First time on vinyl for this classic Moon Ska NYC title released in 1999 – “Ska Titans” is a wonderful collaboration between the “Godfather of Ska” Laurel Aitken and the legendary Skatalites recorded in the studio during 1996’s European Ska Splash tour – it was the first time the titans met up on record since 1964! The album features original Skatalites Roland Alphonso, Lester Sterling, Lloyd Brevett, and Lloyd Knibb alongside longtime members Devon James, Will Clark, and Nathan Breedlove backing Aitken’s amazing vocals on a set of classics, including several Aitken originals. As an added bonus three live tracks are included, taken from the Ska Splash’s stop in Amsterdam. Continue reading Restocked! LAUREL AITKEN vs THE SKATALITES “Ska Titans” LP vinyl – 1999 Moon NYC classic on wax for the first time!
The European late 80s / early 90s classics keep coming! MR REVIEW are literally still one of our favorite bands of all time!! An incredible nutty sound full of uptempo manic 2-Tone ska, these Dutch superstars write some of the catchiest tunes of all time. A Unicorn Records classic in 1989, Mad Butcher Germany reissue in 2020! Check out the tunes “Another Town”, “Ice & Snow”, and “The Feeling’s Alight” if you don’t believe me! When the band returned in 1994 for their second album on Grover Records…..it oddly never came out on vinyl. Now it exists 25+ years later!
After 90’s ska boom had come and gone in the USA, many albums released in the early 2000’s were simply missed by fans worldwide. Hopefully, you realize artists like THE SPECIALS and labels like JUMP UP continued to support ska during “the lean years”….labels ran to release other styles (dare I say emo), and ska bands “changed their sound” to avoid being called ska. Guess what? There were some cool ska albums released at the turn of the millenium, including 2 albums by THE SPECIALS! Both “SKINHEAD GIRL” and “CONQUERING RULER” dig into the TROJAN RECORDS soundbook, and the band’s sound was top notch lead by RODDY RADIATION, NEVILLE STAPLE, HORACE PANTER, and NEOL DAVIES. Well done MAD BUTCHER, releasing these records on vinyl give the albums a new lease on life and will be enjoyed by an entire generation of vinyl fans! Continue reading Restocked! THE SPECIALS “Conquering Ruler” & “Skinhead Girl” LP vinyl in stock now!
DUFF GUIDE TO SKA review. Enough said!! “Take One” is the impressive debut album from Poland’s first rocksteady act Steady Social Club, and is filled with really terrific original tunes and ace performances–all recorded live in the studio on analog gear in one take, warts and all, with no edits, overdubs, etc. (hence, the album title). It should be noted that Steady Social Club are not newcomers to the scene, as members hail from other Polish and (one) German ska groups (Vespa, The Bartenders, Real Cool Sound, Big Fat Mama, and Spartan Allstars). They joke that they’re ska veterans, but older now, so they play slower (hah!). And this really is a late night, end-of-the-afterparty record, when people couple or uncouple, and don’t necessarily make the best decisions (practically all of the songs on Take One are about falling in or extracting oneself from a romantic relationship). The rocksteady tempos are markedly (almost stubbornly) unhurried, giving the male and female singers (Wioletta Baran, Anna Teliczan, and Boris Borowski) plenty of time to do their thing, and the song arrangements are uncomplicated, yet completely appropriate and effective (the band is rounded out by Artur Grochowski on drums, percussions, and keyboards; Bartłomiej Kościański on bass, guitar, and keys; and Maciej Januchowski on guitar, keyboards, and vocals; the later two wrote all of the tracks here). Top cuts here include “Let’s Do Rocksteady,” which has wonderful harmonizing and offbeat use of male falsetto (“Let’s forget all the daily trouble/Now it’s just you and me together/Hold me tight, till you feel my heartbeat/All the world can come back tomorrow”); the gorgeous ballad “Magic Feeling” (which, of course, is that of being in love); and the incredibly sultry tracks “Set Me Free” (who could resist this entreaty?) and the you’re-headed-for-a fall “Slow Down.” “You Kept Me Waiting” is more Harry J skinhead reggae than rocksteady and features really amazing Jerry Dammers-esque organ during the chorus (the singer knows he’s not ever going to get what he wants, but still can’t help himself: “I’ll keep on waiting/Up through the night/I’ll keep on waiting/Until the dawn/Why?”). “Friend or Foe” also is excellent dirty reggae about someone getting what they’re owed in a Niney the Observer “Blood and Fire” kind of way (“I say one day/You gonna pay/And the lies you’ve said/Will be exposed!”). Perhaps the fiercest song on the album is “There’s the Door” (I’m warning you/This game won’t be played be no more/It is last chance for you to change/And otherwise there’s the door”)–you won’t be able to resist singing along with the ominous “ohs” of the chorus. Thanks again to www.duffguidetoska.com
Not to be outdone are these two amazing releases from The Baertenders, currently they top traditional ska jazz act in Poland! We were able to get ahold of a limited supply of the band’s 2016 album “Poles Are Moving” pressed by the band themselves on 180g vinyl. We also have copies of their 2020 two track 7 inch single on Polish imprint Bad Look Records. Special deal on the LP plus 7 inch now!
