Various artists album review
Lee Perry ~ Baffling Smoke Signal
26 - 07 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Ketch Vampire - Devon Irons
  2. Full Experience - Aura Lewis & Full Experience
  3. Baffling Smoke Signal - Lee Perry
  4. Down Here In Babylon - Brent Dowe
  5. Natty Take Over - The Upsetters
  6. Lizard Stick - The Upsetters
  7. Ark Of The Covenant - The Congos
  8. Set Up Yourself - The Upsetters
  9. Garden Of Life - Leroy Sibbles
  10. Feast Of The Passover - The Congos
  11. Reggae Music - Hugh Blackwood & Dr. Alimantado
  12. I Was Appointed - Jr. Murvin
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5

When Scratch (a.k.a. Rainford Hugh Perry, born 28 March 1936, Hanover, Jamaica) opened his Black Ark studio in 1974, he became a major force in the development of reggae music, changing the the face of reggae music. Perry's sound was totally unique, and Black Ark became a spawning ground for many Jamaican artists. He was one of the great pioneers of dub music, producing and mixing heavyweigth, mind blowing dub anthems alongside some of the best classic reggae albums. From the vaults of the legendary Black Ark come an ultra-rare sampling of Lee Perry-produced masterpieces. Recorded from the mid to late seventies, this collection features previously unreleased gems from some of the "Upsetter's" most militant and spiritually-motivated artists like the Congos, Brent Dowe and Devon Irons. Lee Perry is regarded a certifiable genius and this treasure trove of top shots elevates his already legendary status to new heights. The compilation -the follow up to "The Upsetter Shop Vols. 1 & 2"- includes the rare Lee Perry track Baffling Smoke Signal and previously unreleased material. The music here was recorded during the period 1976 to 1978. The album kicks off with an extended mix of Devons Irons' Ketch Vampire, a stunning anti-false Rasta tune. South African expatriate Aura Lewis leads the trio Full Experience on the song of the same name. Former Melodians member Brent Dowe delivers an alternate version of Down In Jamaica. The Congos are present here with a previously unreleased extended mix of their majestic Ark Of The Covenant. Leroy 'Heptones' Sibbles comes up with the wonderful Garden Of Life. The ultra-extended cut of Reggae Music by Time Unlimited member Hugo Balckwood, is presented here in all its heavily treated glory, moved forward by a toast from Dr. Alimentado. The album closes with the superb falsetto of Junior Murvin with a previously unreleased alternate attempt of his highly critical I Was Appointed.
"Baffling Smoke Signal" is a precious compilation from the vaults of one of the undisputed masters of Jamaican music, Lee 'Scratch' Perry.

Teacher & Mr. T.