Lee “Scratch” is a Grammy award-winning reggae and dub artist, who has been highly influential in the development and acceptance of reggae and dub music in Jamaica and overseas.
From 1968 until 1972 he worked with his studio band The Upsetters. During the 1970s, Perry released numerous recordings on a variety of record labels that he controlled, and many of his songs were popular in both Jamaica and the UK. He soon became known for his innovative production techniques as well as his eccentric character. In the early 1970s, Perry was one of the producers whose mixing board experiments resulted in the creation of dub. In 1973, Perry built a studio in his back yard, The Black Ark, to have more control over his productions and continued to produce notable musicians such as Bob Marley & the Wailers, Junior Byles, The Heptones, and Max Romeo.
After the demise of the Black Ark in the early 1980s, Perry spent time in England and the United States, performing live and making records with a variety of collaborators. It was not until the late 1980s, when he began working with British producers Adrian Sherwood and Neil Fraser (who is better known as Mad Professor), that Perry’s career began to get back on solid ground again.
The question is often asked, just how sane is The Mad Professor? Judging by the contents of his character and by the results of his recordings, and the variety of the artistes who has passed through Ariwa studios then he is certainly one of the sanest producers around. Neil Fraser began his musical career on the technical side of things as a service engineer for mixing desks and amplifiers. That skill and a good ear for “on key” music became his asset when he began building a 4 track studio at his home in Thornton Heath. At school Neil was christened Mad Professor by friends who were amazed by the experiments he was carrying out.
Soon after Mad Professor launched the now legendary Dub Me Crazy series featuring “Beyond The Realms Of Dub” “Escape To The Asylum Of Dub” and “Dub Maniacs On The Rampage”, the series became on top with the variations of sounds and effects.
The Professor has new acts waiting to break the surface under the banner ARIWA – the Yoruba word for communication, artistes such as Kofi, John Mclean, Vitality, Lorna G, Peter Hunningale, Danny Red, Lindy Layton, Tracy Spencer, The Boom, Massive Attack, Jah Shaka, Sade, Brilliant, Clementine and The Orb have benefited from the Mad Professor’s touch, the Nineties also have brought the Prof, into the realms of the remix market.