Rainford Rules! Strictly Lee Perry Tribute

Of the all the producers out of Jamaica it's the mighty Rainford "Lee" Perry who holds the most special place in my heart. There's already so much been written about Lee Perry I don't want to repeat what's gone before but wanted to add a couple of personal thoughts as to why his music hits home for me the way it does.

There can be no argument that he innovated like no one else in JA, not to say the world - a genuine groundbreaker in an era of limited technology. His mixing style is sometimes sublime, sometimes raw, always switched on and conscious. Unlike other great masters of the mixing desk Lee had a very active influence on the music played and recorded  - a very hands on producer by all accounts.

Parts of his discography feels in a parallel dimension to the rest of what was happening in JA music. In fact, considering the esteem in which he is now held he supposedly had relatively few big hits in JA, and to some extent it was UK audiences that really clicked with his sound and helped cement his legacy.

I think the defining attitude that shapes his music is his unusually open, plural and active religious/spiritual outlook.... Lee was born and raised in the JA countryside and in those formative years visited Pukumina church services, which fuse Christian traditions with African practices of spirit possession, and allowed room for other more magical thinking. As the 70s wore on his connections with Rasta got stronger and stronger - yet he never grew locks himself, and in part blamed certain Rasta hangers-on as to why he felt compelled to burn his studio down.

My impression is that he never committed totally to Rasta but certainly related to many elements of it, whilst refusing to be limited by it. He clearly connected with the mystic side of things, but maintained his own unique cosmology. In a post-modern way he wasn't averse to taking in influences from all religions and other ideas he came across, and mixing them together as he saw fit.

So if you look through his lyrics you'll find songs about obeah and voodoo alongside Rasta doctrine, as well as the odd taboo-busting sexual lyric, as well as several songs not in English or with the vocal manipulated to make in incoherent. Whats in common here is a transcendentalism - transcending social norms, going beyond mundane understanding of reality, a faith in the mysterious and magical. Lee Perry definitely approached music like a shaman.

And thats where the dubs and instrumentals really come in. Lee doesn't use sound arbitrarily - even in the wildest moments its not there to sound wacky - there is always a higher purpose to what he does at the desk, each sound and action designed to resonate with his non-orthodox spiritual outlook. Its arguable over who invented dub - Lee has as good a shout to that as any - but to me he was certainly the first to explore its mystic potential so fully. Few have come close since.

All of which I, and clearly music lovers all over the world, really relate to - his world view is not a dogmatic religious position, more a freewheeling, mystic, high!, ever changing, personal love affair with life.... Rainford Rules....

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

The following five mixes (here in reverse order) were put together over several years, and concentrate mainly on the era where has was at home with his own studio, the Black Ark, with the occasional dip before and after. The first mix breezes through some of the tracks that I first fell for, with each subsequent mix digging deeper and deeper into the vaults of his discography. The most recent mix, Chapter 5, looks solely at some possibly lesser-known tracks from the first two years of the Black Ark, 1973 and 1974 - a magical time with its own distinct sound..

Have to give a massive Thank You to knowledge-providers David KatzMick Sleeper and Black Ark Nuggets without whom these mixes couldn't have happened. 

Rainford Rules! Strictly Lee Perry Selection Pt.5 - Ark Sets Sail 73-74

The Originals - Got To Be Iry
Ken McKay- Nobody Knows
Kinge Oney - Jah Jah Know
Chenley Duffus - Standing On The Hill
Annette Clarke - I Wanna Be There
Upsetters - Dub Power
 Roman Scotland - Arab And Israelite
Annette Clarke - Sinner Man/Dub
Cynty & The Monkees - Lady Lady/Dub
 Ital Winston - Princess Street Skank/Ride On
Al Rock - True Believer In Jah
The Upsetters - Soul Train
Leo & The Upsetters - Doctor Demand / Black Bat / Bad Lamp
The Ethiopians - Prophesy
Ron Wilson - Rat Poison
Max Romeo - The Question
Smokey Brown - Version/My Baby
Time Unlimited - Reaction/Version
Soul Syndicate - 8 Round To Foreman
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Rainford Rules! Strictly Lee Perry Selection Pt.4 - More Power
The Meditations - Houses Of Parliament
The Congos - Don't Blame On I
Leroy Sibbles - Rasta Far-I
The Stingers - Give Me Power
Roy Lee & King Iwah The 1st - Give Me Power No 2
The Upsetters - Tipper Special
Upsetters - Black Ipa
Upsetters - Ipa Skank
Upsetters - Key Hole
Upsetters - Freak Out Skank
The Gatherers - Start Over
Robert Palmer - River Stone
Lloyd & Devon -Wolf Out Deh
The Upsetter - Shepherd Rod
Juks Dread & Big Youth - 23rd Psalm
Zap Pow - River
Augustus Pablo - Vibrate On
The Upsetters - Vibrator
The Bluebells - Come Along
The Upsetters - Dub Along
right click it here to download


