Chris Murray - 4-Trackaganza! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Chris Murray

4-Trackaganza! (2001)

Asian Man

I was never one to proclaim undying love for the genre of ska music. Sure, I skanked away to "Sellout" and "The Impression That I Get" along with an entire nation of wannabe rudeboys, but I never got into it all that much. It's only after the genre has cooled off that it seems like I started to really appreciate it. I think Hepcat is amazing, the Slackers always impress me, and Slow Gherkin is as catchy as they come. My list of ska recommendations continues to expand, and Chris Murray can consider himself to be close to the top of that ever-growing list.

Chris Murray has a long history in ska, reggae, and roots music. In the 90's, he was successful with his band King Apparatus [now in the process of reforming, from what I understand], and he has since written songs for bands like Hepcat and the Slackers [what a coincidence]. Chris took it upon himself to make himself active again, and in doing so has put out one of the best releases I've heard this year so far. "4-Trackaganza!" is just what it says -- 13 tracks, running the gamut of ska and soul styles, all recorded on Chris' own 4-track player. Apparently this album only cost a measly $12 to make, and that was just from buying audio tapes to record on. And to be honest, this shit is genius. From the Hepcat-ish opener "One Everything" to the 2 different covers of "Science Fiction Double Feature," from the upbeat ska grooves of "California Time" and "Boyo" to the soothing melodies of "Dinosaurs" and "Steady Beat Convention," this is an all around, solid, 4-star release [one for each track]. This is the ska scene's answer to Dashboard Confessional. Jump on the bandwagon now.

[taken from A different kind of greatness webzine]