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Throughout out its 50 year tenure, several record labels have emerged that specifically release ska music. These record labels have been vitally important in the proliferation of ska, often signing and releasing albums for bands that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Collected here is a list of some of the most important ska record labels that can be found in the ML/BSSA’s collection.
Asian Man Records
Founded by Mike Park (of Skankin’ Pickle and the Bruce Lee Band) in 1996, Asian Man Records is a small independent label run out of a garage in Northern California. This humble do-it-yourself label has released albums by many of ska’s top acts, including Less Than Jake, Five Iron Frenzy, and Mu330.
The label also supports and fosters international ska musicians. Asian Man Records has released albums by the Japanese ska sensation, Potshot and the Norwegian band, No Torso.
Blue Beat Records
Blue Beat records was a vitally important English record label in the 1960s. The label specialized in the distribution of Jamaican popular music and introduced Britain to Jamaican ska.
In 1989, Buster Bloodvessel (of Bad Manners) revived the album and used it to distribute his band’s recordings.
Founded by Jerry Dammers in 1979 (of the Specials), 2-Tone records was the most prolific record label of the English ska revival, the movement was even named after the label. Several important Two-Two bands released albums on this label, including the Specials, the Selecter, and Rico Rodriguez.
Moon Ska Records
Founded by Robert "Bucket" Hingley (of the Toasters) in 1983, Moon Ska Records was one of the most influential American ska record labels in the 1980s and 1990s. Countless ska legends have released albums with Moon Ska including, Laurel Aitken, Skinnerbox, and the New York Ska-Jazz ensemble. The label went bankrupt in 2000, but it is survived by Moon Ska World, which is based in the United Kingdom.
Ska Satellite Records
Ska Satellite was a subsidiary of Moon Ska Records that specialized in the distribution of lesser known acts.
Jump Up! Records
Founded by radio DJ Chris Wren, the Chicago-based Jump Up! records is a label that has long supported the Midwest ska scene. Their "American Skathic" compilations have showcased many influential Midwest ska bands including Johnny Socko, Mustard Plug, and Mu330.
Other Prominent Ska Record Labels