Rainford Rules! Strictly Lee Perry Selection Pt3 - All Glory
Lee - on the Wire [intro]
Junior Byles and the Versatiles - Cutting Razor
Ralph Haughton & The Ebony Sisters - Take Warning
Derrick Harriott - Walk The Streets
Watty Burnett - Rainy Night Dub
The Upsetters - So Many Shanks
Shenley Duffus - Sincerely
Jolly Brothers - Conscious Man
Lee Perry - Conscious Dub
Twin Roots - Know Love
The Heptones - Crying Over You
Alton Ellis - The Children Are Crying
The Congos - Children Crying
Debra Keese - Travelling
Lee Perry - Noah Sugar Pan Dub
Lee Perry - Rejoice in Skank
The Silvertones - Financial Crisis
The UPsetters - Financial Dub
The Heptones - Babylon Falling
The UPsetters - Babylon Dub
The Heptones - Three in One
Lee Perry - Lee in the Heartbeat
Lee & Omar Perry - Do the Lion DUB
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Rainford Rules! Strictly Lee Perry Selection Pt2 - Forward With Love
Time Unlimited - Africa We Are Going Home
Mystic Eyes - Forward With Love
Leroy Sibbles - Garden of Life
The Congos - Fisherman Dub
Upsetters ft Full Experience - Dyon Anasawa
Lee Perry - Evol Yenoh
Seke Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo - Mengieb
Lee Perry & THe Upsetters - Hold Them King Fu
Lee Perry & THe Upsetters - Black Vest
Lord Creator - Such is Life
Lee Perry - Such is Dub
Earl Sixteen - Freedom
Lee Perry - Freedom Dub
Unknown VOcalist - Nuh Fe Run Down
Lee Perry - City Too Hot
Brad Osbourne & The Towerchanters - Little Flute Chant
Eric Donaldson - Stand Up!
The Upsetters - Dub Fa Yah Rights!
Bree Daniels - Oh Me, Oh My
The Upsetters - Oh Me, Oh Dub
Lee Perry & The Upsetters - Crab Years
Lee Perry & The Upsetters - Black Belt


Rainford Rules! Strictly Lee Perry Selection Pt.1 - Train is Coming
Junior Murvin - Roots Train
Bunny and Ricky - Freedom Fighter
Junior Byles - Place Called Africa
Lee Perry - Mother Land Dub
Brent Dowe - Down Here in Babylon
George Faith - To Be a Lover
The Upsetters - All the Way
Danny Hensworth - Mr Money Man
The Heptones - Sufferers Time
Devon Irons - Ketch Vampire
The Upsetters - Vamp a Dub
The Upsetters - Party Time
Lee Perry - Man to Man
Lee Perry - Freedom Street
Horace Smart - Ruffer Ruff
Lee Perry - Original Jungle Dub
Lee Perry - Rubba Dub
Lee Perry - Cross Over
Lee Perry - Cross Over Dub
Lee Perry - Bird in Hand
Max Romeo - One Step Forward
The Diamonds - Talk About it
The Children - Yama-Ky
U-Roy and the Children - Yama-Ky
The uPsetters - Pop Goes the Dub
Lee Perry - Chicken Scratch (the tune that gave him his nickname)

click here for download

1 comment:

Chippy said...

Yes I !

Crucial addition the set. Thanks Mikus ((()))