Various artists album review
Welcome To Beatville
CRS/Beatville Records
24 - 10 - 1999

Tracking list

  1. The Robustos - No Strangers Here
  2. Freetown - Skaffic Jam
  3. The Gangsters - Girl On The Run
  4. Steady Ernest - Scrumpy
  5. Yard Beat - Wild Honey
  6. Bim Skala Bim - Three Legend Dub
  7. Dave & Ansel Collins - That Girl
  8. Tommy McCook & The Super Sonic - West Street Special
  9. Eastern Standard Time - On The Trail
  10. Rocket 350 - Bad Baby
  11. The Robustos - Purse String Blues
  12. The Graduates - March Of The Drink
  13. Steady Ernest - Higher Power
  14. Rocket 350 - Baby Stop
  15. Bim Skala Bim - Murky Water
  16. Freetown - The Funnyman
  17. The Graduates - Somewhere In Between
  18. The Gangsters - Lead Your Own Life (Extended Version)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4

Beatville Records was founded in late 1997 by RAS Records. The focus was to branche off into other territories and present music such as ska, swing, rockabilly, classic reissues, and retro-authentic genres of music. This sample is a taste of where the label has been. So far they have released some 11 records, including two reissues of classic Jamaican albums by Dave & Ansel Collins and Tommy McCook.
Eastern Standard Time, present here with two tracks, brings together a mix of sizties jazz and rootsy reggae. One of the best know American ska bands, Bim Skala Bim, delivers an energetic style of ska. Check out the album 'The One That Got Away' ! Straight from Dublin, Ireland, comes the band The Gangsters. In a similar vein of Madness and the Specials they sound quite modern, yet still retain the true riddims of rocksteady and ska. Check out the album 'A New Beginning'.
The seven piece swing/ska band from Texas, The Graduates, delivers a 50s styled sound, which can be heard on their album 'Up In Downtown'. One of the label's finest releases has to be the Tommmy McCook album 'Top Secret'. This original Winston Riley produced classic showcases the late Skatalites frontman in pure and raw genius form. The Robustos are a band who have molded their sound by incorporating jazz, soul and pop music into their vast palette of Jamaican riddims. Two tracks of their album 'The New Authentic' are present on this compilation. Steady Ernest performs Scrumpy and Higher Power, two excellent tracks. They throw bits of ska, reggae, rocksteady and soul into their musical pot, and emerge with a cohesive and energetic sound.
Although not all tracks present here will appeal to reggae fans, it's very enjoyable sampler !

Teacher & Mr. T.