KEXP Suggests: Lee "Scratch" Perry's Vision of Paradise at SIFF Film Center 9/14

KEXP Suggests
Janice Headley

"This a movie of knowledge and a movie of understanding." - Lee "Scratch" Perry

Will anyone ever unravel the enigma that is Lee "Scratch" Perry, the Godfather of Reggae? German filmmaker Volker Schaner comes close with his documentary Lee "Scratch" Perry's Vision of Paradise, which screens tonight, Wednesday, September 14th, at the SIFF Film Center here in the Seattle Center campus. The film will be introduced by Perry himself, as well as his collaborator (and a former KEXP Radio New York DJ) Subatomic Sound System founder Emch.

The film has taken Schaner fifteen years to make. He follows Perry through Jamaica, Ethiopia, Germany, Switzerland and London, attempting to capture the mythical man who is regarded as one of the founding fathers of dub music. Perry's early life is a mystery, but once he began apprenticing at Studio One in Kingston, Jamaica, he began to change music as we know it, inventing things like sampling, all the way back in 1968. In 1998, sample-happy trio the Beastie Boys paid tribute with the track "Dr. Lee, PhD" off Hello Nasty, which featured Perry on guest vocals.Perry's story is too unreal for just film, so Schaner employs animated sequences (featuring the work of Romanian artist Maria Sargarodschi) and digital effects. The result is something they say is "not a biography, but rather a fairytale documentary."

Not only will Perry and Emch be at tonight's screening at SIFF, but on Saturday, September 17th, they perform at Nectar Lounge with Dub Lounge International, Zions Gate Sound, and our own DJ Chilly. And on Tuesday, October 4th, KEXP presents an exclusive in-studio session from this legendary artist, airing on Wo'Pop at 6:30 PM PT.

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