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Ska-Line Round Up of the Ska Scene News 7th February 2021 (thank you Big Andy)

A pretty good week for music really! We have already told you about the new releases for Big Fat Panda and Cartoon Violence (what do you mean you haven't read about them yet? Get over to https://www.buttondownradio.com/post/cartoon-violence-new-single-friend-or-foe and https://www.buttondownradio.com/post/cartoon-violence-new-single-friend-or-foe then back here!)


From The Specialized Project camp, good news on their delayed Tribute to Glam Rock 4CD set as it is hopefully on its way! From it, we have received the contribution from The Skapones with their cover of Mud's Dyna-mite. If you haven't heard any of the Specialized box sets before, bands submit cover songs around a theme (previously including Specials, Madness, The Beat, 2 Tone, trad etc) but they make them very much their own.


Dyna-mite starts by recalling the intro to The Special's Concrete Jungle before launching into a 2Tone edged portrayal of the Mud standard. The track is delicately balanced between its glam heritage and ska influenced up date. As Paul Willo said 'Mud are one of the coolest glam rockers- over the top- but very great tunes.' And this certainly is! It has whetted our appetite for the full 3CD set.


If you've not got your copy yet - head to https://specializedproject.com/product/blockbuster-a-tribute-to-glam-rock-preorder/ and why wouldn't you? Featuring The Spammed (awesome super group including Rat Scabies (The Damned), Horace Panter (The Specials), Neil Innes (Bonzo Dog/The Rutles), Kevin Eldon (it's Kevin BBC2), King Hammond, The Porkers, Dakka Skanks, Hub City Stompers, Dorset's Decatonics, Big Fat Panda, Erin Bardwell amongst others! Not only that, the project also raises thousands for charities such as TONIC, Teenage Cancer Trust



Sticking with the Specialized crew they have released the follow up to the well received Nu Ska Vol 1 called... well... Vol 2! A great reflection of the modern ska scene which regular Button Down Radio listeners will love as it contains several BDR standards. In fact, most tracks have been one of our 'Featured This Week' tracks. Inside you will find:

a very cool track new to us from Desorden Público with a certain Lee Thompson, Ed Rome with potentially his finest track, The Kubricks, the immense voice of Clara in the form of one of last year's singles by Dakka Skanks, a splendidly bouncing track from Detroit Riddim Crew's and Friends album, the superb funk ladened Dear Bradley from The Upstarters, Great latin vibes from Buenos Aires' Ska Beat City with their tribute to Don Drummond, a BDR favourite from The Kingstons , and organ driven piece by Dirty Notion, another BDR favourite from Joker's Republic , the immensely talented Chango Munks (who really blew us away at both Iosfests), a mean, down and dirty track from Sgt. Scagnetti, New to us is some Polish ska/punk in the form of Non Servium, one of the best albums of last year was Introspección from Ska Jazz Messengers and they contribute one of their tracks from this awesome slab, the awesome Russian ska/reggae/dub outfit Lollypop Lorry contribute a track from their great Ural Station album, The Skalps treat us to a new version of Slingshots and Arrows (very different to the version on Plastic Fantastic) Ireland's all girl crew The Skatuesques with their phenomenal 'Back In the Day' (this has been a FTW track more than once), the oozingly stylish The Reggaskas and finally the highly energetic Out Of Control Army from Mexico City! That is a LOT of music on CD for only a tenner resplendent with artwork from Dave 'Yorkie' Moran.


Get yours from https://specializedproject.com/product/nu-ska-volume-2/


One of the rising stars of last year has to be the label Original Gravity. The work and love of one man - Neil Anderson and friends. Neil produces outrageously good authentic (or trad if you like) first wave ska sounds under pseudonyms such as Prince Alphonso & The Fever, Melbourne Douglas, Adrian Dell & the D-Lites. He has the balance just right between the original gritty mixes and modern sound production. All releases are on heavyweight vinyl and the attention to detail is spot on.



This week saw the release of Ska Fever Vol 1 - a 4 track EP that is sooooo good

Follow Me - a ska'd up version of the Aly-us club classic from 92. A message of racial harmony in our style.

A Fistful of Dollars - there were a lot of ska songs that celebrated the spaghetti western and this is Neil's homage to those ska songs

Killer Diller - fantastic cover of the Jackie Mittoo classic

Miss Aranivah - a tribute to the fantastic Aranivah and her amazing dancing. Upbeat and bouncing. AWESOME SINGLE


Find out more at https://www.originalgravity.co.uk/

Check out the sampler video below:



Next up - The Rocksteady Conspiracy released I Would Say No / Today single on Friday. If you were lucky / had the foresight to pick up their debut album 'Cool It' last year, you know that these guys ooze smoothly flowing rocksteady with silky soulful vocals. This two track EP follows in the same vein. I may be wrong, but I feel that this was previously released but now released more widerly.


I Would Say - a mid paced rocksteady tune with some cheeky keyboard action

Today is a faster version of the album track of the same name. The accelerated rhythm works really well. This was so much slower and chilled on the album. Nicely done

Available on beautiful black vinyl and digital from https://therocksteadyconspiracy.bandcamp.com/album/i-would-say-no-today