Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Duff Guide to Ska: 2018 Year-End Roundup, Part 1!

Editor's note: Below, please find links to almost all of the releases that The Duff Guide to Ska reviewed over the past year. I would have loved to have written up many more records, but just didn't have the time (though I'll have some short write ups of a few additional 2018 albums posted shortly).

Perhaps you'll find something that you missed or have a gift card waiting to be put to use and just need some recommendations as to what to pick up (there are loads of fantastic records to chose from!).

As always, thanks for reading The Duff Guide to Ska!

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(All reviews by Steve Shafer)

Horace Andy and The Welders/Big Youth and The Welders: "Straight to Hell" and "Pair of Dice" b/w "Asylum Seekers" and "Christmas in Ladbroke Grove"  (Fe True Records, 12" vinyl EP/digital, 2017)

The Autocratics: The Autocratics (Ska in the World Records, CD, 2017)

Le Birette: Gal Songs Only  (Self-released, LP/digital, 2018)

Boomtown United: Boomtown United (Self-released, digital, 2018)

The Busters: Straight Ahead (Ska Revolution Records, CD, 2017)

Classy Wrecks: Bedrocksteady  (Self-released, digital, 2018)

Rhoda Dakar: "A Change is Gonna Come (#Never Again)"  (Self-released, digital, 2018)

Rhoda Dakar: The Lotek Four, Volume II (Self-released, 7" vinyl EP/CD, 2018)

Eek-A-Mouse: "Ganja Smuggling" b/w "Smuggling Dub" (Greensleeves Records, 7" single, 2018)

The English Beat: Here We Go Love! (Here We Go/Megaforce Records, LP/CD/digital, 2018)

The Far East: "Far East Ride" b/w "Rain On My Party" (Channel Tubes, 7" vinyl single/digital, 2018)

Caz Gardiner: "Stop" (Self-released, digital, 2018)

Desorden Publico: Bailando Sobre Las Ruinas (Jump Up Records, LP, 2017)

The Dirty Notion: How The Story Goes (Abbey Productions, digital EP, 2018)

DJ Spooky: Phantom Dancehall (VP Records, LP, 2018)

Heavyball: Black Eye Diaries (Magnetic North Melodies, LP/CD/digital reissue, 2018/2015)

Heavyball: When Can You Start? (Magnetic North Melodies, LP/CD/digital, 2017)

Heavy Manners: "Blue Beat (live)" b/w "Ska Jam" (Jump Up Records, 7" vinyl single, 2018)

Hepcat vs. Victor Rice: Dub Outta Nowhere (Hellcat/Hepcat, 2xLP, 2018)

Hub City Stompers: "Haters Dozen" (Altercation Records, CD, 2018)

King Kong Girio: "When the Needle Drops" (Self-released, digital, 2018)

The Last Poets (with Prince Fatty and Nostalgia 77): Understand What Black Is (Studio Rockers, 2xLP/CD, 2018)

Maroon Town: Freedom Call (Brixton Records, LP/CD/digital, 2018)

Matamoska: "Beer Goggles" b/w "Doom Boogie" (Steady Beat Recordings, 7" vinyl single, 2018)

Megative: Megative (Last Gang Records, LP/digital, 2018)

Jackie Mittoo: Showcase (17 North Parade/VP Records, 7" vinyl EP, 2018)

NY Ska Jazz Ensemble: Minor Moods (Brixton Records, LP, 2018 reissue)

Pama International: Trojan Sessions, Trojan Sessions in Dub (with Manasseh) (Happy People Records, LP/CD, 2017/2018)

Lee "Scratch" Perry: The Black Album (Upsetter Records, 2xLP/CD, 2018)

Lee "Scratch" Perry: Game of the Throne (Byrd Out, 12" vinyl EP, 2018)

Phoenix City All-stars: Clash Version Rockers (Happy People Records, LP/CD/digital, 2018)

The Porkers: "Make Hey" b/w "Emulsified" (Radley Records, 7" vinyl single, 2018)

Prince Fatty with Omar and Fatlip: "Sunshine" b/w "Sunshine Dub" (Evergreen Recordings, 7" vinyl single, 2018)

The Process: Who Is That Mad Band? and Dub World (Temple Gong Recordings, CD/digital, 2016, 2017)

