When Lee "Scratch" Perry opened up his own recording studio -- the soon to be legendary Black Ark -- it meant that he no longer had to pay for studio time, as he had at Randy's and Dynamic, and that he therefore no longer had to worry about how long it took him to record singers and create dub versions. The resulting change in his production style was dramatic. The Black Ark sound is celebrated today for its wet, splashy ambience and the air of dark mysticism that pervades almost every track produced there. This excellent collection of late Randy's and early Black Ark dub versions shows Perry at his eccentric best: A previously unreleased mix of the Congos' classic "Solid Foundation" (as "Foundation Solid") is included, as well as hard to find dub mixes of Junior Murvin's "Roots Train" ("Version Train") and "Tedious," and Max Romeo's "War in a Babylon" (as "Sipple Dub"). Other highlights include a cut on the "Da Da" rhythm called "Bagman" and featuring Perry's commentary at the beginning, and a great deconstruction of a classic Gladiators track titled "Dub in Time." An essential purchase for all fans of classic dub; Perry adepts need no further instruction.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson