The Upsetter

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The Upsetter

VA - The Upsetter (DOD_104)
Originally Released: 1969

After launching his Upsetter label in 1968, Lee Scratch Perry immediately began establishing himself as one of the island's most creative producers, with his innovative approach to music-making resulting in some of the most exciting records ever waxed. After less than a year as an independent operator, his services had been secured by Trojan Records, who, early in 1969, launched their own version of his Upsetter imprint. Their faith in his talents were promptly rewarded when only the second release on the label breached the UK Pop chart, eventually peaking at number 5 in October 1969. Soon after, Trojan issued The Upsetter: the very first collection entirely comprising productions by the enigmatic music maker. The album provided an indication of what lay ahead and while the mind-blowing music of his Black Ark creations was still some way off, the signs were there that this was no ordinary producer.

Dome of Doom announces a new partnership with the legendary Trojan Records, scheduled to run the first official cassette reissues of their iconic catalog in 2022. The first title begins with Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Upsetters' early era productions and the 1969 compilation, The Upsetter. Constructed primarily of instrumentals Perry produced with his studio band The Upsetters at the end of the '60s, the album also includes vocal cuts from The Muskyteers (aka The Silvertones) and Busty Brown. A white label mono pressing of the album was run on Perry's Jamaica-based label Upsetter in 1969, along with the version that Trojan ran that same year. As a foundational artist in the realm of sampling, the track "Heat Proof" interpolates a portion of Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle" in looped form. An important precursor to techniques honed in by future hip-hop producers turned icons. The Upsetter is a prized collection of works that brought together some of the island's most talented musicians under the scope of Perry's emerging genius between genre fusions and groundbreaking production techniques. Featured on the brilliant album cover is a young Perry, adorned in a forest green jacket and with company, leaning against a tree in the vibrance of Jamaica's natural state. The late '60s iteration of The Upsetters band consisted of organist Glen Adams, guitarist Alva Lewis, and brothers Aston "Family Man" Barrett (bass) and Carlton Barrett (drums), with Perry producing all of the material.

The second title in the Dome of Doom and Trojan Records cassette reissue series is the Soul of Jamaica compilation from 1968. Originally curated by one of the godfathers of reggae sound system culture, Arthur "Duke" Reid, it stands as one of the first 12" pressings by Trojan in their initial year of operation. Collection and compilation albums would become a staple of the Trojan operation for years to follow and this record was a critical foundation point for the label's prolonged success. More importantly, it captured a full spectrum of how much Jamaican music had evolved during the late '60s. The force of Reggae music was undeniable at the point of this release. The standout collection includes Alton Ellis, Phyllis Dillon, Tommy McCook, The Paragons, Joya Landis, and The Jamaicans. The compilation was originally released exclusively in Jamaica in 1968, first pressed under the title Come Rock With Me in Jamaica on Duke Reid's label Treasure Isle. The eventual release with Trojan changed the original LP cover for the one we find on Dome of Doom's cassette reissue.

Both titles will run in editions of 500 copies, with exclusive color-way versions available at select record shops before the worldwide release date on April 19th.