Egypt For My Ransom - Lee "Scratch" Perry & Mad Professor featuring Soom T.

from the album Black Ark Classic Songs (2016)

Black Ark Studios in Kingston, Jamaica was a magical place.  Between 1973 and 1979, some of the greatest artists in reggae recorded here.  Artists like Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Heptones, and Junior Marvin.  As it became increasingly renowned, the cast of characters expanded to include The Clash and Paul McCartney.

The brilliance of Black Ark Studios was in its lo-fi capabilities and how those technological limitations drove innovation.  This created a uniqueness in sound that defined the studio.  These lo-fi innovations included tacking chicken wire around the drum booth and placing microphones in cardboard tubes stuffed with tin foil.  These techniques created unique tones that could not be replicated elsewhere.

There was also some black magic involved.  Ganja smoke was regularly blown on the recording tape.  It was also occasionally sprayed with mixtures of blood, urine, and whiskey so that the tracks would benefit from their mystical qualities.

Of course, at the center of the storm was the eccentric genius of Lee "Scratch" Perry.  His sense of timing and his ear for music pioneered dub and has influenced global music for over fifty years.

Black Ark Studios was burned to the ground by Lee "Scratch" Perry in 1979 after he wrote illegibly on every available surface with markers for several days.

Egypt For My Ransom is a new recording of a classic song from those Black Arc days.  As you listen, think of the master's hand at the console.  Think about how everything is perfectly balanced, perfectly placed.  Dissect the song.  Every tone is a masterpiece.  And when melded together, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Play it loud and play it often.

Click Here to listen to Egypt For My Ransom.

Click Here to read an excellent interview by Dave Simpson in The Guardian marking Lee "Scratch" Perry's 80th birthday on March 20th.

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