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Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry biography

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Born in the rural Jamaican village of St. Mary’s in 1936, Perry began his surrealistic musical odyssey in the late ’50s, working with ska man Prince Buster selling records for Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s Downbeat Sound System. Called “Little” Perry because of his diminutive stature (Perry stands 4’11”), he was soon producing and recording for Dodd at the center of the Jamaican music industry, Studio One. After a falling out with Dodd (throughout his career, Perry has had a tendency to burn his bridges after he stopped working with someone), Perry went to work at Wirl Records with Joe Gibbs. Perry and Gibbs never really saw eye to eye on anything, and in 1968, Perry left to form his own label, called Upsetter.

Not surprisingly, Perry’s first release on Upsetter was a single entitled “People Funny Boy,” which was a direct attack upon Gibbs. What is important about the record is that, along with selling extremely well in Jamaica, it was the first Jamaican pop record to use the loping, lazy, bass-driven beat that would soon become identified as the reggae “riddim” and signal the shift from the hyperkinetically upbeat ska to the pulsing, throbbing languor of “roots” reggae.

From this point through the 1970s, Perry released an astonishing amount of work under his name and numerous, extremely creative pseudonyms: Jah Lion, Pipecock Jakxon, Super Ape, the Upsetter, and his most famous nom de plume, Scratch. Many of the singles released during this period were significant Jamaican (and U.K.) hits, instrumental tracks like “The Return of Django,” “Clint Eastwood,” and “The Vampire,” which cemented Perry’s growing reputation as a major force in reggae music. Becoming more and more outrageous in his pronouncements and personal appearance (when it comes to clothing, only Sun Ra can hold a candle to Perry’s thrift-store outfits), Perry and his remarkable house band, also named the Upsetters, worked with just about every performer in Jamaica.

It was in the early ’70s after hearing some of King Tubby’s early dub experiments that Perry also became interested in this form of aural manipulation. He quickly released a mind-boggling number of dub releases and eventually, in a fit of creative independence, opened his own studio, Black Ark.

It was at Black Ark that Perry recorded and produced some of the early, seminal Bob Marley tracks. Using the Upsetters rhythm section of bassist Aston “Familyman” Barrett and his drummer brother Carlton Barrett, Perry guided the Wailers through some of their finest moments, recording such powerful songs as “Duppy Conqueror” and “Small Axe.”

The good times, however, were not long, especially after Perry, unbeknownst to Marley and company, sold the tapes to Trojan Records and pocketed the cash. Island Records head Chris Blackwell quickly moved in and signed the Wailers to an exclusive contract, leaving Perry with virtually nothing. Perry accused Blackwell (a white Englishman) of cultural imperialism and Marley of being an accomplice.

For years, Perry referred to Blackwell as a vampire, and accused Marley of having curried favor with politicians in order to make a fast buck. These setbacks did not stem the tide of Perry releases, be they of new material or one of a seemingly endless collection of anthologies. Perry was also expanding his range of influence, working with the Clash, who were huge Perry fans, having covered the Perry-produced version of Junior Murvin’s classic “Police and Thieves.” Perry was brought in to produce some tracks for the Clash, but the results were remixed more to the band’s liking.

Despite the considerable lows in his career, Perry remained busy and, so it seemed, reasonably happy. Although he was less in demand as a producer, his solo work remained very strong, and his continuing influence could be felt in the contemporary dub music of the Mad Professor (another former Perry protégé that Perry went on to treat with disdain) and some post-rave electronica music. Even the Beastie Boys gave Perry his props in a rhyme on their release Ill Communication and later added him to the bill of performers at a concert for Tibetan freedom. In 1997, Island (the label started by the vampire Chris Blackwell) released Arkology, a well-received three-disc compilation of Perry recordings. That same year a collaboration with Dieter Meier of the Swiss electronica duo Yello called Technomajikal arrived on the Roir label. The project was made geographically possible by Scratch’s move to Switzerland.

A word or two about Perry’s discography: it’s massive, unwieldy, and although there are plenty of great records, there’s almost as much crap. The lack of quality control has little to do with Perry, but rather with sleazebags trying to rip off his legacy. After King Tubby’s murder in 1989, his studio was looted, and many of Perry’s tapes were stolen. Some of these recordings have shown up on poorly mastered, and expensive, anthologies. Releases on Trojan, Rounder’s reggae subsidiary label Heartbeat, and Island (and its subsidiary label Mango) are generally excellent and are the best place to start building your Perry collection. Smaller labels like Seven Leaves and the French Lagoon Records (which seems like a semi-legit bootleg label) are hit-and-miss propositions, and those inclined to check out recordings on these labels are encouraged to proceed with caution. And avoid releases on the Rohit label, if only for their lousy production and tacky, grade-Z packaging. Also, as with King Tubby recordings, purchasing a Perry release means you might be buying a record he produced, but not necessarily performed on. That said, happy hunting and listening.

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Actor Alec Baldwin accidentally kills a woman on a movie set

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Us actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun that killed a cinematographer and wounded the director on a film set in New Mexico US law enforcement said Friday.

The incident took place on a set of ”’Rust” where Baldwin is playing the lead in a 19th century western about an accidental killing.

