Russian Restocks from MAGNETIC LOFT: SAINT PETERSBURG SKA JAZZ REVIEW + MIDDLE VOLGA SOCIAL CLUB + REGGAENAUTS

STPETERSRUSSIAWe are so proud to have another shipment from MAGNETIC LOFT Records who release the finest ska & reggae bands in Russia! The debut vinyl 7″ single from the REGGAENAUTS is here, two tracks of boss skinhead reggae sounds! “RIVER ROCK” is a slow tempo scratchy reggae number, the flip “THURSDAY KICK OFF” has a little bit more of a rootsy dub appeal for fans of LEE PERRY, OBSERVERS, etc. Restocks on last year’s LPs are here too! Back in the CD heyday we traded with several labels to get the finest ska sounds from Russia, and we distributed many by ST PETERSBURG SKA JAZZ REVIEW. In the early 2000’s Megalith Records released a CD too! A female fronted new-traditional band that truly rocks, fast tempos and summery ska jazz is the order of the day – and their latest “ELEPHANT RIDDIM” is now out on VINYL! Guess what? The MIDDLE VOLGA SOCIAL CLUB has a very similar sound, they remind me of EASTERN STANDARD TIME in the sense that spy-themes and cocktail jazz is a heavy part of their sound. Their debut “GIVE ME THE WAY” LP is a MUST HAVE too!! Check out the tunes at the label’s Bandcamp!  Keep a look out for the WHEELER DEALERS as they are the next big act from the Russian Federation!

NEW YORK SKA JAZZ ENSEMBLE “Break Thru” LP vinyl – pioneering jazz ska band releases their fourteenth album!

It’s hard to believe that we now have fourteen NYSJE albums to enjoy! Quite an accomplishment in today’s music world, and maybe even more impressive for a “modern” traditional ska band. Think back to the humble beginnings of Rocksteady Freddie when he left The Toasters to start this wonderful project in the 90s – for us it’s crazy to think that the New York Ska Jazz Ensemble was the first ska concert at the Chicago House of Blues! As always you can expect top notch jazzy arrangements of foundation Jamaican sounds, over the years the players have changed but the vibe and energy remain the same. Freddie Reiter will never steer you wrong on these ten glorious tracks! Includes a fun version of “Love & Affection” and a tribute to the late great Tom Petty with “Learning To Fly”. “Break Thru” is a great mix of instrumental and vocal tracks that covers many Caribbean styles, of course all channeled through American jazz / blues arrangements that’s unique to this long-standing ensemble. Get This!

Italy’s NORTH EAST SKA JAZZ ORCHESTRA self titles LP vinyl and 7″ single have arrived! BIG BAND SKA!

Two HOT SHOTS from BRIXTON RECORDS Spain! Following critical acclaim for their 2015 debut album “Stompin´& Rollin” and a string of explosive performances on the international stage, this whopping 18-piece Italian orchestra unleashes their self titled second album!  Nine new original tracks that explore Jamaican sounds from the perspective of a contemporary big band. The three singers deserve a special mention: Freddy Frenzy and his unmistakable style always faithful to the tradition of original ska, Rosa Mussin showing her powerful and soulful range in tracks like the  scorching ska tune “Share With You All” and Michela Gena who steps forward without fear in “oldies” land. Highly recommended listening!

We’ve also restocked the band’s limited edition 7″ single that features collaborations with the two sax heroes of the contemporary ska scene: David Hillyard (The Slackers) and Fred “Rocksteady” Reiter (New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble). Each of the guest stars delivers an own penned composition,  Side A – Disco’s Revenge (featuring DAVID HILLYARD) and Side B – Prime Suspect (featuring FRED REITER)

Spanish Reissues! DR CALYPSO “Original Vol 1” LP + SKATALA “Fent D’Aqui” LP / “Un De Nou” LP

