Various Artists

Version City [Stubborn]

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On this compilation, several ska artists collaborate to map the earliest sounds of the style's movement. There is no shortage of ska albums to date, but Version City is an exemplary one. Tracks such as "Motel Room" by Lord Sluggo and "Cocaine" by Lord Sluggo and the Demanders are two cuts in a block of lo-fi, steadily rocking tracks; the two send shivers down one's spine, urging one to play them over and over. Further along in this well-ordered collection is a sub-tropical jubilance from Ua Hele Kakou, Crazy Baldhead, and Gravity as the island and two-tone sounds mix. Also included is a reverb-laden worldbeat/reggae dub from Mutiny, a smoking and horn-fueled "Midnight Version" from Selika with Django. This is an excellent and easy-flowing look at the root sounds of this reggae subgenre and the course of its development.

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