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Lee “Scratch” Perry Revisits The Black Ark on “Super Ape Returns to Conquer”

Written by Staff Writer

Jamaican music icon and remix Godfather Lee “Scratch” Perry was the first producer to fully realize the mixing board’s potential as an instrument. Four decades after the release of Super Ape, a landmark dub album made during the creative peak of his mythical Black Ark Studio, Perry has reimagined his masterpiece with a new cast of musicians and artists, essentially remixing his remixes into Super Ape Returns to Conquer.

The new album, out today through all major online retailers and digital streaming services, is Perry’s first with his touring band, Subatomic Sound System, an innovative hybrid of NYC-based electronic musicians and original Jamaican band members, including percussionist Larry McDonald (who played on the original Super Ape sessions) and Brooklyn dancehall don Screechy Dan.

Billboard this week premiered “Chase the Devil,” which revisits a track Perry first produced for singer Max Romeo, then cut twice himself — and which was sampled by Kanye West for Jay-Z’s “Lucifer” in 2003.

Lee “Scratch” Perry’s influence on modern music is immeasurable. He redefined the role of the producer in the 1960s and 1970s, pushing the limits of basic recording equipment with innovative DIY studio techniques, shaping reggae, dub and punk through his work with Bob Marley, King Tubby and The Clash. Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, Major Lazer and the Beastie Boys are among those who’ve sought Scratch’s unique touch in the studio.

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