San Diego’s 2000 Tons of TNT issued a pair of new recordings to herald in 2013. Displaying their signature vintage lo fi sound, “Harvest Moon” and its b-side “Wonky” build on the garage reggae quintet’s raw late-’60s flavored instrumentals, adding more percussion and rhythm. “When I brought ‘Harvest Moon’ to practice, our bass player Ryan Matias funked up the groove,” 2kTNT guitarist Mike Inumerable tells The Examiner. “We did the basic tracking – bass, guitar, drums and organ – live, overdubbed the percussion, and the mixing and mastering were completed on December 31 to release in time for New Years Day.”
“The chord progression sounded a little spooky to me,” Mr. Inumerable explains. “I really like to title instrumental tracks because you can really call them anything, so I thought a red harvest moon was kind of mysterious...plus wanted to go along with the ‘moon’ theme that was used by a lot of early reggae artists like Derrick Morgan and Symarip.”
“Harvest Moon” is rooted in the early deejay tracks of Prince Buster and Dave Barker, but the richer percussion, more complex chord progressions, murky production and locked groove give the track a certain Afro-beat sensibility. Meanwhile, “Wonky” is an early reggae shuffle driven by a whirring Hammond organ lead that evokes the work of great Jamaican organ grinders Winston Wright, Jackie Mittoo and Ansell Collins.
“We are planning to write a few more songs (hopefully more vocal tunes) for the next album,” Mr. Inumerable confesses. “We have recorded seven songs, including these two. We may release a few more digital singles—just to put something out for our fans—though we would like to put this one out on vinyl.”
Until the new album—“I expect the album to be released sometime in the spring,” Mr. Inumerable anticipates—the quintet has a busy winter planned. With two big shows with The Amalgamated and legendary Jamaican duo Keith & Tex in January already behind them, they’ll be opening for New York’s ska statesmen The Toasters at Soma San Diego on February 10 then performing at The Ruby Room later in the month. “I think after all these shows,” Mr. Inumberable looks ahead, “we can concentrate more on recording.”