Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Dynamics [South Africa]

The Dynamics was a band from South Africa who played their own unique brand of music that included a ska influence.

In 1983 they released a cassette called "It's the Dynamics" - only 250 copies were made. They released a 12" EP in 1984 called "Switch it on and Wind it Up", then, in the early 90s they released a cd called "Organic".

This is a cd compilation featuring songs from all three releases.
1 Thugs
2 1+1
3 Pot Black
4 Who's Worried (vocal version)
5 2 Nil
6 This Weekend (vocal version)
7 Castello
8 Casino
9 Blue Plates
10 Siyabonga
11 Out of Tea Again
12 Garlic Baloney
13 Animal Jive
14 This Weekend (instrumental)
15 Untitled
16 Pull Up Your Socks
17 Ghetto Blasters
18 Chunky Charlie



There is a great blog that posts South African music and they have featured the Dynamics at one time. It's called Afro-Synth.

Other ska band from South Africa include The Lancaster Band and The Usuals.

I have the Usuals full-length album and I will be posting it on the blog at some point.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Memos - Drag Me Down 7" (1985)

The Memos was a band from Boston who played new wave and the ocassional ska song. Their live shows incorporated lots of covers of the current new wave hits at the time, which they did amazingly well, with several of their own songs and the occasional oldie but goodie thrown in.
Even though these guys could write a great song they only ever released one 2-song 7". Luckily for us the a-side was a ska original called Drag Me Down.

The Memos - Drag Me Down 7"
A - Drag Me Down
B - Childsplay

I would have loved to see these guys in the eighties. Hell, I'd love to see them now.

They had another original ska song called Procrastination Song that never saw a formal release. You can hear a live version of that on this official bootleg which also includes some other originals and some of those amazing covers I mentioned.

The Memos - Live in '85
1 I Saw Her Standing There
2 New Years Day
3 Who Gives
4 My Old Neighborhood
5 Don't You (Forget About Me)
6 Procrastination Song
7 I Will Follow
8 Everybody Wants to Rule the World
9 Stiff Competition
10 Trouble in Doggyland
11 Hang on Sloopy
12 Save it for Later
13 Stir it Up


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Managing Directors [Sweden] - Life and Times 7" (1982)

A - Life and Times
B1 - M.D.'s Theme
B2 - Norborgs Affair (1.000 Light Years From Dub)


Submitted by Rikard

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

va Ska-Otea-Roa (1996)

Rare New Zealand ska compilation. Like any other compilations there are some iffy tracks but there is also some gold on here.

1 Skapa - Jane Bondage
2 Bwa Da Riddim - Man in Black
3 Looney Tunes - Dead Bird
4 Banana Revolution - Gypsy Ska
5 Boil Up - Earth Right
6 The Offbeats - It's Not Mine
7 Screaming Orgasms - Meskal
8 The Red - Street Boys
9 Skapa - Ska Jig
10 Boil Up - Getting There
11 Bwa Da Riddim - Gun Slinger
12 Screaming Orgasms - The Pedlar
13 Banana Revolution - Man With the Money
14 The Offbeats - Dubbed Out
15 Skapa - It's Your Round
16 The Red - Dancing in the Dole Q


The Bong - Four Smash Hits 12" (1982) [REPOST*]

Rare German ska - all lyrics are in English.

A1 - Ejah Man
A2 - Clean Girl
B1 - Skafighter
B2 - Rudy (On the Run)


Reposted by request

*Originally posted July 2014

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Carl Collins - Money in the Ghetto 7" (1980)

Jo Bisso was born and raised in Yaoundé, the political capital Cameroon. He grew up being a fan of American soul music such as Otis Reading and Wilson picket. In 1971 he left Cameroun to pursue his musical career. Beginning an 8 year stint of Paris to New York jet trips the young ambitious man forged his musical career on his own terms; Staring off with the minor hit “Flying To The Land Of Soul” which he signed to Decca and moving on to produce, finance, write and create several albums released under his own name and other artsits such as Sookie and Venise.
In 1975 Jo created his genre blended debut album “Jo Tongo” on the Paris based Disques Esperance label. Sung in English and his native language it was way ahead of its time for the day, blending Jazz, Funk, Soul, afro rhythms and the sounds that were at the time being come to be known as Disco. The album was produced by Jo who plays a wide variety of the instruements and contributes his baritone “Barry White” tinged spoken vocals about life and love.
The album opens up with the title track “Dance To It”, A slice of groovy lounge-funk. Part 1 is all about the driving catchy groove which is layered with a downtown funk saxophone lead line. Part 2 brings in Jo’s spoken vocals in his native language and English, setting the tone of the album to come. “Disco Madonna” introduces a Latin flavour with Spanish vocals, a rumba groove and darting percussion. “Ramaya” melds a playful, summery, euro melody with Jo’s throaty, fun-loving vocals and a nascent use of synthesizers.
“Lets Keep It Together” is a song in two parts. The first half builds the groove over washy guitar, and chords before breaking into a solid soul riff with bass, Rhodes and guitar. Over this Jo layers the catchy, soulful vocals, summer-breeze guitars and jazzy keys. A real treat. Flip over to the Vinyl B side for what is probably the albums most “getting down” moment. The driving funk of “Give It Up”. Stabby brass, whirling organ and tight bass which is all wrapped up in a one tight arrangement. Add in doses of Jo’s sulty vocal and that is a recipe for a real winner.
“Don’t Fight The Feeling” again furthers into real deep funk territory. Jo opening up with a sermon on “love and sex”. The album closes with the swinging soul of the pensive Jo and his thoughts on life, “Odwa”. What is going down?
The Give It Up track was a highlight of the recent Africa Seven debut release “African Airways Volume 1: (Funk Connection 1972-1979). To Follow that up Africa Seven are proud to repress the debut Jo Bisso album in its full glory.
Before returning to the US in 1981 he recorded two ska records in France but he used the moniker Carl Collins. The Gangsters featuring Carl Collins - "Who's That Man?" b/w "The Game" and "Money in the Ghetto" b/w "The Star" both released in 1980.
From 1981 to 1989 his lived in Cote D’Ivoire. He now lives in Paris and although he sometimes “finds it hard to listen to his albums”, he does thinks it great that people love his music and his debut album is getting a re-release all these years later.

