The following text is uploaded courtesy of Dan Cody and links to a great new interview with Lee Perry on the site nomajesty.com: well worth a visit!
With an influential career spanning six decades, Lee Scratch Perry has had more of an impact on Jamaican music than most. Producing music with some of Reggae’s biggest names including Max Romeo and the one and only Bob Marley, before going on to create Dub for the world, Scratch has truly left his mark on music history.
Scratch’s own career in music as a performer has taken him all over the world, from Jamaica, to London and even Switzerland, and he has made some unforgettably unique music in each. Records like Super Ape by Lee Scratch Perry & The Upsetters remain some of the greatest the genre has to offer.
Scratch spoke to Dan Cody from Negril, Jamaica, where the singer has been spending time with his family, performing in local concerts, taking part in community projects and working with local unknown singers. In the interview they talked about Perry’s recent series of paintings he has created with British artist Peter Harris, how they reflect on the politics of the world, and how he feels a second Reggae ‘revolution’ is on its way.
West London-based reggae producer Jstar returns with this new single ‘Bad Boy Stepping’, the second release from his album ‘Stand to Order’. Featuring Jamaican MC Ranking Joe, the instrumentation includes trumpet from Madeiran jazzman Manuel Alexandre Figueira and trombone from New Zealand’s Gareth Thompson Darling of Newtown Rocksteady, as the digital world meets live musicians. A particular pleasure is the inclusion of several impressive remixed versions. The original mix moves along in fine dancehall-style, while the remixes from Dreadsquad, Freedo and Mo’Matic take us so far from the source that it’s almost unrecognisable – venturing into dance, bass, hip-hop and what sounds like a film score for a particularly weird night at the kino.
After the success of first single ‘Liar Liar’, which received radio plays from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, 1xtra’s David Rodigan and BBC 6 Music’s Don Letts, along with key support from Norman Jay, Andy Smith, Grandmaster Flash, and Daddy G, Jstar is likely to generate further enthusiasm during his current international tour.
Jstar: Bad Boy Stepping: EP release 11th February 2017
“I’m coming from a new generation, blending influences and letting it come out organically in the music” proclaims Skip Marley. This third single – and debut release on Island Records – from the 20-year old maternal grandson of Bob is a powerful evocation of both dignity and resistance in the midst of troubled times. Skip Marley, born in Jamaica and growing up in Florida, speaks confidently with the message of this song. Showing that “when we are strong and unified no evil can get us” this is a timely response to the turbulence of the current political situation and it’ll strike a chord with many audiences. This is strong contemporary reggae music, although Skip doesn’t confine his music to that genre, citing influences from rock, hip-hop and dance music. “I want to spread my music to the people and help them unify,” he says. “I want people to take away a message of love, of looking at the way you are living and thinking where we can work to be our best. Whatever they’re feeling, I want them to be able to turn up my music and think, relax, and get good vibes.”
Skip Marley: ‘Lions’ released on Island Records, February 2017
Here’s some fine old-school reggae with this excellent single entitled ‘Hey Brother’ taken from the Frightnrs’ debut album ‘Nothing More to Say’. This is gentle vocal reggae, with a keyboard sound reminiscent of the 60s or even 50s soul and early R and B, and a lead vocal hinting at the soulful feel of Marvin Gaye. The rest of the album is equally strong, including ‘Gonna Make Time’ with similar instrumentation but a faster pace, and the great rocksteady contribution of ’All My Tears’ or ‘Till Then’.
Described by the record company as the ‘sweetest and the roughest’ this is unashamedly retro melodic vocal reggae with a cracking rhythm throughout. With production from Ticklah (as in Easy Star All Stars) this New York band sound as though they were as much influenced by Motown as by the reggae greats and this is especially evident in their unique vocal sound. The saddest postscript is that lead vocalist Dan Klein was suffering from a severe degenerative illness while recording the album under difficult circumstances and he finally passed away last year.
The Frightnrs: Hey Brother (Do Unto Others), released on Daptone Records