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Japanese ska is ska music made in Japan. It is, along with its counterparts elsewhere in the world, part of what has been called the "third wave of ska [that] combines the traditional Jamaican Club sound with metal, punk, folk, funk, and/or country."
Having been formed in the 1980s and enjoying international success (including extensive touring in the United States and Europe), the group Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra is arguably the original and best-known Japanese ska ensemble.
175R, Beat Crusaders, The Boom, Kemuri, Kojima, Lisa, Mongol800, Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re, Shaka Labbits, Gelugugu, Potshot, Yum!Yum!Orange, Yukihiro Takahashi, Ska Ska Club, Kasutera and Oreskaband are other Japanese artists that have performed ska (though not all exclusively).
Japan has had a proliferation of album-making ska bands. Besides those mentioned elsewhere in this article, one source lists the Clippers, Coke Head Hipsters, the Drops, Duck Missile, Fruity, Gelugugu, La Ppisch, Life Bal, Mustang AKA, Nicotine, Oi-Skall Mates, Piala, Rude Bones, Shoulder Hopper, Scafull King, Skatroits, Sprocket Wheel, Dallax, The Rollings, Step by Step, Sk@ymate's, Skapontas, Tropical Gorilla, midnightPumpkin, SPYZZ,and Young Punch.
According to one music critic, Japanese ska "music translates well, as they have fully embraced the Western horned-based ska idiom".Another remarks "from traditional ska to ska-punk, Japan has a thriving scene that is ready to invade America.
A source at MIT describes:
Although far less popular than J-pop, J-rock (Japanese rock), or electronica, ska music has a definite presence in Japan. Emerging about a decade ago with forerunner bands Ska-Flames and Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, the Japanese ska scene saw a huge popular surge in 1997 (mirroring the burst of popularity in the United States) which quickly died out. However, many Japanese ska bands continue to persist despite a lack of mainstream support. The Determinations, The Side Burns, and Blue Beat Players are Japanese ska bands popular among fans of the genre.
In Japan, both Japanese and traditional Jamaican ska enjoy some popularity. An article in Jamaica Observer quoted a Japanese music seller as saying:
Ska is very big in Japan and we have about five Japanese ska bands in my city. We just had Prince Buster performing there [...] Japanese people love Ska [...] in fact, they love every period of music from Jamaica.
A Japanese pop authority remarked that some see:
...similarities between the highly stylized "skanking" dance style associated with ska music and Japanese "bon odori" festival dances. (Ska music and ska-punk have long been favorites in Japan, and today there are countless Japanese ska and ska-punk bands.) And reggae’s syncopated rhythms are echoed in the rhythm of Okinawan music -- so much so that Okinawa music is sometimes called "Japanese reggae."
Although the Japanese ska scene is centered in Tokyo there are ska venues elsewhere in Japan, even in smaller cities such as Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture.
While some sources (such as one of the quotes above) discern Japanese ska from Japanese pop, other sources lump them together. While this classification is contrary to the fact that ska and punk music are rarely, if ever, classified as pop music in most of the world, it is congruous with the practice of considering Japanese pop to encompass other genres which are often regarded as separate from pop music in the United States and Europe, among them rock, urban and electronic dance music.
The consideration of Japanese ska as a subgenre of Japanese pop may be due, at least in part, to bands typically considered ska releasing songs with a definite pop music sound. Sometimes, this genre-spanning occurs within a single song. For example, Snail Ramp (a "typical ska punk" band from Tokyo) has a song called "Hotaru no Hikari" featuring Air. For the most part, this is a ska punk version of "Auld Lang Syne" with Japanese lyrics. Sections of the song, however, divert from this musical form and instead have a sound akin to boy band music.
According to the filing scheme used at Tower Records in Tokyo, all Japanese ska is classified as hardcore, even that with the laid-back sound that typifies early Jamaican ska music from the early 1960s.
Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay" was the first popular song to use the word "reggae", effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political commentary. It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat and the offbeat rhythm section. The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.
Ska is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. It combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. Ska is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the off beat. It was developed in Jamaica in the 1960s when Stranger Cole, Prince Buster, Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, and Duke Reid formed sound systems to play American rhythm and blues and then began recording their own songs. In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant music genre of Jamaica and was popular with British mods and with many skinheads.
The music of Japan includes a wide array of distinct genres, both traditional and modern. The word for "music" in Japanese is 音楽 (ongaku), combining the kanji 音 on (sound) with the kanji 楽 gaku (enjoy). Japan is the largest market for music on physical media in the world, worth US$2 billion in 2014, and the second-largest overall music market, with a retail value of US$2.6 billion in 2014. The market is dominated by Japanese artists, with 37 of the top 50 best-selling albums and 49 of the top 50 best-selling singles in 2014.
The music of Jamaica includes Jamaican folk music and many popular genres, such as mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub music, dancehall, reggae fusion and related styles.
Dub is a genre of electronic music that grew out of reggae in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. The style consists predominantly of partly or completely instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually through the removal of some or all of the vocals, emphasis of the rhythm section, the application of studio effects such as echo and reverb, and the occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works. It was an early form of popular electronic music.
