Ask Lee “Scratch” Perry why he burned down Black Ark studio, and he’ll tell you: vampires. The facility became a magnet, he has said, for bloodsuckers and leeches, prompting his unorthodox decision to torch the iconic facility–or so the story goes. Scratch revisits this legend on “Black Ark Vampires,” a collaboration with Subatomic Sound, his backing band of the last four years, co-produced by longtime collaborator Adrian Sherwood.
Right on time for Halloween,”Black Ark Vampires” is rooted in “Vampires and Informers,” a collaboration between Subatomic and Elephant Man from a few years ago, and a conversation between Perry and percussionist Larry McDonald, a Black Ark veteran. The result is one of Perry’s most focused tracks in years, as the Upsetter promises to “kill vampire” in England, America and Kingston with tools including electric wire and roast corn.