The word “Riddim” is the Jamaican way of saying the word rhythm which can mean the entire make up of a musical track that includes the drums, bass, keys, guitars and any other instruments involved in the making of the track. A riddim can also be referred to as a “Version” “Dub” and an “Instrumental” but there can also be a difference with those words and how they are used, for example a “Version” (which is frequently the B-side of a 45 or 7 inch record in reggae music) could be cut as an instrumental or an instrumental with a dub mix of the A-side track and the word version is printed on the label with no other words, a “Dub” can mean a dub mix of the A-side track which can also be a custom dub mix and may also feature a different dub mix of that track over various cuts of the 45 or 7 inch releases of that song. Both the “Version” and “Dub” can also feature lines of the vocal dubbed in the mix and sometimes even multiple vocal tracks dubbed into the mix.
The Jamaican usage of the word “Dub” is completely different to the normal use of the word in the audio field. Dub in reggae music is almost used to describe an art form of mixing and a subgenre of reggae music which comes from an engineer doing a special mix of a song with heavy use of multiple effects and using the faders for bringing instruments in and out.
The usage of the word instrumental is very similar to the word “Riddim” but the big difference is a riddim can have a vocal take on it and the musical composition still keeps its riddim name, for example the famous “Sleng Teng Riddim” is used to name the rhythm or musical composition of the track and that riddim is then used with multiple artists for multiple tracks, for example Wayne Smith – Under Mi Sleng Teng, Johnny Osbourne – Buddy Bye and Tenor Saw – Pumpkin Belly are all recorded on the rhythm/riddim track called “Sleng Teng Riddim”
Jamaican music has a very long history of naming most rhythms and is unique to Jamaican music. When a “Riddim” is made and given a name it is very common to have anywhere from one artist to 20 or more artists voicing different songs on that particular rhythm.
One of the freelance projects completed this Trimester involved a client asking for a Dancehall riddim to be made and then supplied for his vocal cut which also led to multiple artists voicing on the riddim supplied. The riddim created ended up being called Capsicum Spray Riddim which received its name from Moorabbin Police Force’s excessive use of capsicum spray. The communication between artist and producer was all done through WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The first artist to voice was Hiyah Rems in Old Harbour, Jamaica out of To D Max recording studio. Hiyah Rems also supplied the links to Changa Beng, Emmanuel Stain, Ico Flamez, Pride and Zawadi in Jamaica and also the artist Captain Korias from France. At the time of receiving the Hiyah Rems, Changa Beng and Emmanuel Stain vocal tracks the team at Real Deal Records Worldwide had no idea that more artists would be voiced on the riddim.
We established communication with the 3 mentioned artists and in one conversation it was mentioned to not voice more artists on the riddim so that they all would stand out equally. During these conversations over the week it became clear that all 3 artists loved the project and wanted their songs out as quickly as possible. This led to the producer to not only producing the track but also rather quickly creating artwork and individual videos for the 3 tracks. Real Deal Records Worldwide made a very quick decision to release the tunes through Tunecore.com. Almost just after paying for the release and setting the date the news came in that Captain Korias would be voicing on the riddim and this led to a slight miscommunication of the release but for our team it was not a problem to accommodate as we always have a plan.
Real Deal Records Worldwide made a decision at that time to make it into a 2 part release and involve our home grown talent of King Ru, Al Beeno from Canada. While this was taking place the additional vocal cuts by Ico Flamez, Pride & Zawadi came through.
This opportunity has been a great learning experience for our team. We are looking to expand our team in multiple areas including beat creation, artist communication, artwork design, video creation, marketing and promotions.
We have had some great feedback overseas and through this project we have made some more good links with artists that we would like to work with so expect to hear more riddim albums to drop and a few EP releases very soon.
Capsicum Spray Riddim is released on Real Deal Records Worldwide and available via most major online audio retailers. Stay tuned to the team for more great Riddim releases!!!!
All songs produced and mixed by Damajah @ Real Deal Records Worldwide.
Artwork and videos created by Damajah @ Real Deal Records Worldwide.
Special thanks to Tekktroniic Musik for his hard work voicing the Jamaican artists @
To D Max Recording Studio @ Old Harbour Jamaica.
Big special thanks to Hiyah Rems for not only voicing his track but also helping build the team and supplying great talent.
Massive big ups to Changa Beng, Emmanuel Stain, Ico Flamez, Captain Korias, Pride & Zawadi, Al Beeno.
Huge big ups to King Ru for blessing up his track and big love goes out to DJ Ragz for supporting the ting the Real Deal way!!!!
Linkage to Capsicum Spray Riddim
Jamaicansmusic.com. (2016). How to name a Riddim. [online] Available at: http://jamaicansmusic.com/news/Music/How_To_Name_A_Riddim [Accessed 20 Nov. 2016].