We’ve restocked some classics from Washington DC’s jazz ska pioneers! Back in 2010 we released “Tempus Fugit” in the USA on that ol’ compact disc format and imported German vinyl copies from Grover Records. We realize many of you were’s hooked on the wax then – that’s why we are bringing it back! We even have the limited edition blue vinyl repress! In between “Tempus Fugit” and 2019’s “Time For Change” the band released their own 7 inch single entitled “The Dragon”, which is available through us for the first time ever! Get both and get a deal!
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! Continue reading NEW YORK SKA JAZZ ENSEMBLE “Break Thru” LP / “Minor Moods” LP
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! Dance-crashing British 8-piece, The Indecision, were raised on the soulful ska of Studio One. Authenticity coupled with deft songwriting skill, and forward thinking respect for the sounds of 1960s Jamaica, David ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan recently placed the band in his illustrious BBC list of the ‘Best of British Reggae’. Brixton Records proudly present the release of the first studio album of Leeds’ own The Indecision, ‘Give It Up!’ shows the maturity of a young band who assume the British ska and rocksteady tradition effortlessly, providing irresistible spontaneity to energetic and contagious tracks. Great three part harmonies and catchy songs that get stuck in your head for days! A must for fans of THE SLACKERS, HEPCAT, EASTERN STANDARD TIME and GREEN ROOM ROCKERS.
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! Do you like loungey jazz ska? Breezy Caribbean vibes, sunny warm sounds? Guitarist / band leader ALBERTO TARIN has your number! ALBERO TARIN has been releasing the finest ska / reggae / calypso sounds since 1997, he was a member of Seguridad Social from 1990 to 1996 and has played with Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Jeff Beck and John Williams. We’ve got two amazing BRIXTON RECORDS imports in stock now, both released in 2018. “EL CAMINO DE RITMO” is an instrumental delight, while “A MOMENT IN TIME” features the soulful vocals / deejay style of Jamaican legend DAVE BARKER! Stock is very limited don’t delay – summertime is here! Both these records are a MUST for fans of NEW YORK SKA JAZZ ENSEMBLE, BRIXTON SOUNDS, and MONTY ALEXANDER’S HARLEM-KINGSTON EXPRESS.
“You Give Me Fever” is the debut album from top ska & rocksteady band from Barcelona. Like in the golden era of Jamaican music, this album will make you dance, feel, and enjoy the real ska riddim. Soweto`s original songs will take you to the best traditional 50`s & 60`s tunes of Jamaica, and as a special guest you’ll find the living legend BB SETON from THE GAYLADS on two modern classics! “South West Town” is the band’s second full length from 2011, the band truly perfected their craft bringing a purist, traditional and jazz style to a new set of classics. Twelve tracks of that original ska/reggae sound that could easily have been composed in a Trenchtown yard in the early 60’s. Includes a guest appearance by Derrick Morgan too!
GAZ MAYALL is a British legend. World known DJ, record collector, producer and singer – he started THE TROJANS during the mid 80s creating a tremendous mix of R&B, Jamaican Ska, soul and Celtic sounds. He started his own label GAZ’S ROCKIN’ RECORDS to release music by THE TROJANS, and “A LA SKA” was the band’s debut from 1987. Thirty three years later it has been reissued by Mad Butcher Records in Germany! Not to be outdone we have restocked the amazing 4 track EP from another British rhythm & blues ska band from 1989 called THE RUDE BOYS!