Review: Most reggae scholars agree that dub maestro Lee 'Scratch' Perry was at his musical best during the period he spent working at the Black Ark studio. Two of the last albums recorded at the studio before it burned down in 1979 were "Black Ark In Dub" volumes one and two, which were eventually released in 1980 and '81 respectively. Here they're gathered together on CD for the first time. Volume 1 (disc one) sees Perry offer up weighty, spooky and out-there dubs of backing tracks created by his regular studio band, the Black Ark Players. Disc two expands on the more vocal-focused - but no less dubbed-out - sequel, showcasing alternate takes and extended mixes of popular Perry-produced singles from the period. In a word: essential.
Review: Busy Signal has been blowing up the dancehall scene for a hot minute. He has the ability to cook up real crossover hits as heard on opener "Stay So" (which clocked up an incredible 32 million hits online) and "One Way" (with 17 million). With "Parts Of The Puzzle", the long time star wanted to show off his range, which he duly does across 10 crisp and contemporary cuts. The production is reflective and shiny, with a range of rhythms that take in classic reggae ""Girl Like You"", funk ("Balloon") and deep dancehall ("Bring Back The Vibes (feat. Josey Wales)". It all adds up to a comprehensive, forward looking record from one of the game's best.