The Bakesys: Studio Selections – 1991-1995
Do the Dog Music, 2017
It was a real treat to find The Bakesys’ Studio Selections retrospective on my doormat: this charming little comp is a perfect peek into the third wave ska scene that exploded across the underground in the late 1980s.
If you were part of that, or you’ve grown up with it since, it’s a lovely little time capsule from a moment just before horn sections took over from two-tone. If this is new to you, but you’re into 2-tone and third wave ska, you’ll love this straight away anyway.
Studio Selections 1991 – 1995 is sixteen instantly infections little tracks packed with catchy, rat-a-tat snare drums, skanking-friendly upstrokes, and sumptuous reggae keyboard melodies that just get you going: it’s a neat little tribute to all the best bits of the era of the Police, the Selecter and the Busters. It’s a set of really tight little songs, with cheeky little solos and breakdowns that are just itching to get out – the guitar line in Animated Violence and the sax in Grass is Greener are great in their own right, and on this disc they’ll wind your skanking feet up so they’re set to stomp all over the scorching bass lines when they crash back in. It’s a classic trick, and it’s done just right. Its surely spot on the dance floor just like it is on record.
That’s really what this disc is about: party-ready, skanking party third wave ska that’s made for your feet as much as your ears. If you’re into ska, you’ll get it straight away, even if you missed it the first time around. It’s the sort of live show you could end up in off the street by accident, and just find yourself getting it, and getting down to it, straight away, for all the right reasons: natty little rhythms loaded with upstrokes, with riffs, rammed full of melody and packed with a cheeky sort of social commentary that’s more relevant today than, in all honesty, it probably should be. Even so, it’s impossible to be unhappy around this disc: it gets going straight away, and it doesn’t stop until it’s finished.