In 2021, dub legend Lee "Scratch" Perry made one of his final recorded appearances on Lee "Scratch" Perry's Guide to the Universe. The album featured only his voice and was produced by the relatively-unknown Vancouver indie scenesters New Age Doom.

The result was a hybrid progressive jazz/dub album that drew on heavy psychedelia while maintaining the foundational aspects of both Perry and New Age Doom's respective genres (dub & doom metal). Unfortunately, just a few short weeks after the album's release, Perry passed away, leaving Lee "Scratch" Perry's Guide to the Universe one of his final sonic signatures. One as experimental and eclectic would only be appropriate from the Jamaican legend.

Life is an experiment. The more you experiment, you make a better, better man - Lee ”Scratch” Perry

An immediate listen to Lee "Scratch" Perry's Guide to the Universe sees this ethos in complete form. Now, with the recent release of New Age Doom & Lee "Scratch" Perry Remix The Universe, the sentiment adds even more layers of truthfulness. Across its 12 tracks, elements of post-punk, hardcore, EDM, ambient, and experimental hip-hop add to its already quirky offerings. These interpretations come from a gamut of in-the-know musicians internationally recognized, such as Death Grips, BLK JKS, Glassjaw, Team Sleep, Tera Melos, and many more. 

The parting gift of The Upsetters' mainstay is vibrant music meant for the soul (and possibly, just possibly, the smoke as well ;) It is hardly a posthumous reissue or scraped together a catalogue of unreleased recordings. Instead, it is the experimental ethos, with its original incorporating everything from drone to noise rock across its selections. For Remix the Universe, this experiment adds even more of Perry's ageless vitality and, of course, incomparable wisdom. But it isn't just the focus on Perry here. It is also the dedication to further experimentation, ultimately creating a "remix" album that can stand independently all on its own. 

Nick Reinhardt's (Tera Melos) adds breakbeat freneticism to Conquer the Sin (Art Repent). Through Perry's sampled echo on towards an "OK Motherfuckers" drop, its otherwise non-uniform layers somehow connect coherently across its entire runtime. Toronto's Cola Wars also offers up a highlight early on with their Holy Wings (Righteous Love mix), a raucous mixture of gothic rock and electronic elements. Again, with Perry's prophetic voice occasionally piercing through. Andy Morin of Death Grips further dials up the electronic influences with his big beat-esque interpretation offering Life is an Experiment - Cloud Climber Version. The mantra of life as an experiment is also a repetitive refrain across Friends with Bene's Step in Space - A Big Step For Bass. 

But Remix The Universe is not just for the deep, metaphysical or philosophical. It also features various moments of delight. Mostly in terms of tonality, tracks like Holy Wings' Nico Y Lrel's 3am in Sabaneta Mix and Glassjaw's Conquer The Sin – Raising Of Lazarus Edit offer driving dub bass roots dripping with everything from Krautrock to electro to hyper pop. Things come full circle again with much of the remaining tracklist, such as the dual remixes of Holy Dub - CrookOne's new soul version or Quicksand's decidedly more percussive version, respectively.

For further Lee "Scratch" Perry information, check out the excellent Criterion documentary The Upsetter: The Life & Music of Lee "Scratch" Perry. But, in the meantime, any fan of the innovative Jamaican, or just fans of experimental eclecticism, must give Remix The Universe a listen. It is as intricate a journey through subgenera as it is a more than compelling final opus for Perry.