Native ‘Rockstone' Native's Adventures with Lee Perry at the Black Ark September 1977

After years of increasingly diminishing returns from the Black Ark vault, anything that claims to be a missing gem is best viewed with suspicion. So, when sterling reissue label Pressure Sounds dedicates a whole disc to the sounds of Native at Scratch Central and a few other studios, some dread eyebrows are going to be raised. Native’s Adventures is no great surprise sonically, but the trademarked Lee Perry sounds of this period make even outtakes from this time sound cool. The difference is in the densely written songs of Wayne Jobson. Jobson, now a reggae DJ in Los Angeles but Jamaican-born and a one-time associate of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, draws from different lyrical imagery and pop traditions to set these tunes apart. When his songs work, Dylan-esque reggae results, as with "In A Strange Land.” However, since these tracks were primarily intended as demos, some sink to the level of bad high-school poetry. But even underdeveloped instrumentals like "Late September In May” have a sonic charm that holds up after repeat listening. (Pressure Sounds)