LIKE his unparalleled predecessor Sun Ra, much-missed dub legend Lee “Scratch” Perry always claimed he came from outer space – and who are we to argue? Let’s hope he’s returned to whichever planet is was that deigned to let him spend a little while upping the weeeerd ante down here on Planet Earth.
Taken from us suddenly back in August not so many weeks away from his next British tour, be thankful that there is still one last, collaborative record to which you can light up your chalice; Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Guide To The Universe, on which he brings all that essential vibe to deepen the no wave, krautrock, stoner and noise aesthetic of New Age Doom – a final dreaming from the irreplaceable Perry.
That album is actually out now, courtesy the ace Canadian imprint We Are Busy Bodies – please visit the area where the words run out and where you’ll find out where to order it; there you’ll also find the video for what may indeed be Lee’s swansong at least in this dimension, “Step Into Space”.
In that video, New Age Doom’s core twinship of Eric J. Breitenbach and Greg Valou embark on a smoke-wreathed trip and channel the spirit of Perry reaching furthur.
“It felt natural to team up with an artist well known for boldness and experimentation,” says drummer and co-producer Eric on approaching Lee to appear on the album.
“We never expected him to say yes, but at the same time, never doubted that he would. Once he was aboard, everything else just fell into place.”
“We kept the creative process deliberately open-ended to allow for as much spontaneity and synchronicity as possible,” details multi-instrumentalist and co-producer Greg.
“In a way, the creation of the record fulfilled the themes Lee sang about – of dreaming big, of stepping forward and experimenting relentlessly.”
The band offer this tribute to the man: “Though he has left his body, Lee “Scratch” Perry will never truly die. He lives on through his words, music and undeniable influence on generations of musicians. As long as people speak his name, play his music and hear his message, Lee “Scratch” Perry will be with us forever.
“We are eternally grateful for the opportunity to create new music with the legendary Upsetter, and to have the privilege of contributing, in our own small way, to his vast and mythic oeuvre.’
New Age Doom and Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Guide to the Universe is out now digitally and on vinyl from We Are Busy Bodies; order your copy from the label’s Bandcamp page or get yourself down to your local record emporium.
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