Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Ska'n Seoul EP
Dr. Ring Ding & Kingston Rudieska
Rudie System / Mirrorball Music
Digital Release
November 11, 2016

Track list
  1. Johnny Come Home
  2. Discovery Of Life
  3. Your Sweet Kiss
  4. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  5. Johnny Come Home (Worried Dub)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Münsteraner ska, reggae and dancehall don Richard A. Jung a.k.a. Dr. Ring Ding began his professional career in 1987 playing trombone with El Bosso & Die Ping Pongs, one of Germany’s most famous ska bands. His experience in El Bosso led to his life long love for Jamaican music. By early 1993 he had formed his very own band, Dr. Ring Ding & The Senior Allstars, and over the next ten years they would release five albums, numerous singles, and two excellent albums backing legendary Jamaican vocalists Doreen Schaffer and Lord Tanamo. American releases on Moon Ska and Jump Up! helped solidify his fan base in the United States, and soon Dr. Ring Ding was enjoying a worldwide audience for his snappy vocal style and tremendous musicianship. Dr. Ring Ding is not only a popular live performer, he is a studio musician, arranger and producer in many different music genres such as swing, rhythm & blues, hip hop, rumba and punk, but, above all, in reggae, dancehall and ska.

Several years ago a friend of him introduced Dr. Ring Ding to the music of South Korea's brilliant Kingston Rudieska. Their way of playing his favorite music - traditional ska with twists of jazz, swing and poppy easy listening - amazed and enchanted him. He followed their career already after that when he met Kingston Rudieska in 2013, visiting Korea with the Dr. Ring Ding Ska-Vaganza and quickly the decision to have a recording session had been taken. The result is this superb EP "Ska'n Seoul", kicking off with a splendid smooth jazzified ska version of "Johnny Come Home", the Fine Young Cannibals 1985 scorcher. The Fine Young Cannibals being an outfit of former ska musicians too, with former (English) Beat members Andy Cox and David Steele responsible for the lyrics whereas the original music has been written by Roland Gift, tenor saxophonist turned singer and frontman of the Akrylykz (the band featured on Desmond Dekker's "Black & Dekker" 1980 album released by Stiff Records) are being paid tribute her in very fine style.

Next up is a Korean version of a Dr. Ring Ding & the Senior All Stars classic, here retitled "Discovery Of Life / Saeng Hwaleu Balgyan", originally recorded as "Bad Company" for their 1997 album "Ram Di Dance". Very well sung in Korean by Kingston Rudieska lead-vocalist Sugar Suk Yuel and Dr. Ring Ding adding a great dancehall ride of the riddim for his verse to it. "Your Sweet Kiss" is another Dr. Ring Ding original, penned especially for this record, a wonderful final (definite) farewell to the one he loves about the only thing he'd miss over a horn-driven ska backing. The intro of the traditional 19th century negro-spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot - these days probably best known as the official anthem of the England Rugby Union - is in true call & response preacher style, before seguing into a hot rocksteady tune with jazzy organ eventually culminating in a ska-funk-gospel-spiritual, with Dr. Ring Ding even doing a dancehall rap over the fast ska rhythm, truly making this a unique cover of this classic.

The EP closes with an excellent dub of its opener "Johnny Come Home (Worried Dub)" that shows Dr. Ring Ding's strangely enough heavily underrated skills as an engineer and producer. It's the perfect way to leave you wanting for more, after this must have "Ska'n Seoul EP" by Dr. Ring Ding & Kingston Rudieska comes to its end. Essential, not just for lovers of traditional ska!