23 April 2015
Among the figures that will make up the line-up this year is Prince Fatty, who will share the stage with Winston Francis on Thursday the 20th of August. Born in Kingston in 1948, Winston Francis was part of Carlos Malcolm’s Afro Jamaicans band, with whom he toured America and the Carribean in the 60s. He was also a member of legendary groups like The Sheridans and The Mellotones, and at the end of the 60s recorded his first solo album ‘Mr. Fix-It’ for Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd’s legendary Studio One. After a meteoric career including collaborations with legends like Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, began a fruitful tour of the UK, laying the foundation for his European following.
As for Prince Fatty, for fans of reggae he is undoubtedly one of the pioneers of the post-internet generation. His innovative way of working with old-school reggae, soul and Latin rhythms has given his work a unique and distinctive style that has made him very popular on the international circuits.
Among the masters also in the line-up for this year is the British Andy Smith. He was the first to release an album of multi-genre sessions in a multinational company. His first instalment of the hit series The Document was released in 1998 and became the sound of a generation. Since then his collaborations have continued, always on different musical fronts. This has earned him recognition and prestige on the international scene. In his career he has also had noteworthy collaborations such as on the first two albums of Portishead.
The Japanese Masa (Rock-A-Shaka) gives an exotic touch to the line-up. His label Drum and Bass became known in Osaka for releasing previous nreleased, rare materials from big names such as Prince Buster, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Alton Ellis and Sonia Pottinger, to name but a few. He will be at Rototom Sunsplash on Saturday the 15th of August accompanied by his regular collaborator, DJ Ash, who we can be sure has prepared something special for the occasion.
Another two of the greatest exponents of the British tradition who will also be at this years Rototom are the selector Earl Gateshead, known for his long activity in many clubs in London and a vast record collection ranging from Jamaican rhythm & blues to current tunes; and Natty Bo, singer of the great Top Cats, one of the best ska groups in Britain, known internationally for their combination of traditional Jamaican music with Cuban culture. Both will be on stage on the 16th and 18th of August.
The Tighten Up Crew (UK), with the ‘selector’ Mistah Brown and Tim P plus Champian on the michrophone; and Wassie One, who among other achievements has brought sound system culture back to the frontline in south London, will also be at the Ska Club this year on Saturday the 22nd and Friday the 21st respectively.
The close and fluid link between Spain and ska is demonstrated once again at this years festival. So far, of the 21 confirmed performances, nine are from Spain.
We have Oldies But Rudies (Thursday 20), the sound system from Madrid formed by Dolfo and Rude-Yorch. As avid collectors, they specialise in Jamaican music from the end of the 60s and start of the 70s. In their sessions they blend ska, rocksteady and reggae songs with their own songs sung over instrumental versions of the originals, in the spirit of the first sound systems. JahMaik & Friends (Saturday 22) and Lord Toaster (Friday 21), a habitual collaborator with Rototom Sunsplash and lover of black music in all its forms, are two more of the names being added to the Ska Club line-up. The Valencians Scorching Dynamite Sound, who on the decks bring together the most explosive ska, rocksteady, early reggae from the first Jamaican sound systems and rhythm’n’blues like nobody else will be at the Ska Club on Saturday the 15th.
Los Primos del Ska, also from Valencia, will perform on Saturday the 21st, while the Castilian Vinaròs Tropical Crew, noted for their passion for both black music and the most classic Jamaican sound systems, will be on the stage on Sunday the 16th and Wednesday 19th. The Catalonians Blackup (Monday 17) and Gramola Tapiola (Wednesday 19), and Charlie Mondadientes (Saturday 15), who boasts a lot of experience on the decks combining the best of soul and funk with Jamaican music, are the rest of the acts completing the Ska Club line-up for this year.