For the past 15 years director Volker Schaner has followed Perry on a spiritual and geographical journey taking in Jamaica, Ethiopia, Switzerland and London. Over this period Volker has earned Perry’s trust, resulting in a never-before-granted level of access and insight into Perrys’ fantastical, spiritual world. This classic-in-the-making tells a story of epic, magical proportions that’s not a biography, more fairytale documentary and art piece for itself, which is in turns funny, poetic and frequently mind blowing.
In addition to the filmed footage of the man himself, plus an all-star cast of dub and reggae-related musicians, Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision Of Paradise is illustrated by unique animated scenes. Using traditional painting techniques, the artist Maria Sargarodschi created imaginary characters of surprising contemporary style influenced by Ethiopian Christian Orthodox Church Art, Lee Perry’s imaginary cosmos and the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.
The movie also serves as a unique documentation of Lee’s now infamous and already legendary “secret laboratory” in Switzerland, which despite its recent destruction by fire, is immortalised in celluloid. As well as being featured in the film, you can watch a specially-edited bonus tribute piece here.
The DVD extras also include a photo gallery of Lee’s creative space in all its chaotic and artistic pre-fire glory. Other DVD extras include a a 24 page book, a 30 minute ‘making of’ documentary, director’s comments and over 2 hours of additional unseen scenes.
Lee will also be performing the following live dates
Friday 11th March Whitstable Duke of Cumberland,
Saturday 12th March Brixton Electric
Sunday 13th March Brighton Concorde
Wednesday 16th March Brewery Arts Centre Kendal
Lee Scratch Perry is a godfather of both reggae and dub. Starting in the late 60s with The Upsetters, he wrote the book on Jamaican mixing desk trickery, then constantly ripped it up to create new aural blueprints for the music, via his Black Ark productions of the following decade. He has since then charted a waywardly idiosyncratic path, which has ensured legions of followers absorbing his every move.
Perry began making music in the late 50s for Clement Coxsone Dodd’s label. Following a stint at Joe Gibbs’s Amalgamated Records, Perry formed his own imprint, Upsetter, in 1968.
In the early 1960s, Lee’s mixing board experiments resulted in the creation of dub. He is synonymous with his innovative production techniques and renowned for his studio band The Upsetters.
In 1973, he built The Black Ark Studio, where he produced records for iconic musicians like Bob Marley & the Wailers, Junior Byles, Junior Murvin, The Heptones, The Congos and Max Romeo.
By 1978 The Black Ark had fallen into a state of disrepair and eventually, the studio burned to the ground; Perry insists that he torched the studio himself in a fit of rage.
Perry’s influence on contemporary music is immeasurable. He has recorded with The Orb, Keith Richards, The Beastie Boys, George Clinton, David Lynch, Andrew WK, Moby, Ari Up of The Slits, Bill Laswell, Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio, Sly Dunbar, Adrian Sherwood, Mad Professor and porn star Sasha Grey.
Lee’s song Enter the Dragon was sampled by Panda Bear from Animal Collective. He was then selected by A.C. to perform at All Tomorrow’s Parties, which the band curated in 2011.
Lee has won a Grammy, Rolling Stone Magazine featured him in their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and his collaborative albums with The Orb were met with widespread critical acclaim.
Although 79 years old, Lee is fit, sprightly and at a creative peak. He divides his time between Jamaica and Switzerland.