Finally in theaters after a lengthy post-festival absence, THE UPSETTER: THE LIFE & MUSIC OF LEE SCRATCH PERRY tells the story of Lee "Scratch" Perry, who is every bit as much a wizard as a magician. Working in a Kingston studio called the Black Ark, outfitted with hyper-customized recording and remixing equipment that could charitably be describes as low-end, he created some of the most astonishing and complex musical textures ever heard, this is Jamaican dub at its source and there is much to appreciate in it.
This film shows us the Upsetter as he talks about his music, recounts his life, demonstrates his remixing technique and goes to the edge of insanity again and again. We hear unbelievable stories about his life and the music business in Jamaica, where there are no rules. The interviews with Perry leave no doubt that this is a man who marches to the beat of his own echoplex, his speech is like a rich music all its own, it's as odd as his bizarre electro-organic music. It also contains some of the most astonishing footage ever seen anywhere of an artist at work. The tiny Perry seems possessed as he works the dials and mixes in more ingredients to his strangely harmonious web of sound. It's like watching God create a flower.