Lee “Scratch” Perry & The Upsetters

Super Ape

we were crazy back then man, yeah, but we were really something else. we kept a bottle of oblivion on the lowest kitchen shelf. we filled the emptiness with us instead of the other way around, and had some ancient astronauts move closer into town.

it was madness man yeah yeah but trust me it was worth it. we pulled our deepest rhythms from the islands where the world ends. we tied ourselves a crown of thorns and danced across the square. we humbled up to ecstasy and grew out all our hair.

we were kings and queens of everything, we even found our faces. we learned our higher eloquence and turned to constellations.

Exclusive VMP-edition features:

  • Translucent green 150g color vinyl
  • Custom Super Ape stencil
  • VMP logo on back of jacket
  • 12” x 12” original art print from renowned Nigerian artist & MoMA inductee, Lemi Ghariokwu (Fela Kuti, Bob Marley)
  • Original cocktail recipe courtesy of Sean Kenyon, Williams & Graham, Denver, CO
Out of all of the wonderful albums that emerged from the Black Ark in the 1970s, perhaps the most under-rated is 'Super Ape.' Other albums such as 'Police And Thieves' and especially 'Heart Of The Congos' seem to capture the attention of reggae fans more readily. While those albums and other Black Ark benchmarks like 'Party Time' and 'War Ina Babylon' stand out as excellent works, these albums were collaborations with talented songwriters, especially in the case of Max Romeo. 'Super Ape,' on the other hand, is purely Lee Perry's vision. As such, it stands out as a pinnacle in Scratch's career.
- www.upsetter.net

About Lee “Scratch” Perry & The Upsetters

Some call him a genius, others claim he’s certifiably insane, a madman. Truth is, he’s both, but more importantly, Lee Perry is a towering figure in reggae — a producer, mixer, and songwriter who, along with King Tubby, helped shape the sound of dub and made reggae music such a powerful part of the pop music world. Along with producing some of the most influential acts (Bob Marley & the Wailers and the Congos to name two but) in reggae history, Perry’s approach to production and dub mixing was breathtakingly innovative and audacious — no one else sounds like him — and while many claim that King Tubby invented dub, there are just as many who would argue that no one experimented with it or took it further than did Lee Perry.

From this point through the ’70s, Perry released an astonishing amount of work under his name and numerous, extremely creative pseudonyms: Jah Lion, Pipecock Jakxon, Super Ape, The Upsetter, and his most famous nom de plume, Scratch. Many of the singles released during this period were significant Jamaican (and U.K.) hits, instrumental tracks like “The Return of Django,” “Clint Eastwood,” and “The Vampire,” which cemented Perry’s growing reputation as a major force in reggae music. Becoming more and more outrageous in his pronouncements and personal appearance (when it comes to clothing, only Sun Ra could hold a candle to Perry’s thrift-store outfits), Perry and his remarkable house band, also named the Upsetters, worked with just about every performer in Jamaica. It was in the early ’70s after hearing some of King Tubby’s early dub experiments that Perry also became interested in this form of aural manipulation. He quickly released a mind-boggling number of dub releases and eventually, in a fit of creative independence, opened his own studio, Black Ark.

– John Dougan, All Music

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