We are so happy to have these incredible Spanish imports from DAILY RECORDS in stock now! What’s even more exciting is that we grew up with these records at the beginning of the 90,s and can truly attest to their importance  to the birth of the ska scene in Spain. DR CALYPSO’s “ORIGINAL VOL 1” LP is a 25th anniversary reissue, the first studio album from this Barcelona band features 10 cuts full of soul, ska, reggae, and calypso. This album is without a doubt one of the most influential LPs in the Spanish ska scene, first time on vinyl since it’s original release in 1993, remastered too! Definitely a must for any ska revival collector. If you dig Unicorn, Skank, Pork Pie you’ll need this! Not to be outdone DAILY RECORDS has released two classic albums from another pioneering Spanish band….SKATALA! Believe it or not, they formed in 1985 and created a ska / Oi! hybrid that was very reminiscent of ska-leaning songs by  4 SKINS, songs were often related to skinhead themes such as alcohol and football. “Fent D’Aqui” was originally only release on cassette but in 1991 was issued on vinyl due to massive demand. Not only has the album been remastered and reissued, but it comes with an incredible fanzine about he history of the band. Brush up on that Spanish!  By the time SKATALA released 1995’s “Un De Nou” most of the Oi! influences of their early days were gone, their sound was now fully formed and dancing the fine line between 2-Tone and traditional ska like many of the bands released on Moon Ska here in the states. An incredible record that still sounds amazing today, this was reissued on vinyl for Record Store Day 2019 in Spain.

THE PRIZEFIGHTERS “Firewalk” LP vinyl has arrived! CD / Tape still available

The Prizefighters perform ska and rocksteady from Jamaica’s golden era, their brilliant new studio album “Firewalk” is their first since 2010’s “Follow My Sound”. Since that release the band has perfected their craft working side by side with the stars that created the music back in the 60’s. That resume is now quite impressive, it includes backing the “King of Ska” Derrick Morgan at Reggae Fest Chicago, twice with Stranger Cole including a duet show with Patsy, plus Chicago and Montreal showcases with the dazzling Roy & Yvonne. Their relationship with legendary harmonica player and vocalist Charley Organaire might be the most special, as he joined The Prizefighters in the recording studio for a session that lead to the 2014 mini-album Charley Organaire Meets The Prizefighters which lead to their first European tour. In the band’s words “it’s not just about playing the songs well; it’s about playing them correctly and authentically” – and the several years worth of authentic 60s Jamaican music conservatory experience between the first record and “Firewalk” really shows. Working hard on tunes with a mantra of “will this be good enough for Derrick Morgan? Or for Stranger & Patsy?” has conditioned the band to push themselves to ever higher standards. We are so proud to present this stunning new album in 2019 from one of our favorite bands. Let’s face it, without The Prizefighters we wouldn’t have been able to bring so many Jamaican legends to Chicago and keep the spirit of 60’s Jamaica alive.

EASTERN STANDARD TIME “Time For Change” LP – DC’s Ska-Jazz pioneers are BACK! White vinyl & CD now available!

Washington DC’s messengers of Ska-Jazz are back with a new record, their first full-length release since the critically acclaimed “Tempus Fugit” and first release since appearing on Derrick Morgan’s live album in 2017. “Time For Change” embraces the band’s signature sound of bop jazz and Jamaican rhythms, and blends this with with soul, rocksteady, and reggae Whether in a smoky jazz club or on a festival stage they always deliver a dynamic live performance. That signature flexibility has led to them becoming backing musicians for many Jamaican greats, including Derrick Morgan, Roy Ellis, Dr. Ring Ding, King Django, and Mr. T-Bone. Formed in 1995, Eastern Standard Time began as a project to bring musicians from Washington DC’s jazz and Caribbean communities together to play music based on the original Jamaican Ska. Over the years the membership crystalized into a seven-piece group primarily blending American soul and jazz with danceable Jamaican rhythms from the 50s to the 70s. Eastern Standard Time has logged years on the road, with dozens of tours throughout Europe and North America to their credit. As 2019 dawns Eastern Standard Time will be touring throughout Europe, North America, and beyond in support of Time for Change.  Heavyweight black vinyl pressing for premium audio quality, limited edition “natural” white vinyl now available limited to 75 copies.

