In 1976, Jamaican music producer, dub music pioneer, and reggae icon, Lee “Scratch” Perry released one of the brightest jewels to come out of his Black Ark studio, the classic dub album Super Ape. The album was hailed as an innovative and imaginative masterpiece and is considered one of Reggae’s 100 essential albums. Now, forty-one years later and at a “youthful” 81 years old, Perry has joined with his frequent collaborators and touring band Subatomic Sound System to release Super Ape Returns To Conquer, an updated and alternate version of the original. Emch, one of the founders and driving force behind the New York City-based collective Subatomic Sound System (which includes percussionist Larry McDonald), has indicated that the album was created to capture the hybrid of live instruments and computers, as well as the heightened energy levels that the band had developed and refined on stage.
With Super Ape Returns To Conquer garnering solid reviews and doing well in the charts, Lee “Scratch” Perry & Subatomic Sound System have come full circle and are back on tour returning the thundering beats and throbbing bass to the stage. The show recently stopped at a sold-out Motorco Music Hall in Durham NC.
After a slight delay due to some stage issues, the evening kicked off with DJ Ras J Spinning an all vinyl set of reggae and dub that sent a positive vibe through the room. Following a brief stage adjustment and a few more technical issues, Emch and Subatomic Sound System took over. They hyped the crowd with a few tracks before a tray of fruit, candles, and incense was placed at the front of the stage followed by Lee “Scratch” Perry, who emerged carrying a candle before making his way across the stage fist bumping and slapping hands with the fans at the front. The club quickly filled with a swirling mix of dub and smoke that had the ecstatic crowd cheering for more and left the walls and windows shuddering under the aural assault.
Check out photos and the setlist below:
Lee Scratch Perry and Subatomic Sound System + DJ Ras J @ Motorco Music Hall – January 20th 2018
Zion’s Blood Patience Chase The Devil Curly Dub (Sing Along Jah Jah Children) Underground Roots Sun Is Shining Curly Locks War Ina Babylon Dread Lion Obediah Come Along Roast Fish I Am A Madman Happy Birthday Punky Reggae Party Black Ark Vampires –encore– Chase Dem Crazy Baldhead Super Ape