Black Ark

Black Ark

The Black Ark was the recording studio of legendary reggae and dub producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, located in the yard of his family's home in the Washington Gardens neighborhood of Kingston, Jamaica. Although the studio itself was somewhat rudimentary in its set-up and particularly basic with regard to some of the dated equipment employed by Perry, it was nonetheless the breeding ground for some of Jamaica's (and arguably the world's) most innovative sounds and recording techniques in the latter half of the 1970s.

Innovative musical techniques

An example of Lee Perry's inventive style was his ability to overdub layers of sound effects and instrumentation on each recording track of a basic 4-track machine, with such precise timing and in such a way that the resulting sound would destroy the competition from Jamaica's other top producers using the latest 16-track mixing consoles. Perry once buried microphones at the base of a palm tree and thumped it rhythmically to produce a mystifying bass drum effect; his drum booth at the Black Ark was for a time surrounded with chicken wire to further his distinctive sound; many of his songs are layered with a variety of subtle effects created from broken glass, ghastly sighs and screeches, crying babies, and a mooing cow children's toy. These and other notable recording techniques helped define the Black Ark sound, as well as Lee Perry's creative legacy.

Musicians and the Black Ark

In addition to providing pioneering sounds for such reggae stars as Bob Marley and The Wailers, Junior Byles, and Max Romeo, Lee Perry and his studio were formative in creating the highly innovative reggae sub-genre called Dub, in which the producer/engineer becomes the focus of the music, manipulating a pre-recorded track and creating something entirely new using his or her mixing console as nothing less than an instrument.

The end

In 1979, following years of increasingly bizarre and erratic behavior, Lee "Scratch" Perry, armed with a magic marker, covered every available surface of the Black Ark with impenetrable writings before allegedly burning it to the ground. This event, with the loss of the studio's unique sound and a haitus in Perry's extraordinary creative skills effectively ended an era during which much of Jamaica's most innovative sounds had captured the world of music. However, it has been related by several Perry family members that the studio in fact caught fire in 1983 after an ill-fated attempt to rebuild it, the result of an electrical accident. More often than not, Perry has claimed that he personally destroyed the Black Ark due to "unclean spirits" - an allusion to some of the undesirable people who were constantly at the Black Ark in later years.


*1977 - "Roots Rock Reggae". Directed by Jeremy Marre.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Black Ark — Le Black Ark fut le studio d enregistrement du musicien et producteur de reggae Lee Scratch Perry, qui fut créé en 1974 dans la maison que Lee Perry avait achetée et dans laquelle il vivait au 5 Cardiff Crescent, dans la banlieue chic Washington… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Black Ark (Carl Crack album) — Infobox Album Name = Black Ark Type = studio Artist = Carl Crack Released = 1998 Recorded = Genre = Avant Garde, Noise music, Dub Breakcore Length = Label = Digital Hardcore Recordings CD:DHR LTD CD 005; 12 : DHR LTD 005 Producer = Reviews = Last …   Wikipedia

  • ARK Music Factory — Founded 2010 Founder Patrice Wilson, Clarence Jey Genre Teen pop, electropop …   Wikipedia

  • ARK Music Factory — es un pequeño sello discográfico en Los Ángeles, California.[1] El negocio de Ark se centra en el descubrimiento y contratación de nuevos cantantes jóvenes. Ark luego escribe música con (o para) estos cantantes y los graba, a menudo produciendo… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ark Diecast — Ark was a Japanese company that produced a series of die cast metal monster toys sold under the brand name Arklon. It was originally founded as a sales and marketing subsidiary of famed Japanese toy manufacturer Bullmark. After Bullmark s… …   Wikipedia

  • Ark (UK band) — Ark were a musical group formed around Birmingham and The Black Country, England active from c.1985 to c.1995. The group s sound was a mixture of progressive rock and pop rock styles. The group s line up comprised: *Ant Short vocals and flute… …   Wikipedia

  • Black Doom — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda [[Archivo:]]Black Doom es otro de los enemigos de Sonic, con su ejército que él llama Black Arms, que intenta invadir la Tierra, buscando, dicho sea de paso, las Esmeraldas del Caos. Aunque, principalmente, es uno de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Black (turkey) — Black Spanish redirects here. For the grape, see Black Spanish (grape). A Black Spanish tom at the National Colonial Farm The Black, sometimes referred to as the Black Spanish or the Norfolk Black, is a breed of domestic turkey. The Black was… …   Wikipedia

  • Black Box e-anthology — BLACK BOXEdited by Shane Jiraiya CummingsPublished by Brimstone PressRaising funds for the Australian Horror Writers AssociationBlack Box is a ground breaking anthology of Australian and international dark fiction, music and art.It includes 100… …   Wikipedia

  • Ark (Transformers) — The Ark The Ark from The Transformers television series First appearance Transformers #1 by Marvel Comics, September 1984 Affiliation Autobots General characteristics Class …   Wikipedia