Pressure Sounds * PS56 * 2007

'Rockstone' Native's Adventures with Lee Perry at the Black Ark September 1977

'Rockstone' Native's Adventures with Lee Perry at the Black Ark September 1977

  • Rockstone - Native Listen
  • Black Tracks - Native
  • Black Tracks Version - Native
  • Great God Over In Zion - Boston Jack
  • In A Strange Land - Native
  • Late September In May - Native
  • Late September In May Version - Native Listen
  • King Solomon's Mines - Native
  • In The Land Of Make Believe - Native
  • Piano Country - Native/Little Madness Listen
  • Meet Mr Nobody - Native
  • Meet Mr Nobody Version - Native


“One night in August 1977 Boris Gardiner took me on a trip to see Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry at his Black Ark Studio in the Washington Gardens section of Kingston. The Black Ark was like a medieval space station with Scratch at the controls voicing the U.K. artist Robert Palmer. I watched in amazement as Scratch drove the mixing board like a Formula One racing car and extracted his mystical sound. Paul McCartney had been in the week before to work with Scratch on the little four track machine so you can be sure that it was the MAN and not the machine that was creating the magic here! After the session I got up enough courage to tell Scratch that I had some songs to play for him on my acoustic guitar. He listened and then declared 'I want to work with you because you are an Arawak Indian!' I assured him that I was an Arawak Indian (of course I am not) and he said to come back in a few days to record.” Wayne Jobson

Wayne returned and the session took place as he joined with the Black Ark musicians on vocals and guitar. Songs such as ‘Rockstone’ and ‘Late September In May’ show Wayne as a thoughtful imaginative writer with a soulful voice and demonstrate The Upsetter Lee Perry's adventurous spirit and willingness to always try new things. The tracks are imbued with that classic late Black Ark sound and these Native recordings are released here for the very first time. The remaining tracks on the album were recorded at various studios with engineers and producers that have subsequently become legends of reggae music: Errol 'Errol T' Thompson at Randy's Studio Seventeen, Channel One with the Hookim brothers and with Wayne's friend and local North Coast producer Jack Ruby and his in house band, The Black Disciples, famed for their work with Burning Spear.

Wayne Jobson was born in Jamaica and grew up in the hills of the parish of St. Ann about nine miles from Nine Mile the birthplace of Bob Marley. His cousin, Dickie Jobson, started Island Records with Chris Blackwell and, at one time, managed Bob Marley & The Wailers while another cousin, Diane Jobson, was Bob Marley's lawyer. When he was young Wayne spent time jamming with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and they inspired him to get into the music business. He formed the bands Little Madness and Native and the Little Madness track 'Mother Country' was re-released last year on Pressure Sounds' Tommy Cowan compilation 'Life Goes In Circles' (PSCD/LP52).

Wayne is now a highly respected DJ in Los Angeles and has been involved with various projects including 'Red X' the Peter Tosh movie on which he worked as producer and he is a constant contributor to and ambassador for Jamaican music and culture all around the world.

'Rockstone' is a unique release, full of the true spirit of Jamaica and its people of all backgrounds, 'Out Of Many We Are One', and Native and Little Madness were multi-cultural long before it was fashionable or profitable.


A totally unique release

Mick Sleeper, Oct 01, 2007
Wayne Jobson has led an interesting life. Born in Jamaica, his extended family have played crucial "behind the scene" roles in Jamaican music: his cousin Dickie Jobson formed Island Records with Chris Blackwell and his cousin Diane Jobson was Bob Marley's lawyer for many years. Encouraged by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, young Wayne took a few small steps into the music business. He formed the bands Little Madness and Native, recording a handful of songs that have remained obscure and mostly unreleased. In 1977, Jobson found himself at the Black Ark studio where Lee Perry's flamboyant command of the mixing board made a strong impression. Jobson nervously told Perry that he had some songs to sing, and Perry immediately took a shine to him. The result was six melancholy songs that were never released. On the one hand, this is puzzling given the strength of the material. On the other hand, Jobson's abstract lyrics and Perry's sullen arrangements ensured that these songs would never be hits. For an average reggae fan, Rockstone is going to be too dark and brooding; for serious Lee Perry fans, it's a revelation. Reminiscent of the equally austere Ras Michael recordings that resulted in Love Thy Neighbour, these are austere songs of sadness that smoulder and sizzle with the trademark Black Ark sound. A totally unique release.

Rockstone Natives

jackie, Oct 11, 2007
Absolutely amazing!!! - many thanks to pressure sounds for releasing this gem...

peace & love

Miss Jackie

It's a deep experience

Prof B, Oct 18, 2007
It has been an interesting few months for Upsetter fanatics, intent on picking up minor and lost classics from the Black Ark period -- First Makasound dug up the commendable Slickers record ( John Martyn also cut versions to some of the songs interestingly enough ), and now Pressure Sounds have re released the intriguing Native "Rock stone" album.

