We’re having a BLAST tracking down collectible SKA cassette tapes from all across the world! This time we hooked up once again with JIMMY JAZZ in Poland, do you remember their old label “Rock N’ Roller” back in the 90’s and early 2000’s? Three amazing classics to rock on your boombox once again!! [click to continue…]
If you aren’t familiar with Dave’s saxophone playing history, maybe you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of decades? He has been a gigging/touring musician since his teenage years, playing with HEPCAT, RANCID, STUBBORN ALL-STARS, Willie Williams, Stranger Cole, Glen Brown, Glen Adams, Archie Bell, and for the last 18 years, he has been the featured soloist with NYC’s legendary Ska band, THE SLACKERS. ROCKSTEADY 7, a fourteen year old all-star collective, is the band where Dave is able to showcase his unique style of Saxophone playing with extended Jazz improvisations over Reggae-Ska rhythms. As Dave explains, “I’m a freak stylistically. I’m a southern Californian raised kid who started out playing like Jamaican saxophonists, Roland Alphonso and Tommy McCook. Then I moved to New York and got into classic American saxophone like Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Lester Young, and Illinois Jacquet. Then I went on the road and started to understand the blues. I got into Howling Wolf, Tbone Walker, and Sonny Boy Williamson.” [click to continue…]
We’ve had a shipment from Germany tied up in the postal system for 6 weeks, so of course as soon as Christmas is over….boom, the parcel starts to move again! Regardless, we’re glad to have it! We’ve been waiting for the new album from Dutch skinhead reggae masters THE UPSESSIONS, plus a limited colored vinyl represses of DOREEN SHAFFER “Adorable” Both these vinyl editions come with a free CD too. Don’t worry LP of members we are getting a new shipment to everyone asap!
We are SO proud of our RUDE GUEST reissue series! During the early 80’s a small handful of bands kept the 2-Tone ska flame alive – Chicago’s RUDE GUEST was one of them! They released 4 limited edition cassettes before the US third wave kicked into full gear, and this release compiles all 16 songs from these tapes. Songs songs range from happy-go-lucky uptempo 2-Tone ska with a strong sax lead (think Madness or Bad Manners) to progressive roots reggae with a rock guitar lead and brooding 80’s keyboard. We first issued these tracks for CASSETTE STORE DAY back in October, and received some amazing press from the Chicago Reader – who did a full feature on the release including an interview with founding member Paul Schroeder. Read all about that HERE. [click to continue…]
(SKA FLAMES TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT, TRYING TO GET MORE!) Japan’s SKA FLAMES are back with their brand new full-length album “TURN UP” – and we’ve got the import vinyl exclusively for the USA! That’s right – it’s their first new album in 20+ years! For those of you who had to dig deep in the late 80’s to find any new ska, Japan’s SKA FLAMES were a bit of a holy grail band – thank goodness GAZ’S ROCKIN’ RECORDS UK (curated lovingly by GAZ MAYALL of THE TROJANS) released their first album “SKA FEVER” in 1989 otherwise the world might not have been hip to Japan’s traditional ska-jazz pioneers. These cats were basically The Skatalites of Japan, it’s that simple! The limited edition 7″ sold out quick, and we’ve got a super limited amount of these Japanese pressed beauties so don’t delay ACT NOW! Songs range from scorching jazz-ska to mellow rock steady, with dashes of Latin grooves and even a couple tracks with vocals. [click to continue…]
We’ve got a small amount of this classic SKATALITES live two-LP set and 2014’s album from THE UPSESSIONS featuring LEE SCRATCH PERRY back in from Grover Records. Act Quick! [click to continue…]
The wait is over! The SPECIALIZED Teenage Cancer Trust folks in the UK just released their 4xCD tribute to BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS, and our vinyl has JUST arrived! We think these 4 song 7″ vinyl EPs are absolutely brilliant!! One single is on a Jamaican ska tip, while the other has more of a 2-TONE 80’s flair! Limited edition of 400 each. FYI: these will be shooting across the pond and will arrive in the UK next week where they will be available on the Specialized website!
The Toasters originally released their debut US album SKABOOM back in 1987, on the Celluloid label. The album is often stated as being the origin of modern, or “third-wave” ska in the United States. It followed the RECRIMINATIONS and EAST SIDE BEAT EPs that were released both in the USA and UK, introducing the world to a fresh new wave-y ska sound that was uniquely American yet linked to 2-TONE through secret producer JOE JACKSON. Two years later, THE TOASTERS’ official “debut” album POOLSHARK arrived via the UK label Unicorn, yet six tracks from that set were culled for inclusion on the legendary debut American full-length named SKABOOM. That set was brasher, brighter, and more emphatically ska driven than their earlier material, albeit with eclectic backdrops that ranged from the surf-side to the juke joint. Now boasting a brass section, and two new vocalists, THE TOASTERS’ sound was significantly shifting while the lineup continued expanding. By the time they came to record SKABOOM, the group had ballooned into an 11-piece aggregate. The resulting high adrenaline album found the band in top form, their playing extremely tight, and the arrangements increasingly intricate and innovative. [click to continue…]
We are so proud to announce THE SLACKERS and JUMP UP have teamed up to release 3 classic albums on cassette for the first time ever! The whole idea came about when THE SLACKERS announced three album themed shows at Los Angeles’ Troubadour and they wanted to do something special for the gigs. Since JUMP UP has lead the way in the ska/reggae world releasing 9 cassettes in the past year and participating in two Cassette Store Days, naturally we jumped at the chance to get these classics on magnetic tape for the very first time. Hell, if Green Day can release a 13 album cassette box set that comes with a boombox….we can make three cassettes for one of the greatest modern ska bands of all time who are celebrating their 25th anniversary! Pick up a vintage boombox on eBay, or hook up that tape deck into your system – it’s all about analog goodness and embracing what’s great about collectible physical media. All three tapes will be limited to 300 copies each! [click to continue…]
Continuing the UNICORN reissue restocks – we restocked the brilliant debut album from Italy’s finest 2-TONE influenced ska act CASINO ROYALE – “TEN GOLDEN GUNS” was released in 1989 to critical acclaim and launched the career of a band that would last decades, but who would change stylistically. The debut is simply the best for SKA fans! “Someone Says” is a true 2-TONE sing along classic – one that we played on our earliest radio shows back when it came out! [click to continue…]