Lee "Scratch" Perry

Experryments at the Grassroots of Dub

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Lee "Scratch" Perry is the undeniable mastermind behind some of reggae's greatest moments. These days, however, it's hard to say whether he is still the genius he once was or whether he has assumed the role of reggae's clown prince. Experryments at the Grassroots of Dub shows a bit of both sides: each track begins with a short, spoken word journey into Perry's warped mind, but most of the music is top-notch, if slightly over-synthed. Perry's cast includes the Mad Professor, who now tours with him, on drums, and William the Conqueror on bass and keyboards. "Sky High Dub," a reworking of Bob Marley's "Natty Dread Rides Again," reaches into the stratosphere and "Dub Wise Experryments," with its underlying flute loops, shows Perry at his "experrymental" best. "Pooping Dub Song," however, should have been flushed, as it simply doesn't fit with the rest of the album. In the words of Perry, this album is, for the most part, "Soopboib."

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