Lee “Scratch” Perry, the Super Ape, RIP 1936-2021

Lee Scratch Perry & Subatomic Sound System at KEXP

UPDATE: Subatomic Sound System + Screechy Dan had a tour scheduled Oct 9-15 in the USA including Austin TX Oct 9 and Minneapolis MN Oct 15. Several of these shows will be musical memorials for Scratch, in light of the demand to celebrate the life of Scratch and the restrictions in Jamaica barring large crowds at the funeral.

Several people have asked about music released by Lee “Scratch” Perry & Subatomic Sound System to play in tributes:

2017’s acclaimed “Super Ape Returns To Conquer” album captures the 40th anniversary of “Super Ape” live tour and features versions of some of Scratch’s biggest productions “Chase the Devil”, “War Ina Babylon”, “Zion’s Blood”, “Dread Lion” and more. Live video of the song “Dread Lion” from Bumbershoot festival

2016 release “Black Ark Vampires” was Scratch’s closing song on almost every show since its release and is Scratch’s explanation for burning down the Black Ark studio in 1983. Live video from KEXP studio session.

2018 “A Me (The Dub Organizer)” was released on Bandcamp exclusively as a promo for the 45th anniversary of “Blackboard Jungle Dub” allbum tour.

Playlist of Releases: Below is a Spotify playlist of Scratch & Subatomic that includes all the above releases plus additional remixes we did in 2007 (some vinyl & some digital as described in this documentary) and second playlist of some of Scratch’s personal favorite productions.

Live videos are compiled in this YouTube playlist of Scratch & Subatomic shows from 2009-2020 primarily in the USA, Canada, & Europe, but the last tours included Mexico and the final band show 2019 was in Dubai and final US festival show was Feb 2020 with Scratch & Emch.

Statement from Emch of Subatomic Sound System: Lee “Scratch” Perry. Boundless creativity and inspiration, the curiosity of a child and the soul of a prophet, unleashed on the earth for the past 85 years 💔 The spirit, the magic, and the soul fire 🔥Super Ape will live on forever. Inspiration is the greatest gift, one which you gave us so freely, unlocking pathways to self-discovery in us and the people you interacted with on a daily basis throughout your life, a creative miracle worker. You changed our lives, our perspective, our way of doing things, our understanding of what was possible. In shock to hear today that this earthly presence has come to an end, closing this decade long chapter of working, traveling, & laughing together. To anyone reading this who has crossed paths on this journey, please share a comment on our IG or Facebook of some time you remember and what it meant to you. It would mean a lot to us in this time. Scratch always said “I conquer death” and those memories and that energy is how death is conquered

Conga player Larry McDonald does an extensive interview about Scratch here.

Live in Brooklyn at Elsewhere for the 45th anniversary of “Blackboard Jungle Dub” tour, the world’s first dub album performed live for the first time. The video was also shot in 3D VR here if you have a headset.

Scratch & Subatomic at Coachella 2013

Zion’s Blood was the opening song for nearly every live show until the late 2017. This is a 360 VR recording from a show in North Carolina. According to Emch “the vibes were great that night but sadly the first row was clogged with press photographers at the start of the show which initially blunted the otherwise vibrant energy of the sold out sweaty room.”

After hearing the rough mix, Scratch requested that the new opening song for shows be changed to the updated version of Dub Organizer titled “A Me” which Emch recorded with Scratch in Jamaica during the sessions for the “Super Ape Returns to Conquer” album in 2017. This led to a discussion about doing 45th anniversary of “Blackboard Jungle Dub” which began in 2018.

Spotify playlist of digital releases from Lee “Scratch” Perry & Subatomic Sound System

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Sun 9/23 – Lee Scratch Perry: Dub Champion from the Black Ark to Brooklyn w/Subatomic Sound System, Dre Skull, & Sinkane

The original upsetter, Lee Scratch Perry, backed by Subatomic Sound System. Advance tickets available here

Presented by JLL in association with Dub Champions Festival

Opening sets by special guests Dre Skull (Mixpak records label boss & producer of the latest Vybz Kartel full length) and newly signed DFA records artist Sinkane from Africa.

Dub Champions festival runs from September 20-24 in NYC! Check the full lineup including , Lee Scratch Perry, Clive Chin’s Augustus Pablo tribute, Kode9, Appleblim and more. Sign up to get all the festival details and check the full lineup from 9/20-24 at: www.DubChampions.com

Whether you consider him genius or madman, 76 yr old Grammy winning, dub reggae inventor is one of the most dynamic characters in music history. Considered by many as the creator of both reggae and dub, he was a mentor to Bob Marley, co-writing and recording some of his greatest work. Check his original recordings of Bob Marley’s “Sun is Shining” or “Kaya” as an example. Constantly pushing boundaries, he has worked with the Beastie Boys, recently recorded an album with rave pioneers, The Orb, and toured the US backed by electronic based dubstep crew Subatomic Sound System, working in samples of his classic Black Ark studio recordings over bass heavy dubstep influenced beats.

Lee Scratch Perry: From Dub To Dubstep