Jamaican producer Bunny “Striker” Lee, who helped domesticate rhythms of reggae and dub working with most of the island’s greatest stars, has died aged 79.
His reason for demise is just not identified, however he was reported to have suffered kidney illness in latest months. DJ David Rodigan was amongst these paying tribute, saying: “The reggae world has misplaced one other iconic determine; Bunny “Striker” Lee was unquestionably one of the charismatic and inspirational document producers in Jamaican music with an outstanding catalogue of hits. He drove the music ahead throughout the a long time & will probably be sorely missed.”
Lee was born Edward O’Sullivan Lee in 1941 in Kingston, Jamaica, and started his profession as a document plugger, sourcing tracks for radio stations. A skilled electrical engineer, he additionally started producing and, after working with varied labels, arrange his personal, Lee’s. He helmed hits by John Holt, Slim Smith, Delroy Wilson, Peter Tosh, Horace Andy and extra from the mid-1960s onwards, typically licensing them to different labels like Island Data.
Lee’s rhythms would assist to maneuver Jamaican music from the ska and rocksteady kinds in the direction of the distinctive tempo and bounce of reggae. Do the Reggay by the lately deceased Toots Hibbert could have cemented the style’s identify, however Bangarang, a Lee monitor recorded with Stranger Cole, is regarded by many as the primary reggae tune. Lee had a UK High 10 hit in 1969 with Max Romeo’s raunchy reggae monitor Moist Dream, which spent 25 weeks on the chart.
Working with producer and engineer King Tubby within the early 1970s, he additionally helped to pioneer the echoing, eerie sound of dub with its concentrate on drums, bass and studio results. The massively prolific Lee was additionally one of many first producers to work with Bob Marley’s band the Wailers, in addition to with different, later Jamaican stars together with Sly & Robbie, Beenie Man and Buju Banton.
Lee, who additionally obtained the nicknames Striker and the Gorgon, was identified for his snappy costume sense together with a signature yachting cap: “Folks wish to see you trying clear,” he reasoned in 2015. “You need to costume to match what you’re doing. Cleanliness is godliness, so that you all the time should look good.” A documentary about his life, I Am the Gorgon, was launched in 2013.
Reggae label Trojan Data described him as “massively influential” and “pioneering”, whereas Ali Campbell and Astro from UB40 tweeted: “RIP Bunny Lee. We lose one other legend. Sleep straightforward.”