Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Dubstrumentals
Lee Perry
Trojan Records
2CD
October 20, 2005

Track list
Disc 1

    LEE PERRY AND THE MIGHTY UPSETTER: KUNG FU MEETS THE DRAGON
  1. Enter The Dragon
  2. Theme From Hong Kong
  3. Heart Of The Dragon
  4. Hold Them Kung Fu
  5. Flames Of The Dragon
  6. Scorching Iron
  7. Skango
  8. Fungaa
  9. Black Belt
  10. Iron Fist
  11. Kung Fu Man
  12. Black Belt Jones
  13. Exit The Dragon

  14. LEE PERRY AND THE UPSETTERS: RETURN OF THE WAX (PART 1)
  15. Last Blood
  16. Deathly Hands
  17. Kung Fu Warrior
  18. Dragon Slayer
  19. Judgement Day
Disc 2

    LEE PERRY AND THE UPSETTERS: RETURN OF THE WAX (PART 2)
  1. One Armed Boxer
  2. Big Boss
  3. Fists Of Vengeance
  4. Samurai Swordsman
  5. Final Weapon

  6. VIN GORDON AND THE UPSETTERS: MUSICAL BONES
  7. Coco-Macca
  8. Fly Away
  9. The Message
  10. Licky-Licky
  11. Labrish
  12. Quinge-Up
  13. Raw-Chaw
  14. 5 Cardiff Crescent
  15. Four Of A Kind
  16. Voodoo Man

  17. BONUS TRACKS
  18. Rasta Train
  19. Ark Of the Rising Sun
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
This album doesn't feature the hysteria and metanoia of The Black Ark, and neither does it showcase the much earlier Ska oriented sound of The Upsetter -- but rather, it catches Scratch in a state of mind which bridges the two eras.

It showcases a sound which proves just how far ahead of the game Scratch really was, even before his acidic experiments at The Ark. It shows just what he could achieve with a sheer minimum of equipment.

A lot of CD 1 is reminiscent of what Eno and Steve Reich were trying to achieve from the late 60's through to the late 70's -- layered, repetitive rhythms with cyclical noise patterns recurring hypnotically throughout the compositions (Check out "Fungaa" and "Black Belt").

This work is also reminiscent in places of what Muslimgauze was trying to achieve in his long deleted, highly underrated work for The Rootsman/3rd Eye Studios. (check out Muslimgauze’s excellent "City Of Djinn" Volumes One and Two). Though of course Scratch was far too "out there" anyway to want to aspire to any preconceived standards of avant grade acceptance : what would be the point for such a natural genius and innovator as Scratch? The music speaks for itself.

CD 2 changes pace, and with the Vin Gordon compositions we are introduced to a deeper jazz insight, with strong impressions of Don Drummond's influence weaving through the entire set. There is not a bad track on the Vin Gordon album. Not one wasted groove. There seem to be distinct shades of Oliver Nelson's, Eric Dolphy's and Freddie Hubbard's melodic styles in evidence in Vin Gordon's playing, though he never tilts into the free jazz chaos of Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders or Archie Shepp here, a style that -- arguably -- Deadley Headley Bennett hinted at in his compositions some years later.

The only let down is the flat, incomplete sounding "Return Of The Wax" album, which sounds suspiciously like demos or unfinished studio out takes -- It is not an enlightening, memorable or impressive selection in any way. (In the minimalist vein, Scratch's "Cloak And Dagger" album beats the weak "Return Of The Wax," hands down. Unless you are a Scratch completist, it is a pointless collection of tracks.)

Besides that? Great album -- Buy this double CD and the even better, indispensable "Dub Triptych" album, to get an insight into Scratch's mind before his mixes surrendered their DNA to the psychotropic void of The Black Ark experience.

On a minor point, Mystery design team are doing a very nice job on the sleeve design work for Trojan these days too.