Sleng Teng International Riddim
November 16, 2011
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
In 1985 King Jammy kick-started the digital phase of reggae with one crucial record, Wayne Smith's big hit "Under Me Sleng Teng". The latter completely turned Jamaican music around as independent producers that didn't own their own studios no longer had to pay for studio time and expensive musicians to score big. As Beth Lesser wrote in her King Jammy's book: "...Jammy could lay down his own riddim tracks in that tiny bedroom in the back of the house, even though it could barely hold two musicians and a mixer." Versions, whether on Jammy's original riddim track or variants hurriedly built by rival producers, followed by the trailerload. By September of 1985, there was proof of at least two hundred "Sleng Teng" Versions for sale, and it didn't stop there. Up to now the riddim has been revisited by a variety of producers including Phillip 'Fatis' Burrell, Gussie P, Ed Robinson, Steely & Clevie, Michael Bennett, Colin 'Bulby' York, Bobby Konders, and King Jammy's himself.
The latest version of this groundbreaking riddim comes from Polish producer/DJ duo Dreadsquad, consisting of Marek Bogdanski and Lukasz Rodziewicz. They've speeded up the catchy riddim, which gives it a more contemporary feel and vibe. As the title "Sleng Teng International" already expresses, the line-up includes artists from all over the globe: Jamaica, the UK, Germany, the United States, Poland, Japan, France, Norway, Croatia, Hungary, Russia and Italy. The party gets going with well known Jamaican artist Perfect, who delivers a solid soundbwoy tune. Then King Kong combines forces with UK's Deadly Hunta for a 2011 version of "Paro Them Paro", a track that brings back some of the excitement caused by his Patrick Donegan & Chris Cracknell produced killer 12" vinyl, issued on Greensleeves in 1986. Then Jamaican dancehall empress Natalie Storm takes over the proceedings with the decent "Beat That Chest". German reggae veteran Dr. Ring Ding heads the international posse. His "Sweet Like Candy" is a nice tune, but that's about it. Longfingah's "Tired A Dem", also featured on his earlier this year released debut album called "Cityopian Spirit", makes a far better impression and so do the fast rappin' French artist General Good with "Faya", Marika's "No Rumour", Gregory G Ras & Dannona's "Real Life", and Steppa Style's "My Standard".
Even though it's not the original "Sleng Teng" riddim, it's still a joy to listen to a riddim that over and over again has proven to stick forever.