Lee ”ËScratch’ Perry “Nu Sound And Version”Â
On-U Sound Records (ONU 1020)
Released 7th November 2011
Released as part of the rejuvenated On-U Sound Records 30th birthday celebrations, and hot on the heels of ”ËVoodoo Of The Godsent’ by African Headcharge ”â listening to these albums cements just how much On-U Sound have been missed from the recent music scene.
Lee ”ËScratch’ Perry ”â Jamaican born musical innovator arguably responsible for the very early development of dub, and for the widespread acceptance of reggae; Perry is equally famous for his flamboyant appearance, and his often apparent unstable mental state. He celebrated his 75th birthday in March 2011”Â¦ and shows no sign of retiring anytime soon, his performance at ATP 2011 being described as “phenomenal”Â
”ËNu Sound And Version’ sees a brace of today’s musical innovators let loose upon some of Perry’s previous works, the majority of which were released individually and are now trading hands for way too much money, but are now compiled together for the first time. This is essentially a remix album; however what elevates this from other remixes is the careful thought On-U Sound have obviously put into who they let loose on the mixing desk.
These days so often the case is that the remix is merely a marketing tool, an attempt to raise a tracks profile ”â what the label bosses fail to understand is that the initial material has to be of such quality to merit further attention, also the remixer has to understand the source, be sympathetic to the material and be of the mind to produce their own interpretation, not to swamp the track.
”ËNu Sound And Version’ opens with a wobbly bass that plunges down to the very limits of recordable sound, as Moody Boyz get their hands upon ”ËGod Smiled’ adding an upbeat dubstep beat to the rhythm, over which Scratch croaks his mangled patois.
”ËIronman’ is a cover of the Black Sabbath track which is then treated to a Pempi remix with the added vocals of fellow legend Dennis Bovell, the man responsible for crafting The Slits early sound ”â had difficulty comprehending the logistics of that reworking, but the track features plenty of abstract sounds and vocals.
”ËInternational Broadcaster’ is lifted from the 2009 album ”ËThe Mighty Upsetter’ and features Moody Boyz and both Roots Manuva & LSK, the album drew upon Perry’s old Black Ark Recordings so is typically bass heavy, the inclusion of RM and LSK however lifts the track to a new dimension.
”ËLike The Way You Should’ is subjected to a Digital Mystikz Remix, and is a previously unreleased track ”â in comparison to some of the other material it seems quite gentle, none of the earth shaking bass, it has a gentle semi-trance like melody interspersed with Perry’s distinct tones.
”ËYellow Tongue’ Kode9 Remix Feat. Samia Farah is also lifted from ”ËThe Mighty Upsetter’ album and is real chilled out number; warm vocals from Samia Farah interwoven with Perry’s ”â this is definite roots, dub, and harmony.
”ËExercises’ is remixed by Horsepower Productions and features a deep bass overlaid with eastern drum patterns and zills (finger cymbals) ”â Scratch barely makes an appearance on this track, it’s a pretty abstract rework that works surprisingly well.
”ËNu Sound And Version’ features some of the most radical treatment Perry’s work has received ”â over the years Perry has suffered from some inferior releases; this is not one of them; this challenges you with its off kilter sonic twists, wobbling bass, and its psychedelic dub but throughout Perry is conscious that its all about the riddim!!
1. God Smiled (Moody Boyz Remix)
2. Spongy Rubber Dub Dubmaster (Dialect And Kosine Remix)
3. Ironman (Pempi Remix Feat. Dennis Bovell)
4. International Broadcaster (Moody Boyz Remix Feat. Roots Manuva And LSK)
5. Like The Way You Should (Digital Mystikz Remix)
6. Obeah Room (Digital Mystikz Remix)
7. Jungle Youth (Congo Natty Remix)
8. Yellow Tongue (Kode 9 Remix Feat. Samia Farah)
9. Exercises (Horsepower Productions Remix)
10. Straight Jacketed (Bullion Remix)
11. Devil Dead Out (Adrian Sherwood Remix Feat. Little Axe,Suns Of Arqa And Emily Sherwood Hyman)