This Is Ska Festival 2019

One of the best summer ska festivals in Europe, it’s a well known fact. There’s always a great company there, picnic atmosphere till around 3pm and later on lots of great gigs until late night. Two or, if you’re really interested, even three days of great party in ska, rocksteady and reggae rythms. What more could you possibly want? I’ve been there many times and I’ve seen so many Jamaican legends at the Wasserburg castle, I think there’s no other place like that for me. What This Is Ska promoters prepared for this year? Here are my recommendations.

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New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble – Break Thru

NYSJE is kind of like a speeding train which races forward for 25 years now without any decelerations. Occasional exchange of passengers doesn’t have any serious impact on the general direction and definitely not on the great reputation of this ska-jazz torpedo. Last Saturday New Yorkers released “Break Thru”, their first studio longplay for eight years. Is there any break through here?

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Riverside Stomp XV

I’ve been at Riverside Stomp Festival only once and it was 12 years ago. That’s where I’ve seen Derrick Morgan for the first time and if only because of that I have very fond memories of this event. Mainz is not very close to Warsaw, so during all those years I haven’t been able to repeat my visit, but every year I observe line-ups offered by the promoters with true pleasure. This time it’s also interesting.

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Never Thought – Renaldo Domino, Lone Ranger and xRobBlack

We like this kind of premieres. Polish reggae producer xRobBlack sends his instrumental to an american label Happy As A Lark. Guys from Chicago say they need a strong soul vocal here and they recruit a legendary falsetto of Renaldo Domino for this project. To make things even more fun they add Lone Ranger’s toasting to the set. And that’s how “Never Thought” song and its alternative version „Think Again!” were born.

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The Aggrolites – Reggae Now!

There aren’t a lot of bands which had such a huge impact on contemporary reggae scene as The Aggrolites. You could say that their 2003 album “Dirty Reggae” was actually a new opening and started a whole wave of bands inspired by dirty funky early reggae sounds. Countless tours all over the world, five next releases and.. 8 years of break. Now they’re back and we’ll be able to judge the quality of this return on June 24th.

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Freedom Sounds Festival 2019

It’s only few days left till 7th edition of Freedom Sounds Festival. We’ve written many times that this is probably our favourite recurring event in ska, rocksteady and reggae rythms. Spring indoors festival in Cologne, Germany has definitely earned this name. We’ve been there three times already and each time it was simply perfect. The bar is set very high but this year’s lineup allows to expect new record results.

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The Uppertones – 3 on 1 EP vol. 2

The Uppertones is an italian trio with famous vocalist and trombonist Mr. T-Bone as a leader. As they are known for quite extensive touring, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard their mix of jamaican R’n’B, calypso, mento and ska. Besides all those gigs guys sometimes decide to visit the studio. Latest effects of that kind of activities are three songs released on a 45. Continue reading “The Uppertones – 3 on 1 EP vol. 2”

Freedom Sounds Christmas Ball #2

It was quite some time ago when Freedom Sounds advanced in my personal festivals ranking to the very top, pretty much number one actually. I’ve had a pleasure to visit Cologne in spring for three consecutive years and every single time I was amazed by perfect organisation and magnificent lineup. Now under “Freedom Sounds” banner Pete and his crew are making a second edition of christmas ball in ska, rocksteady and reggae rhytms, which is definitely one the most interesting propositions to spend good time during pre-Christmas period.

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Lollypop Lorry – Ural Station on air

In the middle of Russia, behind Ural mountains, actually almost on border between Europe and Asia, lays a fourth biggest city of the country, Yekaterinburg. Looking at its location, it’s not so hard to think out, that temperatures below 40 degrees Celsius below zero are nothing surprising to anyone there. But that’s exactly the place, where one of most meaningful russian bands playing music originating from sunny Jamaica was formed. I’m talking about Lollypop Lorry here, and there’s a very good reason to mention them right now. Yesterday they’ve released a brand new album titled “Ural Station”.

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