Legendary reggae musician, visionary producer, and master of the mixing board Lee Scratch Perry has died at 85 years-old. He was a pioneer of roots reggae and dub whose essential releases with his band The Upsetters and relentless studio experimentation influenced musical genres from post-punk to hip hop, experimental ambient, and electronic dance music. Perry's myriad collaborators ranged from Bob Marley to Brian Eno, The Congos, The Clash, and The Orb. Keith Richards once called Perry, "the Salvador Dalí" of music. From The Guardian:
In 1973, he built his own studio, the renowned Black Ark. He experimented with drum machines and the potential of studio equipment. As well as firing guns, breaking glass and sampling animal noises, he also blew marijuana smoke on to master tapes to supposedly enhance the recordings. He pioneered the technique of dub versions of reggae tracks, with the bass emphasised, vocals sometimes removed, and reverb added to create an eerie, echoing sonic space. "I see the studio must be like a living thing, a life itself," he said. "The machine must be live and intelligent. Then I put my mind into the machine and the machine perform reality."