FOR something off beat, the successor to Skazz’s 2001 album, Welcome to Civilisation is hard to beat. Its upbeat Jamaican-style jazz is so irresistible indie ska label Megalith plans to sell these albums in Europe and the US.
Skazz grew out of informal performances by friends at parties. The new line-up has eight musicians including David Joseph on drums and percussion, Michael Havir on keyboards, Kynan Robinson on trombone, Cam Robbins on tenor sax and clarinet and Peter Knight on trumpet.
Skazz — “ska with class, jazz with arse” — combines the driving skank dance beat with “a bit of latin, a touch of dixie, a dash of spaghetti western, a smidge of dub, a pinch of Middle Eastern and more”. It’s light and lively, with lots of delay and reverb and great fun. High-spirited opening High in the Hills sets the scene for a dance floor that could sport Sergio Leone’s gunslingers or a cigar-smoking Hammond organ player.
In short: A toe-tapping mix so eclectic it’s electric.