Open the Gate album cover
Open the Gate

Lee "Scratch" Perry

Trojan Records

When it comes to the production work of the legendary/infamous Lee “Scratch” Perry, it can be hard to know where to start — he produced so much stellar work by so many top-tier reggae artists. So let me help you out: start here, with this world-class two-disc set of singles (presented in “showcase” style, alongside their dub mixes) recorded in the 1970s at Perry’s Black Ark studio. It doesn’t get much dreader than this: Junior Delgado’s “Sons of Slaves,” Devon Irons’ spooky “Vampire,” Junior Murvin’s dire warnings on “Bad Weed.” The legendary Black Ark sound is in full effect here: ghostly echoes, a wet and swampy drum sound, a generally otherworldly vibe. These productions represent Perry at his absolute best.

Rick Anderson

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