A - Money in the Ghetto
B - The Star

The other single was previously posted on Tone and Wave HERE but I included it in this download.


[This wall of text was respectfully plagiarized from THIS Soundcloud page on Jo Bisso.]

Blog Update:

As usual I have lots of rarities still to post. I need to focus a bit more on the cassette demos. The band J.C. Superska has two full albums that were released only on tape and, from what I can see, they have no online presence at all. I recently acquired two Skoi!dats demo tapes but I have been forewarned that I should probably get permission from the band before I post them.

I have some more rare California ska but I'm trying to space it out. It's not everyone's cup of tea and I don't want to bore anyone. I have about 80 rare ska and reggae songs from California from 1976 to 1987 and I've only posted about half of them on the blog so far so I will be doing a great big ol' compilation at some point.

In a recent comment I mentioned that I have plenty of records that are not ska, but ska-ish. A lot of them I bought without hearing because the seller said they were ska but they weren't. Others I did hear beforehand and I bought them because, even though I realized they weren't ska, they were still good records. I'm going to try and cram them into a post or two.

And here's a direct message to Mike Menchaca from the band The Specs:
Mike, your old T-bone player Cliff Lyons is trying to get ahold of you. He mentioned a reunion. He left his phone number on a comment but I don't want to publish it here. Contact me through my email address or my Facebook and I'll forward his number. For anybody who remembers the Specs this could be a really good thing. Anybody out there who knows Mike - let's get this message to him!

(This is a picture of the royal family visiting Jamaica in 1967. I wonder how much ska Prince Charles has in his collection.)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Corvairs [California]

This is the record that I consider to be the rarest California ska record ever released.

I have been collecting rare California ska for decades and this is the one record that eluded me year after year. I don't know how many copies were made and there are still some rare California ska releases from the 80s that I don't have yet but I'm basing my criteria on internet presence and how many people I've met at record conventions (and elsewhere) that have actually heard of these records.

The Corvairs - Self Abuse 7" (1983)
A - Self Abuse
B - Never Stop Believin

They had an earlier release in 1981 that wasn't ska (but was still a great record):
The Corvairs - Took so Long 7" (1981)
A - Took so Long
B - Just a Friend


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Splitters [California] - Don't Stop 7" (1982)

When I posted the RAM 7" I said that I considered that record to be in the top three of the rarest California ska records. I mentioned that I did not have the other two of the top three, but now I have them and I will be posting them here shortly.
The one I consider the absolute rarest (based on my own mission to find these gems) is by a band called The Corvairs. I have since acquired two singles by the Corvairs and, although I said in the RAM post that the rarest is not as good as good as the other two, I rescind that statement. Both of their singles are excellent.
The one I considered 'the third rarest' is a 4 song 7" by a band called Dutty Rass. I just got that one yesterday and I haven't actually listened to it yet.

The reason I'm saying all of this in this particular post is because this would be #4 on the list. I know nothing about this band except that the lead singer Dilithium Cristil (whose real name is Celena Allen) was invited to pose in Playboy in 1985 in an issue that featured 'The Women of Rock'.

Aside from that I can't find any information about the band or any individual members. I don't know if they ever recorded anything else but I know this record is extremely difficult to track down and both songs are great. Neither track is straightforward ska but quintessential new wave with the B-side showing a 2 Tone influence.

A - Don't Stop

B - Go Home


The Parrots [Brighton, U.K.] - The Parrots EP (1980)

The song "Breaking Up New Ground" might sound familiar to you if you have the 100% British Ska compilation. Prior to recording this EP the band recorded two songs for the "Vaultage 78" compilation and later recruited a female vocalist and changed the name of the band to Vol Sec and they released a four-track cassette.

The cassette is nearly impossible to find but, lucky for us, every song they ever recorded is available on CD - 19 tracks recorded as the Parrots and as Vol Sec.

1 Photography Song
2 Home Sweet Home
3 Breaking Up New Ground
4 Serious Thing


Steppin Razor - Studio Junkies (1982)

Steppin' Razor was not a band, but a studio project of two people in Florida. This is the only album they recorded. It's a blend of ska and new wave/rock. After they recorded this album they moved to California and formed the band Steppin' Lazer who released an EP called Plain Wrap which included different versions of Follow the Leader and Seein' What I ain't Got.

1 Follow the Leader
2 Seein' What I ain't Got
3 Another Pretty Face
4 You Don't Approve of Me
5 Another Way to Live
6 I Can't Afford it
7 I Really Wanna Dance with You
8 Ready to Break
9 Yellow Lights
10 Für Elise