Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Ska Beats, Vol. 1 [ROIR, 1990]
So here we are "in the age of sample," and who should come diddybopping out of hip house but Prince Buster and the Skatalites? Evoking history without quoting it on any but the most obvious or abstract levels, the upstart mixers and rappers who mastermind the permutation make the old-timers sound livelier and more righteous than the dancehall competition. Is it pride in a black tradition untainted by the U.S.A. that keeps Brits coming back to ska, or just the all-purpose quickstep of the beat? Irrepressible either way. A-