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Traditional Ska of the 90s: A Special Musical Tribute

As the year 2000 welcomed a new decade it also ushered in the end of an immensely popular Third Wave Ska movement. The journey was fun for many; some fans ordered CDs from Moon Ska records via mail to enjoy, while others wrote, printed, stapled and mailed magazines reviewing these very same records, and many still, like myself, played in ska  bands – either way, this gave fans a positive sense of unity and participation in the movement. Third Wave Ska bands  introduced many of their listeners to authentic Jamaican sounds from The Skatalites, Laurel Aitken, Desmond Dekker, and many others. Personally, my band mates and I played a lot of Justin Hinds and the Dominoes before band practices in Florida, where a Traditional Ska scene was lively and thriving. A band is, of course, considered Traditional Ska when it sticks to the original Jamaican formula as close as possible in its sound. The Slackers, for example, went as far as actually recording in Jamaica. Like many other Traditional Ska fans, we went off to college in 2000 only to wonder if a new Fourth Wave of Ska would take place in American culture. If you are reading this, you’ve probably asked yourself this same question.  

It is now twenty one years later, and a Fourth Wave of Ska in the US is not quite visible on the horizon. There is an argument to be made that music trends run in cycles and that Ska is heading for a comeback; we have seen this with other genres. Whether a Fourth Wave of Ska will ever materialize remains to be seen. However, there are some fantastic bands right now keeping the Punk Ska sound fresh and alive, who can all be easily find online today. As a matter of fact, the genre is even thriving on TikTok, where the viral hero Skatune Network continues to publish new music. Spotify is also an excellent resource for this genre. I highly recommend you checkout The Skints, Bad Operation, Catbite, Call Me Malcolm, and Bite Me Bambi on Spotify if you haven’t.

Watching this new generation of young  musicians keeping Ska alive is nothing short of exciting.  

The Ska you listened to back in the day is still alive and well. The genre is being mixed with new styles and innovative production. This generation is picking up where Third Wave Ska left off in 2000. This inspired me to create for you a short mix using only vinyl records as a tribute to the  Traditional Ska of that era. This was the era of Hepcat, The Slackers, Stubborn Allstars, Dr. Ring Ding, and others that helped keep the Jamaican sound alive, as alive as the new Punk Ska bands are keeping it today.  

– Mauricio Godoy 


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Mauricio “Mo” Godoy hails from Miami, Florida where he was first introduced to the Jamaican culture he loves. Having moved to Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago, Mauricio uses his personal vinyl collection on the "Reggae Reads" podcast to spread this beautiful music across the globe. You can send him a tweet @MauricioSWG, where he loves to talk about new books and music.

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