Posts Tagged ‘Ska’

Carlos Malcolm & The Afro Caribs

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Listen: Bonanza Ska / Carlos Malcolm & The Afro Caribs CarlosMalcolmBonanza.mp3

Don’t know about you, but I often get the urge to spin a few early 60′s ska or rock steady sides. Like nuts, they go good with just about everything.

Usually a stickler for properly pressed (meaning not off centered) 45′s, even the perfect molds sound out of key. Add to that, the original tapes for many of these tracks are who knows where – so the pressings are often times cut from worn out, lovingly played vinyl copies. Again, part of the charm.

Never a dull moment when the genre reinterprets some theme, as with TV’s Bonanza, jump style. Fun and funny.

The Skatalites

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Listen: Guns Of Nararone / The Skatalites SkatalitesNavarone.mp3

Is it just me, or do many of the most revered early ska singles sound off centered? Maybe a result of specific tuning, or a lack thereof. I’m not complaining, it works, but definitely noticeable.

Talk about an intro, this captures it all. The drums on the edge of distortion and, go ahead, laugh – the immediate connection with James Bond’s DR. NO. In hindsight, that was my first exposure to ska. Soon after came Millie’s ‘My Boy Lollipop’ and The Angels’ ‘Jamaica Joe’, but I made no connection with those songs having a specific genre identity for decades. They were just great records to this youngster.

I’ve no idea how many times ‘Guns Of Navarone’ was re-released, and therefore, how many Island label designs it graced. Certainly, in ’77, when ska/reggae was the politically correct music for punks and punk bands to like, instead of their own, it had a nice blip. This sleeve (although obviously not the promo pressing above it) is from that era.

Listen: Marcus Garvey / The Skatalites SkatalitesGarvey.mp3

Yet another reissue hence later label design, still carrying the copy, or lack of (writer/publisher/producer) from it’s first time around. God knows why, but I didn’t flip this one over to find yet another favorite on the B side for the longest time. Though impossible to tire of either, I do find myself punching D7 on the jukebox in order to play ‘Marcus Garvey’ probably two to one against it’s A side.

One thing these two songs remind me of constantly is that 7″ from DR. NO that lurks somewhere in my 45 shelves – for the life of me I can’t remember which artist it’s credited to – hence my never ending search through the collection’s otherwise efficient alphabetical artist listing in search of said record.

Roy C

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

RoyCShotgunUK, Roy C, UK, Jonathan King

RoyCShotgunUSA, Roy C, UK, Jonathan King

Listen: Shotgun Wedding / Roy C RoycShotgun.mp3

You’d think this was originally recorded down Jamaica way, given the record’s audio quality seemingly captures not only the sound associated with the lilting rhythms of early ska recordings, in that rock steady and blue beat style, but the very time period as well. Like Roy C himself, the recording is New York based.

A UK #6 in ’66 on Island, yet despite a dated sound even for ’72, it still re-entered and peaked at #8 in England when reissued on Jonathan King’s Decca distributed UK label. A bit of a timeless audio document, it’s addicting in the same way ‘Harlem Shuffle’ by Bob & Earl, another New York recording, still is today. The power of a great record seldom dies.

Longsy D’s House Sound

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

LongsyDSka, Longsy D's House Sound, Big One Records

Listen: This Is Ska (Skacid Mix) / Longsy D’s House Sound LongsyD.mp3

I felt one of those late 80′s / early 90′s acid house moments coming on over the past weekend, so pulled out a few that were my staples in the day. No one ever mentions it, but ska had yet another revival of sorts during the E craze. Remember The Beatmasters’ ‘Ska Train’ or Rebel MC’s ‘Street Tuff’? I must post those soon.

The more or maybe most hardcore acid/ska floor filler,as the natives like to say, was definitely Longsy D’s House Sound ‘This Is Ska’. Fuck, it even charted. Yes, I recall riding around London with Crowley, Radio 1 beaming this down the airwaves and out of the dashboard, Friday, dinnertime traffic jam, Soho, looking for a place to park along Dean Street en route to Grauchos. If only we could turn back the clock.