Various artists album review
www.reggae-zone.com ~ Riddim CD 01
April 01, 2004

Tracking list

  1. 'riddim' - Lenni
  2. Back To Roots - Tg
  3. 'riddim' - Tg
  4. Beat It - Tg
  5. Roots - Der Biber
  6. Weichei - Natty U
  7. Life Wire - Natty U
  8. Feuer - Natty U
  9. Capoera - 1 zu 1
  10. Fanta - Der Biber
  11. 100 Cent - Jupp
  12. 'riddim' - Beatschmieda
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : -

The German www.reggae-zone.com crew from Cologne has taken the exceptional move to make some riddims very easy accessible for the (would-be) singers and DJs. On their Riddim CD 01, that is available as a download from their www.reggae-zone.com, where you choose 'downloads' and then 'option 6; Riddim for Artist', their are 12 clean versions of riddims by German producers, and they are meant to be used. If you find a riddim on it that you'd like to voice: voice it. Contacts are provided in case you are going to use it for own releases or remixes etc. And the riddims on this disc are not contributed by people who would otherwise never see any of their riddims released, in fact the majority of the riddims is provided by producers who already left their marks in the German reggaescene. Der Biber and Natty U have both been featured as artists on the "Dancehallfieber 1"-album, and the 1zu1-band was backing Mr.Carl on the more recent "Dancehallfieber 3", on which Beatschmieda's brilliant 'Elemental'-riddim was featured as well. They are joined by riddim builders I've never heard off before, but after these riddims have been voiced, I'm sure their names will be recognized as well. Lenni contributes a riddim that is dominated by the keyboard playing the chugging riddim, backed by the constant fast hi-hats under it. Tg's 'Back To Roots'-riddim is a slow, bringing back memories of early Aswad, riddim with a beautiful short yet poignant piano-theme. More piano over riddim organ in his next, more uptempo riddim, before using an intro based on the Michael Jackson song he named his third riddim after 'Beat It' in which the tempo is steered down down again. Der Biber (which really does mean 'The Beaver', in case you were wondering) also brings upfront piano-chords and riffs in his 'Roots'-riddim that has a nice little synthi-riff underneath it that does the trick for me to rate this riddim as one of the nicest made available here. Natty U certainly had the dancehall in mind for his 'Weichei'-riddim which is full of wild effects and having some nice oriental strikers squeezed into it, and his next selection the 'Life Wire'-riddim has the potential to become a crowd favourite. Hard and fast conga-beats are accompanied by a guitar and keyboards making you think of "Stir It Up" all the time, and thinking of the riddim as a nice companion to Pow Pow's 'Shanty Town'-riddim. That same vibe is kept in his next contribution the 'Feuer'-riddim where the acoustic Mediterranean guitar riff is as essential as the female vocal sampled squeezed in, embedded in the riddim. 1 zu 1 have been paying close attention to the riddims ruling the international dancehalls, and succeed in creating a great Middle-East influenced riddim, their 'Capoera' is only in need of some serious vocals on it, to challenge any other tune that's heading to be this summer hot hit. Biber's 'Fanta' is a simple, yet effective and infectious riddim. Jupp's '100 Cent' is more than just a reggae or dancehall riddim, it seems to have been influenced by European house as much, and might be the most unusual riddim on this CD, but definitely not one of the least. Well known production-duo from Hamburg Beatschmieda contribute a nameless dancehall-riddim, that is very minimalistic but not at all having minimal chances to be encountered on the dancefloors later this year. This album is a brave and great initiative, that deserves to be rewarded with a lot of nice tunes on these riddims coming back to the respective producers and the crew of www.reggae-zone.com