“Play On Mr. Music” by the Upsetter Revue featuring The Heptones, The Congos and Junior Murvin, had long been the Holy Grail for roots reggae connoisseurs, until Rocka Shacka issued it on a 10-inch EP. The result of an impromptu studio jam (captured on celluloid for Jeremy Marre’s Roots Rock Reggae documentary in May 1977) [see the video clip below], the track celebrates the undeniable pull of Perry’s musical artistry, with both musicians and onlookers enhanced by the uplifting qualities of a marijuana spliff. “Milte Hi Ankhen” by Sam Carty is a full vocal cut to the oriental dub known as “Bird In Hand” which was included the dub master piece “Return of Ape”. You can also enjoy the unreleased dub mix of the deep rasta tune “Rejoice Jah Jah Children” by The Silvertones, also the unreleased take of Carlton Jackson’s big tune “History”, an irie roots rock version of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” by Junior Murvin and the soulful Perry’s vocal on “Soul Fire”.
For the cover design, Naoya Arakawa used a portrait of Perry, smilingly operating his mixing console at Black Ark Studio. The still image from Marre’s documentary was crudely isolated, and paired with typography that doubles down on the low-fi aesthetic, apparently to emulate the DIY look from the 1970s: The whirling letterforms of Oriente were sloppily traced by hand, furnished with a long shade, and arranged in four stacked and staggered lines. “Lee Perry Black Ark Days” is set in another Jugendstil typeface that, like Oriente, was available in the 1970s from Berthold Fototypes; Titania. The Rocka Shacka logo is in Filmotype Havana.