Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: More Intensified Skadotdotdot
artworkRight off of the top, you probably wonder why a vintage Jamaican ska comp would show up at Reverb central. The answer is simple. Roland Al and the Soul Brothers tune "Miss-Ska-Culation" is here... read on for more about that. In general, this is an often from-vinyl collection of primal rude boy sounds from 1963 to 1967, the dawning of the ska sounds. All of the instrumentals are reviewed here, though only Roland Al's track relates directly to surf.
Picks: Dr. Kildare, Man In The Street, Lucky Seven, Miss-Ska-Culation, Dr. Ring A Ding, Sucu Sucu, Dick Tracy, Marcus Junior

Track by Track Review


Dr. Kildare dotdotdot
Ska (Instrumental)

Horn based jazzy and primitive ska from legends of the genre. This is a pretty fun track, with an infectious riff and suave horns.

Man In The Street dotdotdot
Ska (Instrumental)

This moody slow moving track features excellent early horn harmonies and a very fine riff. It calls to the common man, hence the title. Way fun and major smooth.

Lucky Seven dotdotdot
Ska (Instrumental)

Pumped funky fun with near wobble board vocal grunts and lively percussion. Interesting enough, but it didn't stick in RAM long very after listening.

Miss-Ska-Culation dotdotdotdot
Ska Surf (Instrumental)

Roland Al and the Soul Brothers took the Chantays' "Pipeline" and gave it a whole new feel. The melody is the same, but the entire effect is different. The glorious ska riffs, the short grunt horn leads, and the classic ska backbeat combine to create a familiar yet entirely fresh track. The break employs lines from Gershwin's "Summertime" for even more morphing of the theme. This is a very unique rendition of this song, used as the basis for subsequent eighties and nineties ska covers by Bad Manners and others. Tasty excellence.

Dr. Ring A Ding dotdotdot
Ska (Instrumental)

Less interesting than "Miss-Ska-Culation," this is a more noodly thing, with heavier jazz combo leanings and standard ska arranging.

Sucu Sucu dotdotdot
Ska (Instrumental)

What a wonderful track this is. There's something of the "Lonely Bull" about it, though not the melody. The drums are exceptionally strong for this period in ska. A very fun track. The break is a rambling noodle fest, but otherwise the song is boss.

Dick Tracy dotdotdot
Ska (Instrumental)

Cool and suave, mid tempo, an almost "Perry Mason" melody with its incumbent detective theme. Pretty darn cool.

Marcus Junior dotdotdot
Ska (Instrumental)

This reminds me a little of what might happen if you slowed down the Merced Bluenotes' (pre Brogues/Quicksilver Messenger Service) "Rufus Junior," and then strained it through rum and a sweaty Kingston nightclub. The melody bears no resemblance, but it seems to come from the same hole in the soul.