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
New to us is Lucky Luxury. This is exciting as it is a kind of surf, ska, sci fi fusion. A real melting pot. This single contains two tracks that are different enough to prick the ears up.
The first track - Muldoon's Move is an instrumental with a cool, twanging surf guitar sound with a sci-fi ska feel to it. Named after the detective in Naked CityA fast mid paced tune that I can't wait to DJ.
on the flip (if you can flip a digital file?) is Outbreak with backing from The Luxurians. This is great dirty reggae in an Aggrolites vein.
The frankly fantastic Happy People label have 5 new singles lined up for us later in the year and one of them is an absolute belter from the all girl group Tight Spot. Formed in 2003, Tight Spot brought together veteran musicians from the Los Angeles traditional ska scene. Featuring members from all-girl ska band favourites The Cover-Ups (1990s) and The Twi-Lites (2000s), Tight Spot have a trad ska / dirty reggae sound akin to The Aggrolites, but made very much their own. (Not the first time The Aggrolites have had a mention this week!) This was recorded back in 2003 but hasn't been released until.... well June actually. BUT if you pre-order the vinyl, you can get the digital files now.
Also available for pre-order from Happy People is this two track beauty from New Zealand's Atsushie & the Moisties.
The first track is Victim of Authority (we've been playing you this since 2016 but to great to see it on vinyl) featuring a certain Lester Sterling. A beautiful piece of rocksteady with an awesome trad sound.
Sound of the Ska is an up tempo skanker, a version of which was on the first Rudies All Around compilation and you can see why. A belter of a track, guaranteed to pack the dance floor when we are allowed to go dancing again.
(Atsushi and the Moisties releases April 2nd)
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400+ mainly ska related releases to browse and sample - and buy to support these artists!
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The Skapones Desorden Público Ed Rome Music The Kubricks Dakka Skanks Detroit Riddim Crew The Upstarters Ska Beat City The Kingstons Dirty Notion Joker's Republic Chango Munks Sgt. Scagnetti Non Servium Ska Jazz Messengers Lollypop Lorry The Skalps The Skatuesques The Reggaskas Out Of Control Army Atsushie & the Moisties Tight Spot The Rocksteady Conspiracy Original Gravity Big Fat Panda Cartoon Violence Decatonics The Spammed Hub City Stompers Erin Bardwell Lucky Luxury Happy People Records