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Moisty Atsushi - Speedo EP Review

09 Oct 2012 // A review by Peter-James Dries

With the passionately played old-school, First Wave Ska and the creatively designed cover of red, green and gold, you’d be forgiven for thinking Moisty Atsushi was leading a reggae band.  I mean, most people aren’t aware that Ska preceded Reggae and not the other way around.

This is the Ska your mum listened to in the 60s.  Ska was cool for a different reason back then.  It wasn’t just a tool of rebellion against the establishment and your parents, who were only affected by it because their angsty 90s teens were beating a once great genre to death.

This is Ska, just not as my generation knew it.  It’s more mellow.  More chilled.  Less ego driven.  The band are performing as a band, meshing together to make music instead of competing.

I’m more used to the energetic caffeine-amped pop-ska from the 90s.  The kind popularised by American college students in movies and bands like Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and perennial favourites Sublime and No Doubt.

This album doesn’t sound American, or pop, like those Third Wave Ska bands I knew.  It sounds authentically Jamaican; reggae and rocksteady, peace and the herb.  The guitar licks are bluesy, the keyboard is jazzy and the sultry sax is an uplifting lead instrument, not just a rhythm keeping device.

Speedo is a good easy listen on this unseasonably hot day here in Palmy.  I suggest listening to “Sound of the Ska” and “Kingsland the Great”, the tracks performed with the Mini Moisties, before reading up how old the Mini Moisties actually are.  I must say they perform amazingly well for their age.

 

About Moisty Atsushi

Atsushi Ukito, aka "Moisty Atsushi" emigrated to New Zealand in 1999 from Japan. That year he joined Auckland ska band Risto Rockers as guitarist and songwriter. Later that year he joined local ska/punk band Skivvy, on trumpet and back-up vocals. Atsushi toured New Zealand with both bands, as well as playing countless local gigs. In 1999 the Risto Rockers also played as support for American pop/ska/punk band Less Than Jake. In 2001 Skivvy released their debut EP While Stock Lasts, with Puppy Killer Records releasing the compilation The Pick of the Litter (featuring the Risto Rockers) later that year. Meanwhile Atsushi continued to write and record his own tunes.

With a near-obsessive passion for 1960s Jamaican ska and rocksteady music, Atsushi started a solo project in 2003, evolving it by 2007 into popular Auckland ska/reggae band Atsushi and The Moisties. Under his leadership, the band looked to recreate the sound of early Jamaican ska, releasing their Sound of the Ska EP in 2008, and sold-out vinyl 7" Kingsland the Great in 2010. Atsushi and The Moisties have performed at countless shows and festivals around the country, alongside both local and international acts. As part of his high-energy stage act with The Moisties, Atsushi dons animal costumes on-stage, a unique performance aspect the band is renowned for.

During 2010 and 2011 Atsushi has promoted events for, toured with, and performed alongside Chris Murray (USA), DJ Mossman (Canada - Musical Director of Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae), and Stranger Cole (Jamaica). Travelling to South America last year, he performed with several Moisties members in Brazil, and recorded with Daniel from Satellite Kingston (based in Buenos Aires, Argentina). He has also recently toured as Auckland-based artist Miho Wada's lead guitarist and helped coordinate her 2010 World Tour. While touring France in 2010 he recorded In Bed during the Riot: Live in France with Miho Wada.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Moisty Atsushi

Releases

Speedo
Year: 2012
Type: EP

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