Reggae Roast Soundsystem featuring Tippa Irie: "Real Reggae Music" (Trojan Reloaded, 7" vinyl single/digital, 2018)

Duke Reid/Roland Alphonso: "Judge Sympathy" b/w "Never To Be Mine" (Trojan Records, 7" vinyl single, 2018 reissue)

Victor Rice: Smoke (Easy Star Records, LP/digital, 2017)

Rudeboy: The Trojan Records Story (documentary)

Sandii and Dennis Bovell: "Hula Dub" (Mana Pacifica, 7" vinyl single, 2017)

The Selecter: Live at the Roadhouse (DMF Records, 2xLP+DVD/CD+DVD, 2018)

The Skatalites: Hi-Bop Ska (Jump Up Records, 2xLP, 2018 reissue)

Dele Sosimi Meets Prince Fatty and Nostalgia 77: You No Fit Touch Am in Dub (Wah Wah 45s, LP/digital, 2016)

Soul Radics: "Two Devils" b/w "Stormy Weather" (Grover Records, 7" vinyl single, 2017)

Soweto: Turn On the Music Again (Liquidator Music, LP/CD, 2017)

Joe Strummer: Joe Strummer 001 (Ignition Records, 4xLP/2xCD, 2018)

Super Hi-Fi: Blue and White (Very Special Recordings, LP/CD/digital, 2018)

Super Hi-Fi: "I'm Only Sleeping" b/w "Hole In My Life" (Electric Cowbell Records, 7" vinyl single, 2018)

The Toasters: Frankenska ("Shots in the Dark" appreciation)

The Toasters: "Ska Jerk" b/w "Ska Finger" and "Bits and Pieces" (What Happened for the Reason for Screaming Records/Tighten Up, 7" vinyl single, 2018)

Various Artists: Boss Tribute to the Original Sounds (Jump Up Records/Specialized, 7" vinyl EP, 2018)

Various Artists: Drink the Ska (Jump Up Records/Ska Brewing, LP, 2018)

Various Artists: Gifted: A Ska Tribute to The Jam (Jump Up Records/Specialized, LP, 2018)

Various Artists: Recutting the Crap, Volume 2 and The Future Was Unwritten (Crooked Beat Records, 2xLP, 2018)

Various Artists: Rudies All Around, Volume 1 (Happy People Records, LP/CD/digital, 2018)

Various Artists: Trojan 50th Anniversary Picture Disc (Trojan Records/Sanctuary/BMG, LP, 2018)

Wild Man Riddim: Worldwide Frequency (Brixton Records, digital, 2017)

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Look for additional reviews of several 2018 releases soon...

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Mark said...

With your permission, I’d like to doff a cap and raise a jar to the superb April 2018 Record Store Day release of 'I Do Like To Be B-Side the A-Side' by Madness, which compiled all of their early b-sides on one slab of vinyl. Not a throwaway track in sight, and an interesting way to chart the band’s early evolution. Suave packaging, as well.

I also splurged on the massive Trojan 50 boxed set, which is just about as lavish a boxed set as I’ve ever seen, and hefty enough that, if you were to drop it from a third floor window directly above somebody’s head, there’d be funeral arrangements to make quickly.

Finally, many grateful thanks for all of the work you put into the blog -- I’m not in the habit of often leaving online comments, but I’m always in the habit of checking your blog for updates and reading them with enthusiasm.

Steve from Moon said...


Thanks so much for your kind words! They're really appreciated!

Also, thanks for your comments on the Madness comp and Trojan box set. In particular, I would have loved to have gotten my hands on that Madness release (the airmail shipping costs from the UK to the USA are horrifically high these days)...

Best regards,


Mark said...

I’m not sure whether or not they still have copies in stock, but the Rough Trade store in Brooklyn had quite a few copies of 'I Do Like To Be B-Side The A-Side' in their bins last time I hauled myself out there, which was sometime this past autumn. Maybe worth ringing them to see if a few copies remain? If not, they could probably get one of their UK stores to send a copy over for you to pick up at the Brooklyn shop, which would save you the shipping costs. Just an idea, but maybe one worth pursuing? Good luck!

Kind regards...


Steve from Moon said...


Thanks for the Rough Trade tip! Will check out!