Ska-Beat-Sound Radio Turns Five
Every Thursday for the past five years, the Ska-Beat-Soul Radio Show has transmitted live from the south coast of England out to the world. It’s the creation of Paul Homer and Mark Howard, two longtime friends, DJs and (very) serious vinyl collectors. Their specialty is the early stuff: Ska, rocksteady, blue beat and “skinhead reggae” (that is, releases that became popular among mods, skinheads and first-generation Jamaicans in the UK during the late-60s/early-70s thanks to labels like Trojan and Pama; certainly not to be confused with the right-wing skinhead movement that developed many years later). Paul and Mark pepper the show with their seemingly-bottomless knowledge of the music and records they play (as well as some entertaining banter), which has made it an essential weekly listen for the ATX Sound crew. This week (January 30) marks the show’s five year anniversary, and it should be a good one. If you can’t listen live, you can check out the archived shows on the Ska-Beat-Soul Mixcloud page.
With the extended holiday season now over, things are starting to heat up again as far as new releases. Some fresh dancehall tracks that have caught our attention this week (and which we’ve duly added to the Austin Reggae Fest Playlist on Spotify) include the new one from rising star Koffee. With her big 2018 track “Toast” still dominating the airwaves and sound systems, she’s wasted no time in following up with new one “Throne,” a confident statement from the Spanish Town-bred 18 year old. It boasts her unique and dextrous flow over a nicely-produced riddim that sounds downright vintage (and noticeably slower) next to most current dancehall. We’ll probably be keeping this one in our record box for many weeks to come.
Traveling just a few miles down the road from Spanish Town… Popcaan and his Unruly crew aren’t the only ones holding it down for the coastal town of Portmore these days. Masicka and his Genahsyde crew have been on the rise for a couple of years now. Having already kicked off 2019 with a bang, via his tune “Hold Mi” in early January, Masicka quickly follows up with another new one, “Darkest Times,” just this week. You can hear both tunes on our playlist.
Also getting off to a prolific start in 2019 is Busy Signal. Not only did he jump on the spooky Grand Time riddim with “Some Boy” (a tune that actually started doing the rounds late last year but finally saw release this week) but he also dropped the heavyweight new single “Nuh Weh Nuh Safe”, which features dark EDM-influenced production and a guest vocal from Bounty Killer. This, after a 2018 in which it felt like there was another new Busy tune every week. Must be why they call him Busy.
This Week’s Austin Reggae Fest Spotify Playlist
Click here to hear the dub sounds we have been listening to the last few days.