

RMoore

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Check
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 12:04:23 am »

Some classic Lee Perry prods

Bob Marley - Rainbow Country...(love this tune - one of my BMW faves)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPeIGxPrD3A

Bob Marley - Sun is Shining (original version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrzjv121t4c

Junior Murvin - Police & Thieves (original version - covered by the Clash)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXW53tGe8gk

Lee Perry - People Funny Boy (LP on vocals - the ultimate revenge tune! Check out the early use of samples / sound FX)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUFhZaZj-xk

Congos - Fisherman (highly psychedelic!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVpV71SVpZM
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People's Republic of Ryan

http://www.myspace.com/twilightcircus
 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky
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