Arkology Box set
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The nearly four hours of astounding music encoded on these three discs merely scratch the surface of the highly personal sonic universe created by this legendarily eccentric, yet ridiculously prolific, dub-reggae producer. It's still the best source of entry into Lee "Scratch" Perry's world, though, a place defined by homemade avant-garde production techniques applied to the wittiest, angriest, sexiest, and most soulful reggae tunes ever written. Perry was born in 1936, and his career spans the history of Jamaican music. These 52 tracks, however, derive mainly from the late 1970s, when he was at the height of his considerable powers and recording hits like Max Romeo's "War in a Babylon" and Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves" for Island. Helpfully annotated, with a healthy handful of unreleased tracks, Arkology is a beginner's banquet of tracks that sound increasingly deep, daring, and downright frightening as the depth of Perry's talent is plumbed. --Richard Gehr
Top customer reviews
Diverse influences and musical innovation mean that Jamaican music, Ska, Roots, Dub, etc has in turn had an influence upon the likes of soul, rap, techno and other diverse genres that is hard to overstate. Perry was at the forefront of the 'Dub' era in the 70s using drum machines before anyone else and creating sounds (upon a two-track tape deck) the likes of which had never been heard before. His distinctive sound, e.g. his 'flying hi-hat' set him apart from other producers in a fiercely competitive market and he worked with all of the best Jamaican artists e.g Bob Marley, Max Romeo, The Meditations, The Mighty Diamonds, Junior Murvin, the list goes on.
Never mind that there are some 'fillers' here (though perhaps not as far as hardcore fans are concerned), the genius of the man is well in evidence and there are enough classics to make it well worth the price for any Reggae newbies: Life Is Not Easy - The Meditations, War Ina Babylon - Max Romeo, Chase the Devil - Max Romeo (sampled by the Prodigy!), Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin.
In addition there are plenty of tracks that will make you bounce or just stop and listen: One Step Forward - Max Romeo, Dub Revolution, Pt. 1, Why Must I [Version] - The Heptones, Vibrate On - Augustus Pablo.
As one reviewer points out this concentrates on the late 70s Black Ark work and doesn't overlap with other compilations. It's a well-thumbed and well-loved part of my collection and I can't recommend it highly enough.
If you have not heard any/much of Lee Perry's work this album just about sums him up, this is some of his finest works all wrapped up into three disks. If you do not like it after having listened to it, then leave this Artist (and his 'friends') well alone - forever.
If you have the odd album of his and not impressed do not dismiss it as there is allot of 'junk' albums out there!! I personally love his work through the mid seventies and i do not go much on his work beyond the mid 80's. I prefer him producing with quality vocalists at the front. Saying that, his vocals on 'Dreadlocks in Moonlight' are chillingly great....but thats just me. Here are other albums of 'his/friends' I would also rate highly:
The Heptones - Party Time
Open the Gate/Build the Ark - Lee Perry & Friends
Junior Murvin - Police and Thieves
Scratch Attack (2 solid albums in 1)
The Upsetters 'Super Ape' 'return of the Super Ape'
George Faith - To be a Lover, Max Romeo and others.
This album has a good array of tracks/versions from many of the albums listed above so buy this one and go from there, and save yourself a small fortune in the process.
It is of course all a matter of personal choice. You decide.
The only perceived weakness could be the repeativeness of the tracks, however this reflects upon the scene surrounding the soundsystems of Jamaica, and not scratch's ability to produce original material (and original his material was).
A personal favorite song is Roots Train by Dillinger, which climaxes in what would now be called a rap, and gives us a tangible link to modern day music. However the songs aim is to highlight the plight of the Rasta, who suffered in a Jamaica where Ganja was illegal.
All in all an exception introduction to the world of Dub Reggae and more than that it highlights that Reggae exists, moreover is waiting to be discovered, beyond its figurehead Bob Marley.
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tracks here..if you buy one reggae album..
this is it.lee perry..Read more
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