If you want something unusual, fresh, a serious departure from "roots by numbers" , this eerie album will fascinate -- it is spacious, psychotropic and hallucinatory, with deep lyrical metaphor, all musical conventions set free by the classic Gnostic Black Ark treatment.

Native had the following to say about the period with Scratch -- "One night in August 1977 Boris Gardiner took me on a trip to see Lee 'Scratch' Perry at his Black Ark Studio....The Black Ark was like a medieval space station with Scratch at the controls voicing the U.K. artist Robert Palmer. I watched in amazement as Scratch drove the mixing board ( and )extracted his mystical sound. ( All Lee Perry had was a ) little four track machine -- so you can be sure that it was the MAN and not the machine that was creating the magic here!"

The opener, "Rockstone" has a deep garage psyche vocal melody. A cyclical cymbal sound reminiscent of "A Love Supreme" gives the tune space to breathe, lifting the composition higher than the claustrophobic lyrics' preoccupations, centring as they do around tales of prisons,cloisters,loneliness,seclusion,sun beaten arid places and persecution.

"Black Tracks Version" sounds very similar to dark and wintry mid 70's inner city UK dub -- Think echoes of Mackabee's UK production, "Nation Fiddler" on the Congo's label.

"In a Strange Land" opens with an Elvin Jones style cymbal shimmer, before plunging into a narrative of bleak alienation and isolation in a composition that has echoes of a Byrds melody -- perhaps the free spirited, anarchistic "Wasn't Born to Follow."

"Late September in May" is full on psychotropic mournful and rainy psychedelia, with edges of PIL's "Metal Box" period.

"King Solomon's Mines" is Fela Kuti in collision with Krautrockers Magma and Holger Czukay, with a dash of Cymande's "The Message" and "Bra."

"In the Land of Make Believe" is Black Ark's take on serious Prog Rock freakiness, with a cosmic lyric, bringing to mind an overcast day in Ladbroke Grove circa mid 70's .

The whole album just gets weirder and weirder -- "Meet Mr Nobody", with its loneliness and sense of urban separation reminds the listener of a nightmarish take on Turgenev's "Diary of a Superfluous Man" -- take in the lyrics, which are pure Kafka and Gogol's "diary of a Madman"

"Well, Mr nobody -- do you think you've been convicted in this trial ( with ) faceless names in every file. Look at all the people, with their names and their careers -- saved from all the poverty -- yet hounded by its fears. "

The version to the tune closes the album with pure psyche roots garage rock oblivion, Black Ark style.

Native's music is indispensable, deeply weird, heady music.If you are a roots purist, with a conventional, strictly orthodox mind -- it may not interest.

But if you are willing to check out uncharted, even Gnostic territories, it's a deep experience.


SKOTPENGELLY, Nov 08, 2007
Fabulous recordings. Melancholy,hopeful, spirited, intimate, avant garde, fresh, punk. I am an afficiando of Jamaican music and reggae in general, yet i had never heard of this arist. When i saw the cover i actually created an imaginary artist, the first white dread, a guy calling himself Native who went down to Jamaica to record with Lee Perry! The truth, which i found out upon getting this treasure of a c.d package home, is WAY, WAY more interesting.

Native - Rockstone

Rankin' John, Jan 06, 2008
Wayne Jobson – born in Jamaica, studied in England, and latterly influential as a DJ in the United States – cut several significant tracks in the late 70s under the band name of Native. This new collection of hitherto unreleased tracks includes some long sought-after recordings from Lee Perry’s Black Ark studio and they now appear as part of Pressure Sounds’ apparent mission to ensure the world has access to some of the unwritten pages of reggae. The sound here is roots and rock band, not dancehall, with the immediate feel of a live performance: well-produced rather than overly-produced. Vocals throughout have a melodic and strangely English sound, the mood is sombre and doomy, the instrumentation is sharp and clear. The album opens with Rockstone, a slow, chanting introduction. It’s then straight into Black Tracks, followed by its Version, heavy on percussion and with a driving bass holding it together. There are some unexpected songs in here. The characteristically rather miserable Late September in May, if shorn of its reggae rhythm, could almost be a mournful middle of the road ballad (and a very good one). It gives way to an excellent Version, strong on distortion and bass. King Solomon’s Mines is a synthesised Eastern bass-driven instrumental, while Piano Country is a strange piano-led instrumental with sharp skanking guitar up front. The penultimate track –Meet Mr Nobody – leads nicely into one of the best Versions around, the backing track transformed into a wall of bass and echo, sounding like something forged deep in Dr Satan’s Echo Chamber itself. An odd but brilliant collection. CD release (UK) 27th September 2007.

Rankin’ John

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