Return of Django: New Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry Music + Movie Trailer

Words by Jesse Serwer

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Anything involving  Lee “Scratch” Perry is usually better off left unexplained. His burning down of his own legendary creative haven Black Ark Studios in 1979, for one thing. The vast majority of this eclectic genius’s even vaster catalog, for another. So we’ll just chalk it up to chance that, in a span of a few hours, two seemingly unrelated bits of news about Scratch, relatively quiet since his 2008 Repentance project with Andrew WK, came across our desk in a matter of minutes. First there was word of a new album project, called Rise Again, with New York dub ambassador Bill Laswell and an eclectic cast of supporting players including Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, Ethiopian superstar Gigi, P-Funk legend Bernie Worrell (a great enigma himself, and also the subject of a recent documentary), Perry’s old friend and collaborator Sly Dunbar, and Jahdan Blakkamoore. “Higher Level,” featuring Adebimpe, is the first leak from the LP, due out May 10 on Laswell’s MOD Technologies label. Let us know what you think.

[audio:http://largeup.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/1-Higher-Level.mp3|titles=1 Higher Level]

The other news is that Upsetter, a documentary on Perry that toured film festivals a few years back, is being shown in theaters across the US throughout April and May, and into June. The film, from Ethan Higbee (director of the upcoming Lil B movie BASEDWORLD) and Adam Bhala Lough, has also apparently been re-cut to include narration from Oscar winner Benicio del Toro. Check the trailer below (or on the site linked above), and, after that, some bonus footage of Lee saying “Hello” to Benicio, then simulating a beheading of Pope Benedict. We haven’t caught the movie yet, and we’ve never heard of the Documentary Channel, but their synopsis is encouraging to say the least: “The most eye-catching and electric archival footage of any music doc in recent memory.”