Dub Treasures from the Black Ark

Lee "Scratch" Perry

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Dub Treasures from the Black Ark Review

by Fred Thomas

Epitomizing the "mad genius" persona, wild-eyed reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry is universally heralded as one of the most important names in the development of Jamaican music, in particular for the wealth of sounds that came out of the mysterious and highly productive (if somewhat short-lived) days of his Black Ark studio. Dub Treasures from the Black Ark focuses on a few fruitful years of Perry's psychedelic pinnacle of dub production. Washed in delay and more flange even than usual, the compilation ranks among the trippier volumes of Scratch's dense discography, songs anchored by classic reggae rhythms but dissolving into a dreamy ether on cuts like "Covenant Dub" or even into sections of violent noise on tracks like "Leopard Dub." Perry trades his trademark cow mooing sound effects in favor of found sound snippets of babies' crying on the truly surreal "Baby Talk."

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