Ska first came about in Jamaica in the late 50's, early 60's. The Skatalites lead the way along with the likes of: Prince Busters, Laurel Aitken, Desmond Dekker, just to name a few.
As the 70's came, many Jamaicans went to England for job opportunities. They brought along the "Ska" with them. In England many were delighted with the Jamaica sound. So, came the 2-tone movement. 2-tone was a label formed by Specials founder Jerry Dammners. Since U. K in the 70's. had a large punk following, 2-tone took the spirit of Trad-Ska and gave it a more punky feel, the beat was faster, the lyrics are more political. It however only lasted 7 years, even though now some of the 2-tone bands are still making comebacks every once in a while.
As the 2-tone movement in England was dying out, the Ska music needed to be heard by new listeners. It was imported here by Rob "bucket" Hingley (Founding member of the toasters.) Rob grew up in the 2-tone England and was inspired by ska. After moving here he saw that there was not much ska, if any at all, in the US. So he started a Moon Ska label that, just like its proceeder, 2-tone recs, specialized in only Ska genre. Today the Ska scene is very much alive in the US (as well as the rest of the world). Of course the center of it all is NYC, its like the Kingston of USA.
This compilation is the second of its kind(first was a comp of NY bands in the mid 80's) it features 21 of the finest, most kinkiest, bands in NY today. The bands on this CD stay true to their Ska proceeders but add their own unique brand of flavor. Some of the top bands are, Mephiskapheles, Stubborn All-stars, Slackers, the always wonderful Inspecter 7 (even though their not from NY), and offcourse no Moon Ska compilation would be complete without its founders, the Toasters, plus many other bands that rock the NY ska scene and make living in NY even more enjoyable.
If you are just getting into the NY scene or Ska music in general, this compilation is definitely the one that you should start with. Cheers!
Alex Rud is Contributing Columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.