Lee “Scratch” Perry

Editors have impeccable taste. We shape writing so it lands with its target audience, but before that, we spot talent. It’s the literary equivalent of digging down deep in the record bins. (We also know a little about a lot, so you absolutely want us on your trivia team.)

Each Friday, I share a book, song, video *or whatever*…something that inspires me, with the goal that it will offer you a little #fridayinspiration too. My tastes are eclectic so heaven knows, anything goes.

This week: musician and producer Lee “Scratch” Perry (RIP). Yes, I am your cool aunt who listens to dub at her desk. I tend to favour ambient music (or silence) when I’m editing, but dub, reggae, and ska are the perfect tempo for responding to email and just gettin’ it done.

Sampling and layering, common in dub, show up conceptually in book editing. And sometimes the editor takes on the role of co-creator, as Perry did when producing others’ work. That’s definitely my preferred mode of editing.

Starting with his band The Upsetters in 1969, and later as a largely solo artist, Perry was prolific, releasing dozens of albums. In a nice geographic coincidence, his last album, the prog-jazz-dub Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Guide to the Universe, was a collaboration with Vancouver’s New Age Doom, and mastered on another small island near me in BC.

It can be overwhelming to pick an entry point in a massive body of work, so here’s just one song to kick off your weekend, the appropriately summery “Come Along.”

Photo of Lee “Scratch” Perry by Jay Trachtenberg via https://kutx.org/words-on-music/remembering/six-essential-albums-produced-by-lee-scratch-perry/

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