Lee "Scratch" Perry

Open the Gate

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The only person living on the same planet as the Upsetter is Sun Ra. Both had the propensity for attracting some of the best musicians around to indulge in their fantasies. Both knew just how to draw the best out those who wandered by their studios. And both continue to confound modern listeners with their range of musical expression and their strange gift for off kilter arrangements. This set is a perfect expression of Perry's genius. Dripping with flange and echo, these songs run the gamut of his ouevre, from the straightforward folk of "Ruffer Ruff" to the dark and brooding accusations of "Vampire." Singers and players abound here, some obscure, some among the best the music of this island has ever produced. But, of course, as always, the real star of the show is Perry and his studio. Never content to stay behind the glass shield, his influence is everywhere, adding an effect here, substituting a lyric there. Anyone wondering where to begin the search through his massive catalog could do worse than to start here.

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