German reggae magazine RIDDIM is being published every three months – four times a year. While any aspect of Jamaican music and culture is being touched, there are usually a few articles interesting to us, the ska and early reggae fans. If you want to subscribe to RIDDIM, you can go here. Two pages in this great magazine feature the new ska releases from all around the world, the “Easy Skanking” pages, which I am happy to write.
In this article, I want to link you to the albums, eps and singles that were featured in the issue published in September 2019. Take a listen, support the artists and buy the releases if you enjoy them.
At times it’s hard to get ahold of some of the releases. If you have problems to track down any of the records, or if you have questions, please let me know in the comments. I’ll see if I can help.
One of the best things about writing the “Easy Skanking” pages is to find new artists. Here are the four newbies from this edition.
Catbite are a four-piece band with female vocals from Philadelphia. Their self-titled debutalbum (8 songs) comes as a mix of 2tone ska and 60s pop with fuzz sounds. I love the vocals, the guitar riffs and the original songs like “Sneaky Fingers” that sounds as if it was written 50 years ago (in a good way). To me, Catbite are one of the discoveries of the summer and one of those albums that even people who usually don’t listen to ska can appreciate. As of today, the album is only available online (bandcamp, spotify), let’s hope for a vinyl release.
Travelers Allstars are a hot boss reggae act from Mexico that I haven’t written about before. To promote their single “Don’t Give Up/George’s Hair Cutting) they released a promo video on youtube. Tune 1 is an instrumental monster with a mighty organ that will ring in your ears for days, if you don’t skip to tune 2 that would be a good fit back to back with the Jamaica classic “Bangarang” (Stranger Cole/Lester Sterling).
At the time of writing it wasn’t clear to me who was behind the following supergroup, the Mighty Megatons from Madrid. Yet, I have rarely heard a band capture that Jamaican sound from the late-50s/early 60s, on the edge between rhythm’n’blues and ska. The A-side goes by the name of “Atomic Bomb”, and sounds matching. It’s no wonder that The Mighty Megatons get jobs as a backing band for acts like Alpheus and Roy Ellis when those guys play in Spain. The release comes from Liquidator Music. The single is available in many countries over at Amazon, find it here (affiliate link)
Also powered by Tony Face’s Liquidator Music is a new vinyl EP by The Crepitans (Madrid). In this band Micki (from The Upsttemians) joins forces with the singer Thomas Reed who moved over from the UK. The band sets out to relive the sound of early vocal groups like the Tennors and the Kingstonians. And what a focus on sound this is. It is manifested by the fact that instead of listing the band members in the credits, only the mixing engineer Oscar Martos (Greensleeve Records) and Esteban Descalzo (Mastering at Kingston Factory, Buenos Aires get a mention on the record. From its 4-colour sleeve to the last bar this is top-quality. The ep is available in many countries over at amazon, find it here (affiliate link)
All the releases
And here are all the releases featured in the Easy Skanking pages from September 2019’s issue of RIDDIM magazine. Click on a pic to get more info.
Tommy Tornado & The Clerks – Back On Track (Soulfire) October 4, 2019, NL/GER, instrumental reggae. The album isn’t out yet. But here’s a video of a whole awesome show of Tommy Tornado & The Clerks together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhiwhXoZpbM&t=328s
The Dualers – Palm Trees And 80 Degrees” by The Dualers (Sunbeat Records), July 26, 2019, UK, 60s ska, shop vinyl: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/thedualers-palmtrees #affiliatelink
Pork Pie Records – The Spirit Of Ska – 30 Years Pearl Jubilee Edition, (Pork Pie Records), June 22, 2019, various, various, shop cd: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/porkpie-pearljubilee
Los Placebos – Rocksteady Rollercoaster (Sunny Bastards), July 5, 2019, GER, Ska Pop, shop vinyl: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/LosPlacebos-RocksteadyRollercoaster #affiliatelink
The Abruptors – Love & Other Disasters (Asian Man Records), October 4, 2019, USA, Soul Ska, shop: https://asianmanrecords.limitedrun.com/products/650849-the-abruptors-love-other-disasters-cd-lp
New York Ska Jazz Ensemble – Break Thru (Brixton Records), June 1, 2019, USA, ska jazz, shop: http://www.jumpuprecords.com/nysjebreak/
Catbite – Catbite (Bad Time Records), May 7, 2019, USA, 2Tone, 60’s Beat, shop at bandcamp: https://catbite.bandcamp.com/album/catbite
Red Soul Community – Holidays In The City (Jump Up Records) September 13, 2019, Spain, Punky Ska, shop vinyl: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/RedSoulCommunity-HolidaysInTheSun #affiliatelink
Vieja Skina – 4 (self) March 29, 2019, Chile, ska jazz, shop: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/ViejaSkina-4 #affiliatelink
Mighty Megatons – Atomic Bomb (Liquidator Music) April 18, 2019, Spain, 60s ska shop vinyl: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/mightymegatons/atomicbomb #affiliatelink
Travelers All Stars – Don’t Give Up/ George’s Hair Cutting (Cigale Records) ca. May 21, 2019, Mexico, early reggae, shop: https://www.liquidatormusic.com/tienda/en/ska-actual-7/10909-don-t-give-up-george-s-hair-cutting.html
Arthur Kay & The Originals Street Little Princess (self) June 4, 2019, UK, ska shop: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/ArthurKay-StreetLittlePrincess #affiliatelink
The Crepitans – Tribulations (Liquidator Music) July 5, 2019, Spain, early reggae, shop vinyl: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/TheCrepitans-Tribulations #affiliatelink
Le Grand Miércoles – Lone Gunman Theory (Liquidator Music) April 18, 2019, Spain, Surf Ska, shop vinyl: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/LeGrandMiércoles-LoneGunmanTheory #affiliatelink
Ska Jazz Messengers – Mil Veces No (Liquidator Music) August 23, 2019, Venezuela, ska jazz, shop vinyl: https://reggae-steady-ska.com/Ska%20Jazz%20Messengers-Mil%20Veces%20No #affiliatelink
So, what are you listening to right now? What are favourite new releases?