DiscoverOngoing History of New MusicThe Post-Punk Explosion Part 6: Ska
The Post-Punk Explosion Part 6: Ska

The Post-Punk Explosion Part 6: Ska

Update: 2021-04-14


Every once in a while, music enters a state of flux where the direction of everything is, shall we say, undefined…we see and hear change but we’re not quite sure what it all means just yet…something is coming—but what?...

All bets are off, the rulebook has been declared invalid, and everyone is off doing their own thing…

I’ll give you an example…in mid-to-late 1950s Britain, popular music was evolving and mutating very quickly…in the midst of imported American rock’n’roll records, the skiffle craze, and various flavours of folk music, some young people rejected contemporary sounds in favour of something known as “trad jazz”…

This was a revival of something close to Dixieland jazz from New Orleans, which emerged around the same time as world war 1…that meant music made with trumpets, the trombone, clarinet, the banjo, upright bass, and drums…the new acts mined the more pure, more authentic sounds of the past, hoping to be inspired again…

And for a while, it worked…trad jazz was a thing until sometime in the 60s…everyone from pop songs to nursery rhymes were fair game for trad jazz arrangements…

I’ll give you another example—and it’s tangentially related to British trad jazz…it also has its roots in Dixieland but took a detour through the Caribbean before appearing in central Britain at the end of the 1970s…

That was also a time when the direction of music seemed undefined…on the bright side, it also meant that nothing was off-limits or out of bounds…it was the post-punk era…popular music had been shaken up by punk so much that people were more willing than ever to find new paths…

This is part 6 of the post-punk explosion…it’s the time of Ska…

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Comments (1)

gary fowler

no mention of Toots Hibbert. wow.

Apr 18th








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The Post-Punk Explosion Part 6: Ska

The Post-Punk Explosion Part 6: Ska