The Western drama’s director of photography, Halyna Hutchins, and its director, Joel Souza, were struck in the incident, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office.

“The sheriff’s office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust. Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography, and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer, and actor,” it said.

“Ms. Hutchins was transported, via helicopter, to University of New Mexico hospital where she was pronounced dead by medical personnel. Mr. Souza was transported by ambulance to Christus St Vincent regional medical center where he is undergoing treatment for his injuries.”

“This investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident.”

Juan Rios, from the sheriff’s office, said: “Mr. Baldwin came in voluntarily to speak with investigators and after speaking with them he left.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Baldwin was seen on Thursday outside the sheriff’s office in tears, but attempts to get a comment from him were unsuccessful.

“According to investigators, it appears that the scene being filmed involved the use of a prop firearm when it was discharged,” Rios told the Albuquerque Journal. “Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged.”

Hutchins, 42, was director of photography on the 2020 action film Archenemy, starring Joe Manganiello. A 2015 graduate of the American Film Institute, she was named a “rising star” by American Cinematographer in 2019.

“I’m so sad about losing Halyna. And so infuriated that this could happen on a set,” said the Archenemy director, Adam Egypt Mortimer, on Twitter. “She was a brilliant talent who was absolutely committed to art and to film.”

“The details are unclear at this moment, but we are working to learn more, and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” the International Cinematographers Guild’s president, John Lindley, and executive director Rebecca Rhine said in a statement.

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1 dead: How Komothai Girls defended themselves after boys invaded their dorm.

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) report on the incident, which involved a minor, has been regarded as a case of self-defense. It happened at Kimothai girls’ secondary school. The unidentified minor and his friends had accessed the girl’s sleeping quarters at the wee hours of Thursday morning on a yet to be determined mission.

The students, who were not aware that the boy was there, attacked the intruders after learning that he was there since they sensed that they might be in danger.

“The school’s guards, teachers, and students all rushed towards the dormitory to find out what was happening. On sensing danger, five of the boys managed to trace their way back to their school while the deceased was cornered by the angry students and staff.

“Sadly, they descended on him causing him life-threatening injuries. The boy later succumbed to his injuries at Kigumo level IV hospital. Crime scene detectives later visited the scene and recovered planks of wood suspected to have been used to assault the suspect,” the police report read.

The DCI went on to caution members of the public to desist from taking the law into their hands, as also recently witnessed in Masten Wanjala’s case in Bungoma.

Cases of Dorm Invasions are Fairly Common

Cases of dormitory invasions are fairly common in Kenya. Most of these are among the schools that are close to each other.

It’s almost like a rite of passage for many final-year students of boys’ schools. In April this year, over 70 students from a school in Lanet in Nakuru county were arrested after the same incident.

The schoolmates of the Anestar Bahati Boys School reportedly are said to have sneaked out of their school and managed to enter the girls’ school. When law enforcers confronted them, they had a difficult time in rounding up the boys, forcing them to fire shots in the air.

“Officers from Githioro Police Station responded swiftly and rushed to the school after the girls raised alarm. But not even the arrival of our men would scare away the defiant boys who kept hovering around the dormitory.

“Officers managed to arrest 10 of them, as others escaped in the dead of the night. The arrested were placed in custody at Dundori Patrol Base, pending further action,” a statement from the DCI read in part.

University Education and Research Principle secretary Amb. Simon Nabukwesi at the time said that a decision had been made to prosecute the students. The decision was later reversed after consultations with the County Director of Education, the County Commissioner, and other stakeholders.

According to the PS, the 70 boys ‘appeared remorseful’ and were allowed to complete their KCSE examinations in the school.

They will face the law, there is no exemption for that, but they will have their certificates so that they can be corrected to become better people,” said Nabukwesi.

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Police launch manhunt for man who assaulted his 90-year-old mother in Makueni.

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A 45years old man, Patrick Mumo is on the run after raping his 90-year-old mother. Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have launched a manhunt on Mashujaa Day, in Mbooni-Makueni county.

In a tweet, DCI said that the suspect went into hiding after committing the heinous act which left his mother admitted to a hospital.

“Detectives have launched a manhunt for a suspect who raped his 90-year-old mother on Mashujaa Day, in Mbooni-Makueni county, before going into hiding. The woman in her sunset years was found in her bedroom by her eldest son writhing in pain, complaining of waist pains,” DCI said.

The police report states that on October 20, Patrick Mumo forced himself into his mother’s bedroom at around 8 pm and subjected her to a beastly act.

She tearfully narrated her harrowing ordeal in the hands of her younger son Patrick Mumo, 45, who forced his way into her bedroom at around 8 pm as she slept and subjected her to the beastly act,” reads a tweet from DCI.

The 90-year-old mother was later rushed to Kisau Sub-county hospital where she is undergoing treatment.

“She was immediately rushed to Kisau Sub-county hospital in serious condition, where is undergoing treatment. Doctors at the medical facility confirmed that indeed she had been raped. Detectives are appealing to Patrick Mumo Ngenge to give himself up at the earliest available opportunity before the long arm of the law catches up with him,” said DCI.

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