New York Beat
Breaking and Entering Vol. 2 (Moon Ska)
by Margo Tiffen
One of the first things Moon Ska NYC did when they were up and running was to release the first U.S. ska compilation ever. The compilation NY Beat: Hit & Run was released in 1985. It’s over ten years later and the ska scene is exploding all over the U.S., and it’s about damn time they came out with a sequel. New Yawk ska is some of the best ska on Earth and this collection is more than comprehensive. Featuring 21 bands and including tracks by the NY Ska Jazz Ensemble, Skinnerbox, Metro Stylee, Mephiskapheles, Pilfers, Slackers, NYC Ska Mob, Toasters, the Stubborn All Stars, yeah, yeah, yeah… The NY ska scene is a very communal, evolving scene in which members of various bands constantly perform together, cut tracks together, form supergroup side projects and even swap spots in bands. This compilation captures the heart of NY ska, a mess of styles and influences from traditional, jazz, rocksteady, new skool, to reworkings of songs like “Skinhead Train” and “2Tone Army.” Each band offers up their favorite NYC quote to accompany their track… my favorite… “Any normal American English phrase immediately followed by ‘n shit’.” Hell yeah.