 

 

Reggae Guitar Legend’s Debut Solo album! ANDY BASSFORD “Harder They Strum” on LP vinyl / 8 TRACK TAPE

Andy Bassford, born in Hartford, Connecticut, is the reggae legend you’ve never heard of. After initially playing several years in rock, reggae, latin jazz, and country bands, he then was discovered by Horace Andy, which led to his recording debut on the classic album ‘In The Light’ in 1977. In 1980 he went to Jamaica and began playing on sessions with the Roots Radics. Soon after he joined Lloyd Parks and We The People, thus performing or recording with nearly every reggae artist of the era, most notably Dennis Brown. Upon his return to the US in late 1980’s he joined Toots and the Maytals among many others and became the house guitarist for the seminal Studio One label. Currently, Andy performs internationally in Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander’s Harlem-Kingston Express reggae-jazz fusion project, with whom he has also recorded two albums. In 2003, he was honored by the Jamaica Federation of Musicians for Outstanding Contributions to the Jamaican Music Industry, one of the only-non Jamaicans to receive this award. In 2019, he won his first Grammy as a composer and guitarist on Sting & Shaggy’s “44/876”, which took the honor of best Reggae album. Andy Bassford’s first ever solo album “The Harder They Strum” pays homage to the movie and album that lured Andy into the wonderful world of Jamaican music. Continue reading Reggae Guitar Legend’s Debut Solo album! ANDY BASSFORD “Harder They Strum” on LP vinyl / 8 TRACK TAPE

BRIXTON RECORDS restocks: MAROON TOWN “Freedom Call” LP vinyl

The latest import from BRIXTON RECORDS in Spain has arrived, the brand new album from UK ska legends MAROON TOWN, who were formed in the mid 80’s and created a fantastic sonic cocktail of Jamaican ska, Latin/World rhythms, hip hop vocals and modern acid jazz funky/soul styles. Maroon Town’s classic early material was featured on over 45 compilations, including releases on top European revival imprints Staccato, Unicorn, and Skank. One of our all all time favorite albums from that time was “HIGH AND DRY”, songs like “NOSTALGIA” and “POUND TO THE DOLLAR” are stone cold hip hop ska classics! That energy and feel is back in full force on this brand new album “FREEDOM CALL” – a must have for old and new fans alike!

Official Record Store Day 2019 Selection: THE SKATALITES “Greetings From Skamania” LP – green wax with poster!

First time on wax for Jamaican ska originators’ 1996 masterpiece, green vinyl edition with poster insert exclusive for Record Store Day. Produced by Joe Ferry (Big Ska Band, SKAndolous All Stars) and band leader Tommy McCook, On this set original 60’s players are still going strong – lead by the saxophone trio of Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, and Lester Sterling, drummer Lloyd Knibbs, bassist Lloyd Brevett, and vocalist Doreen Shaffer. The band revisits 60’s gems like “Phoenix City” , and “El Pussycat” while creating many new classics including “Skalloween”, “Trip To Mars” and “Skamania”. The Skatalites perfected the big-band ska sound while backing some of the finest ska and rocksteady artists in the 60’s, and this album is another crowning jewel in their lifelong goal to party like it’s 1964! Less than 75 copies exist for our mail order!

THE SCOTCH BONNETS “Come On Over” LP + 7″ vinyl / CD/ Tapes – produced / mixed by Dave Hillyard & Agent Jay of The Slackers!

Punky reggae rockers from Baltimore whose infectious energy keeps the party jumping all night, The Scotch Bonnets have been bringing the heat and the good-love vibe since their debut in 2009. The crew is fearlessly lead by singer-guitarist Kristin Forbes aka Lady Hatchet, whose tunes blend classic Jamaican groves with a funky fresh approach to American singer-songwriting. Continue reading THE SCOTCH BONNETS “Come On Over” LP + 7″ vinyl / CD/ Tapes – produced / mixed by Dave Hillyard & Agent Jay of The Slackers!