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Trojan Records JUKEBOX MIXES

The Upsetter Selection from Lee Perry
Jonny Greenwood is THE CONTROLLER

Both of these collections are filled with gems from the Trojan Records archives and continue a set of releases that also have D.J. Spooky and Don Letts playing mix master with the entire Trojan catalog available to them to hand pick their favorites for each of these special collections.  The two disc Lee Perry collection lets you hear once again how much this man contributed to Reggae Music - just when you think you have heard all his best stuff, more tracks come spinning round.  The music is all top ranking and Perry's liner notes make for one of the most fascinating and curious reading adventures you are likely to find in any music notes category.   Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood delivers more traditional liner notes providing a great history of the tracks he selects which, by the way, include two more unearthed Lee Perry tracks among the 17 selections.  Two GREAT collections of music sure to be enjoyed by all.  Big Up to TROJAN and crew for coming up with this idea and then polishing up and presenting us with these wonderful collections of musical vibes.

Lee Perry "The Upsetter Selection: A Lee Perry Jukebox" - Trojan Records CompilationFrom AMAZON.com:  This Enigmatic Genius is Arguably the Best-known (And Definitely Most Celebrated) Figure on the International Reggae Scene, with his Music Constantly Attracting New Fans the World Over. The Legendary Reggae Producer, Assisted by his Biographer David Katz, Personally Selected These 45 Recordings from his Long Discography that Hold a Special Place in his Heart and Mind. The Set Opens with a Handful of his Early Ska and Rocksteady Recordings and Proceeds to Take the Listener on a Musical Journey Encompassing his Earliest Hits as an Independent Producer Before Moving on to a Slew of Mind-bendingly Glorious Black Ark Label Sides from the Likes of Bob Marley and the Wailers, U-roy, the Upsetters and Many More, Finally Closing with a Number of Latter Day Outings, Including "Jamaican E.t.", Taken from his Grammy Winning Album of the Same Title. This is by Far a Monumental Release in the Reggae Music World and a Totally Essential Purchase for all Fans and Aficionados!

Jonny Greenwood is The Selector - Trojan Records Compilation[2007] marks the 40th anniversary of reggae's legendary label, Trojan Records. The release of Jonny Greenwood is the Controller kicks off this celebratory year by bringing some of the greatest moments of the label's past in touch with the present.

Radiohead's lead guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, indulges his passion for reggae music by mining through Trojan's extensive catalog and compiling his favorite tracks onto one album, Jonny Greenwood is the Controller. Coming out on March 6th, 2007, this one of a kind collection digs deep into rich Jamaican sounds and covers styles from classic Ska and Rocksteady to vintage Dub and Roots and includes the likes of Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Desmond Dekker, Delroy Wilson, Scientist & Jammy and many others.

After 6 months of endless listening, Greenwood narrowed down his choices to 17 faultless recordings.

"Really, all musical life is here." - Jonny Greenwood

"With Radiohead and dub reggae, the parallels are obvious -- studio as instrument, audible seams imparted by technology front and center, a spacy sense of dislocation a given... Greenwood picked a good one here." – Pitchforkmedia.com


More on Jonny Greenwood release:

Written by Tio Esqueleto

Trojan Records has been at the forefront of all things reggae since 1967. Roots, dub, dance hall, you name it, it’s all been featured, helped along, and in many cases, born under their imprint. The Trojan library ranges from mainstream crossover artists like Bob Marley and the Wailers, Inner Circle, and Toots and The Maytals, to artists such as Desmond Dekker, David “Scotty” Scott, and Horace Andy, equally valid artists you may not know about depending on your dedication to the genre. Needless to say, it is vast.

Now in their 40th year, Trojan has enlisted the help of fellow enthusiasts from all walks of the musical spectrum for its Artist’s Choice Jukebox series, a celebrity mix-tape for all things Trojan reggae. With recent releases from Don Letts and DJ Spooky already available plus future releases from Lee “Scratch” Perry and Fatboy Slim on the horizon, this latest installment finds Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood as “THE CONTROLLER”.

Greenwood’s take is an interesting one. After six months of listening to nothing but reggae, he forgoes the obvious crossover artists (no Marley, no Toots, no Circle), and instead opts for the aforementioned lesser-known superstars of the Trojan roster. This album is for the learned, which isn’t to say that one can’t, in turn, learn from it. At just under 70 minutes, his choices run the full gamut of their catalogue, each with a detailed description of both artist that penned it, as well as the song’s origin and impact. He is thorough and informative without coming off as a know it all. His passion and enthusiasm for the project are quite evident in his selections and the words that accompany them.

The opening track, “Dread Are The Controller” by Linvall Thompson, has heavyweights Sly and Robby providing the rhythm, and is the obvious inspiration for this installment’s title. Next up is Derrick Harriott’s rendition of Van McCoy’s “Let Me Down Easy.” Here we have the most accessible track on the compilation. Full of soul and oozing with crossover potential, it does a magnificent job of setting up the next two tracks in Greenwood’s wish list. Marcia Aitken’s “I’m Still In Love With You” and the legendary Gregory Isaacs’ “Never Be Ungrateful” are shining examples of the skillful songwriting and musicianship that have been displayed in their most traditional forms up to this point in the collection. It is with this next track that we venture into the other defining (and altogether Johnny Greenwood) side of reggae: its production values.

What better way to usher in the notion of the producer as reggae superstar than with Lee “Scratch” Perry, the obvious star of this compilation. In his liner notes, Greenwood compares Perry’s work to that of The Beatles during their experimental phase. Perry’s ability was to make the studio an instrument in itself. Not unlike Beatles producer George Martin, he made the traditional acoustic instruments, voices, and microphones, upon playback, sound nothing like the initial recording.

It comes as no surprise he would be so prominently featured by the man largely responsible for bringing Kid A and Amnesiac into the world. One need only listen to Greenwood’s own quirky instrumentation, laden with effects and trickery both in the studio and on stage to hear the profound effect that Lee Perry (and those that followed) has had on his work.

Perry appears three times in this collection. Track 5 is an out there, echo-heavy, solo effort entitled “Bionic Rats.” Track 8, “Black Panta,” is with his outfit The Upsetters and features a classic opening sampled prominently in fellow dub enthusiasts The Orb’s “Outlands.” The final Perry cut (track 15) is “Dreader Locks” and features Junior Byles, who shows up earlier in the compilation with a fairly straightforward, but altogether eerie, cover of “Fever,” another major highlight on the album. With similar efforts from Lloyd’s Allstars, The Heptones, and Marcia Griffiths, the album maintains this theme of traditional roots reggae interspersed with spaced-out, production-heavy dub.

Now, one might question the variety on such a compilation. The common complaint that “it all sounds alike” could be used here. To that, Greenwood simply asks that you take a listen. It’s in the little nuances throughout, subtle changes in tempo, rhythm, and overall mood. As an avid listener of all forms of minimalist techno, long form disco, and a variety of motion picture soundtracks (the closest I get to classical), I couldn’t agree more. There is far more here than what is picked up on a first listening.

Mr. Greenwood starts his liner notes by stating that he is still discovering Jamaican artists that he feels should have been included here. He wraps up by saying that this is by no means a “best of;” it is merely a starting point. If you come across something you like, be it voice, style, or tempo to simply pursue and enjoy. With that, there are two tracks in particular that I will be investigating further – Delroy Wilson’s “This Life Makes Me Wonder,” and my personal favorite, The Jahlights “Right Road To Dubland.” Now, that’s what a good compilation is supposed to do.




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