Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – The Ultimate Alien

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry – The Ultimate Alien / 2006 MVD / 120 Minutes / http://www.mvdb2b.com /

I’ve had this DVD sitting in my place for a while now, and the amount of times that I heard the name Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has dramatically increased since then. This is a good thing, as “I Am A Madman” is some of the most interesting music to ever come out. The style of music that Perry plays is something that is truly “alien”; there is a reggae/ska background to the music, but the heavy presence of a synthesizer in this track gives an otherworldly sound to Perry’s music.

The music is of a style that would normally be radio friendly but the creepiness of Perry’ compositions throw the radio possibility out the window. The tracks on “The Ultimate Alien” are not going to end at three or four minutes; songs routinely go past five, seven, even nine minutes; these are compositions much more than they are ploys to sell hundreds of thousands of albums. The footage is strong, but what individuals should be focusing in on is the tremendous music interplay between the bass, drums, synth, guitar, and Perry’s own voice. While it is nice to see the mind behind these compositions, there is little reason why there even needs to be visuals present on “The Ultimate Alien”. When Perry is trying to talk to eir audience, there is little one can do to understand exactly what the hell ey is saying. When ey kicks into “Station Underground News”, this is the same case. There is no general sound for Perry, as each of the tracks on this DVD throw in a little bit of a curve to the general sound. For example, “Station Underground News” is much more soul based, with a set of four females adding a little more to the fullness of the track. This DVD is an absolute must buy for anyone that is truly into the masters of music. If there are Neil Young, George Clinton, Kraftwerk, or any other artists of that ilk in a collection, “The Ultimate Alien” should be the next purchase.

There are only nine tracks on this DVD but the amount of music, and the density in that amount of music, is enough for viewers to be able to stick this puppy in their players time and time again. If an individual watches “The Ultimate Alien” and does not find some point of commonality with Perry, there is a good chance that they were not paying enough in the way of attention. There are not too many bonus features or materials in this DVD, but the behind the scenes footage is fun to try to piece together some of Perry’s wide array of influences. This DVD should act as a gateway for viewers to go and pick up other Perry releases; the only thing is, the albums and CDs individuals can buy will pale in comparison to the visual and aural assault that “The Ultimate Alien” brings front and center to individuals.

Rating: 7.5/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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