Lee Perry & The Upsetters

Pressure Sounds * PS68 * 2010

Sound System Scratch

Sound System Scratch

MP3s are 99p each and encoded at 320kbps.


Anyone with a passing interest in reggae has heard of Lee Perry also known as ‘Scratch’ or ‘The Upsetter’ but, over the last thirty years, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has become better known as a ‘performance artist’ rather than a performer, an artist or record producer. Yet Scratch’s importance to the history of Jamaican music in particular, and recorded music in general, is second to none. He has made an incredible contribution to the development of reggae as a producer, arranger and writer and was the inspiration behind many of the key movements in the development of the music. In a business overcrowded with superlatives the word ‘genius’ is too often used to describe the most mediocre of talents. Lee Perry is, beyond question, a genuine genius and has been responsible for creating some of the greatest, most complex and seriously mystical music ever to come out of Jamaica.

For the six years it was operating his Black Ark recording studio set standards that have never been bettered: it was there that Scratch moved his music in inventive and innovative directions that no-one else has, even now, thought to consider. Freed from the strictures of paying for studio time on an hourly rate his music became increasingly intense, multi-layered and extraordinarily experimental. ‘Native’ Wayne Jobson memorably described the Black Ark as “like a medieval spaceship with Scratch at the controls” but, as the seventies drew to a close and the creative tension at the Black Ark kept on mounting, Scratch started to become increasingly out of control. His music was no longer selling well in Jamaica and the overseas record companies were bewildered with the tapes he sent them for release. But Scratch’s music still found a home on the sound systems, the natural home of the musical renegade, in Jamaica, England, America and Canada. Sound system followers understood where The Upsetter was coming from, and where he was going to, even if the general public and record company executives failed to so.

The exclusive mixes showcased on this release have never been heard before outside of sound system dances. Some will be familiar through their commercial incarnations such as ‘Bucky Skank’, ‘History’ and ‘Groovy Situation’ but here they have been pushed and pulled, coaxed and cajoled in hitherto unexplored and previously unimagined directions. This is music from a man coming to the end of his tether…

The album comes in a stark, striking black and white design with hitherto unseen photographs and lots of archive material. We have also released ‘Dub Plate Pressure’ from the album on a seven inch single. The version side of the single, with the rhythm dubbed into oblivion, does not feature on the album and the single comes in its own 'Upsetters Records' picture sleeve.


Thanks, but...

Geoffrey, Jul 16, 2010
Great work as always, guys, but any chance of this being pressed to vinyl?

keep it coming!

rob brant, Jul 22, 2010
I'm in ecstacy! Next think about mystery lee perry productions where he's uncredited?


Andrew Holister, Aug 13, 2010
Another wicked compilation, it takes me back to spinning all of those Black Ark 7" singles, heavy on the bass with a unique sound..Thank you to Pressure Sounds for your work in keeping this special music alive and kicking..

Lee Perry & The Upsetters — Sound System Scratch

Dub Siren, Apr 07, 2012
Ive only listen to the first disc (vinyl) and I am blown away. I have been buying Upsetter records for over 30 years and this is the maddest shit I have heard from him. Rough and tuff Dub madness, and oh so lo-fi and funky !! Cant wait to hear Disc 2 and "The Return of........"

Thank you so much Pressure Sounds, and so cool getting the LPs in protective sleeves, you guys know how to keep us vinyl addicts happy !!!

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