I was even looking more dull than usually when sat in a very normal cafe on the beach in Spain and I heared a coverversion from the american SKA band "The Toasters" on the radio about in the beginning nineteens. lt was the song "saca", copied by a Spanish band, called "Los Refrescos" which also had some funny selfmade creations like "aqui no hay playa".
Before I thought Spain was a desert as far as SKA is concerned. In deed it was and is on the contrary. While you can hear SKA in our quite cold Germany only in smal independent szene - pubs and - clubs, nearly all Spanish speaking countries are already infected by that Caribbean sound.
I asked some very normal looking people in Venezuela if they knew Desorden Público , a Venezuelan SKA band and they even sang their lastest (at that time...) song "El racismo es un enfermedad" (racism is a disease), from the album Plomo Revienta. They sing about the ridiculous proudnes on color of one's skins, background and race some people believe in and say that everybody (black, indians and white) should fight this "disease".
Among the first bands I know were apart from Desorden Público and Los Refrescos bands like Korroskada, Kortatu, Skatala(at that time Skatala was more a Oi! than a SKA-band) and Potato. Most bands you couldn't divide in pure SKA and pure Punk bands at that time.
One of the best bands was in my fiew Decibelios, a skinhead band which sang some Oi! and some SKA songs. In their words ofthe songs they were quite sociocritical and ironically. They sang for examle in the song "vacaciones en el prat" that on the beach of Barcelona there is only dirt instead of palmtrees and there is just radioactivity instead of growing lemons.
Like in all countries some people claimed they were right-wing extremists since it was a band with very short hair and they weren't very obviously on the left wing. These bastards insist that the backvocals in the song "soc un upstart" (album "caldo de pollo") shout "sieg heil" which is shit.
Of course if you want to hear something you hear it...
A further highlight is Kortatu(later: Negu Gorriak today: Fermin Muguruza ), a left-wing ETA sympathizing bask skinhead band which makes music between SKA and Punk as well. They are on lot's of international SKA compilations too. I just don`t like their ideas and the way they fight for an idea which ony a minority in Baskcountry support.
I was especially surprised when I heared Skatala recently. They used to sing some rough and bad taped Oi! albums like "fent d'aqui" and became a very good SKA band (for example the album "borinot borinot".
Neither SKA nor Punk, but a kind of Mariachi play "Kojon Prieto Y Los Huajolotes", on the most funny groups in Spain or better Navarra I've heared yet. Among others they copied the punk song "Txus" from La Polla Records and made a "Mexican" popular song out of it.
As far as I know they developed themself from a famous Spanish Punkband "Tijuana In Blue", which was already dresst up as Pirates and as Mexicans, to a Mariachi band with quite funny and radical words. I nearly died when I saw the fans from that Mariachi band on a field in the mittle of nowhere in Catalunya, Spain. There were all kinds of people like Rocker, Punks, Skinheads but normal ones...
At the new SKA-P album "Eurosis" there is a song that sounds a bit like Kojon Prieto Y Los Huajolotes. Maybe Kojon Prieto Y Los Huajolotes are trendsetters with their crazy sound. To mention more Spanish speaking Ska bands I want to notice El Pacto, Skabiosis, Septimo, Capitulo, Allanamiento, Licor Barato, Fauna Crepuscular (nearly all at the compilation "Venezuela SKA"; Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Los Calzones (Rotos) , Los Pericos and the Spanish Bands Malarians, Dr. Calypso, Skalariak and Los Discipulos.
is in Venezuela nearly a national cultural heritage. The sound of the lastest CD "The Ska Album" Ubersee Re (ALIVE) (18. Juli 2005) Audio CD , is a mixture out of SKA, latino-sound and Punkrock, which became a brilliant blend. The first LP, which led to a SKA boom in latin amerika made a kind of cult out of Desorden Público. Recently they rerecorded and remixed a new album with old songs.