Ska punk is a fusion genre that mixes ska music and punk rock music together. Ska-core is a subgenre of ska punk that mixes ska with hardcore punk. Early ska punk mixed both 2 Tone and ska with hardcore punk. Ska punk tends to feature brass instruments, especially horns such as trumpets, trombones and woodwind instruments like saxophones, making the genre distinct from other forms of punk rock. It is closely tied to third wave ska which reached its zenith in the mid 1990s.
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, commonly abbreviated by fans as Skapara or TSPO, is a Japanese ska and jazz band formed in 1988 by the percussionist Asa-Chang, and initially composed of over 10 veterans of Tokyo's underground scene. At the time, the band's sound was unlike that of any of its contemporaries in the then fledgling Japanese ska scene, and over the course of the past 31 years, they have been influential on Japanese music as a whole. Its sound, the product of the musical influences of its members, is a mix of traditional ska, jazz, and rock. In the vein of many other more traditional ska acts, many of Skapara's songs are purely instrumental.
Rude boy, rudeboy, rudie, rudi, and rudy are slang terms that originated in 1960s Jamaican street culture, and that are still used today. In the late 1970s, there was a revival in England of the terms rude boy and rude girl, among other variations, being used to describe fans of two-tone ska. The use of these terms moved into the more contemporary ska punk movement as well. In the UK, the terms rude boy and rude girl are used in a way similar to gangsta, yardie or badman.
Latin rock is a term to describe a subgenre blending traditional sounds and elements of Latin American and Caribbean folk with rock music. However, it is widely used in the English-language media to refer any kind of rock music featuring Spanish or Portuguese vocals. This has led to controversy about the scope of the terminology.
There are several subgenres of reggae music including various predecessors to the form.
People of African descent from the Caribbean have made significant contributions to British Black music for many generations.
Ska jazz is a music genre derived by fusing the melodic content of jazz with the rhythmic and harmonic content of early Jamaican Music introduced by the "Fathers of Ska" in the late 1950s. The ska-jazz movement began during the 1990s in New York and London, where pioneering avant-garde jazz and reggae musicians pushed the boundaries of reggae music. They were combining traditions with modern tendencies, using the reggae beat along with high improvisation and jazz harmonies, primarily by horns and percussion.
Skank may refer to:
Chamber pop is a style of rock music characterized by an emphasis on melody and texture, the intricate use of strings, horns, piano, and vocal harmonies, and other components drawn from the orchestral and lounge pop of the 1960s. Artists such as Burt Bacharach and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson were formative acts during the genre's original wave in the 1960s.
Japanese reggae is reggae music originating from Japan. The first reggae band to perform in Japan was The Pioneers who toured in 1975. However it was not until 1979, when Jamaican singer Bob Marley visited Japan on holiday that reggae would gain momentum. Marley wanted to attend a concert by the Flower Travellin Band and when looking for information, he met famed Japanese percussionist "Pecker" who informed him that the group had already disbanded. The two became good friends, and Pecker suggested to Marley a collaboration between acclaimed Japanese and Jamaican artists. This suggestion resulted in the albums Pecker Power, and Instant Rasta being recorded in Jamaica at "Channel One" and "Tuff Gong Studio" in 1980. The albums featured Japanese artists Minako Yoshida (吉田美奈子), Ryuuichi Sakamoto (坂本龍一), Naoya Matsuoka (松岡直也), Shigeharu Mukai (向井滋春), and Akira Sakata (坂田明), alongside Jamaican artists Augustus Pablo, Sly & Robbie, The Wailers, Rico Rodriguez, Carlton Barrett and Marcia Griffiths. These two albums influenced both Japanese and Jamaican artists, and are regarded as spreading reggae to Japan.
Potshot was a Japanese J-ska music group from Japan. They released their records on their own label, TV Freak, in Japan. Their first five albums were re-released by Asian Man Records, an American label well known for signing Asian punk-pop bands. Their final album, Potshot Beat Goes On, was released in May 2005. Potshot disbanded in 2005, playing a final show in Tokyo.
Reggae fusion is a genre of reggae that mixes reggae or dancehall with other genres, such as pop, hip-hop, rock, R&B, jazz and drum and bass.
Los Furios is a nine-piece band from Vancouver, British Columbia which has performed across Western Canada since 2000. Los Furios began adding horns to the line-up in 2001 and have been evolving their blend of punk, ska, and reggae ever since.
The Skints are an English reggae punk band from London, described by Clash Music as “the torchbearers for modern British reggae music.” The Skints mix reggae, ska, dub, punk rock, dancehall, soul, and rap, touring extensively across the UK, Europe and the United States. Their album Swimming Lessons (2019) debuted at number 1 on the Billboard reggae chart. Their original style of music has been described as "tropical punk".
Kingston Rudieska(킹스턴 루디스카) is a nine-piece South Korean ska band formed in 2004. Their sound is mainly influenced by first-wave Jamaican ska, as well as other Caribbean genres including reggae and calypso music. They are heavily influenced by the Skatalites and frequently perform Skatalites covers. Many of the members are jazz musicians, and their sound is heavily influenced by ska jazz, with band members frequently performing solos during performances.