You'll find a cornucopia of tasty tunes to bounce off your eardrums. I update with new tunes, art and photography every week, depending on what I'm doing and listening to at the time, old and new. I'm based in London UK but I love to travel and discovery new music along the way and share my musical journey on neoloop.
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Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?
In 1981, Britain was in a state of crisis: the government was as unpopular as any since the war, unemployment was rampant and riots were breaking out across the country. Into this turbulent mix, The Specials released their doom-laden, highly political single, Ghost Town.
Britain's streets ignited. Between 3 and 11 July, serious rioting broke out across the country at Handsworth in Birmingham, Toxteth in Liverpool, Southall in London, and Moss Side in Manchester, while Bedford, Bristol, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Halifax, Leeds, Leicester, Southampton and Wolverhampton all witnessed unrest.
By the evening of 10 July, Ghost Town was a number one single.
With a mix of black and white members, The Specials, too, encapsulated Britain's burgeoning multiculturalism. The band's 2 Tone record label gave its name to a genre which fused ska, reggae and new wave and, in turn, inspired a crisply attired youth movement. Rude boys.
Now this landmark song is 30 years old this week, and although the current political landscape has changed the message is still the same. A True Classic, enjoy the full 12" version here.
Kick start any party with this Balkan skanker, with added Flat Eric rubs and swirling sirens. Add your own air horns for maximum effect. Taken from Balkan Beat Box's remix album Nu Made which sees new remixes of their Nu Med album. Stefano Miele speeds up the original and add more electronic effects and skanks it right up! Banging!
Like This? Try: Shantel, Mahala Rai Banda
Superb skanking tune, from Guts new album Freedom.
After seeing the Specials live again this week, I've been listening to a lot of Specials. This tune hasn't featured in their new live sets, which is a shame as it's one my top fives! Way ahead of it's time I think.
The original track from Miike Snow's debut album is real stand out tune and one of the top 20 of the year so far. There have been many remixes of this track but Mark Ronson gives it a complete make over and takes to the tune in to an entirely different direction. A light ska beat, a wonky organ and Ronson's signature brass is superb. (There are a few versions of this mix on various blogs which has a bit Lady Ga Ga overlapping the end, but this is the complete version).
DISKO, DISKO PARTIZANI!
Balkan brass, accordions and a ska skanking beat. Keeping on the balkan tip, this one gets your toes tapping. The rest of Shantels latest album is all quality balkan brass band music. I have a few versions of this old tune, Shantel brings it back up to date without losing the energy of the original standard.
He's a German DJ who brought the rousing brassy gypsy music of eastern Europe to a new audience by mixing it with electronic beats. New album is out now - Planet Paprika.
SKA for a sunny day... The legendary Prince Buster! - Original SKA from 1967
A true pioneer of the Ska sound, Cecil Bustamente Campbell, O.D. (born May 28, 1938), better known as Prince Buster and less known by his muslim name Muhammed Yusef Ali, is a musician from Kingston, Jamaica and regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of ska and rocksteady music. The records he made on the Blue Beat label in the 1960s inspired many reggae and ska artists. Prince Buster had two hit singles in the UK. "Al Capone" (#18, 1967) and with an updated version of "Whine And Grine"
This track was covered by The Specials, adding their own lyrics.
Buy it - Amazon
The Specials are and always will be the greatest band ever for me.
Following the last blog entry of Terry Hall's collaboration with Mushtaq it only seams right to follow the loop with a Specials track. Doesn't Make It Alright - is from their debut album The Specials.
The Specials had the perfect combination of fucking great tunes, impeccable style and attitude, they are just as important to the Ska revival as what the Sex Pistols were to punk and the Clash were to bring Reggae to a punk generation. The Specials first toured the UK in support to the Clash back in 1979. I was ten went I first heard the Specials debut album on a tatty old record player I shared with my older brother. By default my brother always used to introduce me to latest tunes during the late 70s and early 80s - Fellow 2 Tone acts Madness and the Selector were also skanking on the stereo along with The Beat and Bad Manners. The Specials started it all, the great Ska revival as it was dubbed at the time covering old 60s Jamaican Ska which was irresistible for those who founds punks sartorial alienation just that bit too alienating. After two amazing albums and various EPs The Specials spit in 1981 following their crowning moment when Ghost Town was at number one in the UK charts during the run-up to the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
Now 30 years later their music is still relevant, the landscape has changed but the message is still the same. If you don't own a copy of the Specials (1st Album) and More Specials albums, buy them quick, become a convert and make out you've loved them all along!