Trojan have issued literally dozens of Lee Perry CD’s over the years, the likes of Pressure Sounds have done a fair few too. You could be forgiven for imagining that it’s all been done before, in fact you’d be pretty much right.
Lee “Scratch” Perry And Friends – Disco Devil The Jamaican Discomixes does what it ways on the tin, over the course of two CD’s 18 12″ mixes are collected together, it’s all been done before yes of course, the classic Arkology set compiled many of these mixes before. But that was then and this is now, fifteen years later a new generation need to hear these and Trojan have come up with the goods.
In many ways the 12″ discomix was made for Lee Perry, they gave him the opportunity to stretch the boundaries of his tunes with meandering ad libs and layers of sound as only he could. Not everything is great, some smack of self indulgence and after 5 or so minutes some tunes feel like they’ve lost their way. But when it’s right, which fortunately is more often than not, the results are just great. Check for example the opening track Norman by Max Romeo for nearly nine minutes of greatness, or the both eccentric and classic multi layered mix of Vampire by Carlton Livingston And Doctor Alimantado.
The artwork on the CD’s copies the classic Black Art label design and is an example of exactly how it should be done, the sleeve notes are an abridged version of the Lee Perry story which can be read in a dozen other places but there are pictures of the original labels for most of the recordings on the CD’s which is great. Disco Devil is a welcome addition to the vast legions of Lee Perry reissues and retrospectives, unless you own all the of the others you may well need this one.