Riddim (EDM)

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Riddim is a genre of electronic dance music (EDM), acting as a subgenre of dubstep. It shares the same name as the genre that influenced it, which originally derived from dub, reggae, and dancehall. The genre holds many similarities to dubstep, but is often is distinguished by its repetitive and minimalist triplet percussion arrangements.


The term "riddim" is the Jamaican Patois pronunciation of the English word "rhythm", with the genre sharing a name with the genre it is primarily derived from.[1] The derived genre originally stemmed from dub, reggae, and dancehall. Although the term was widely used by MCs since the early days of dancehall and garage music, it was later adopted by American dubstep producers and fans to describe what was originally referred to as "wonky dubstep". As a subgenre, riddim had started to gain mainstream presence in the electronic music scene around 2015.[2]

As all riddim works of music are dubstep, their histories and notable artists can be considered to be closely intertwined. Riddim can be traced back to several dubstep artists, including Jakes and Rusko. Although not considered a riddim artist, Rusko originally produced dubstep that featured riddim-esque bassline patterns with an emphasis on the sub-bass.[2] Jakes was proclaimed to be the person who coined the term "riddim" in the early-2010s, with the purpose of going back to the roots of early dubstep, prior to its mainstream popularisation by Skrillex, and to capture the same sound produced by Skream, Digital Mystikz, and Burial. Artists like Subfiltronik were credited for establishing what riddim is known as today.[3] Various other artists have been credited for having contributed to the rise of the subgenre, including Bukez Finezt, Coffi, and Kromestar.[2][4]

Various songs have been credited as being quintessentially riddim, including "Yasuo" by Bommer and Crowell, "Jotaro" by Phiso, "The Wonky Song" by Monxx and Walter Wilde, and "Raven Master" by Boogie T.[5][2] Notable riddim artists include BadKlaat, Infekt, Squnto, and P0gman. Several record labels also heavily support and publish riddim music, including Never Say Die: Black Label and Disciple Records.[2] Kristofer Reinex, founder of the Riddim Dubstep Community group on Facebook, stated that Shiverz da Butcher was his personal favourite riddim DJ, but also noted DJs Kron, Codd Dubs, Al Ross, Bukez Finezt, and Gentlemen’s Club. Reinex later noted various "big industry names" who frequently drop riddim during their sets, listing 12th Planet, Skrillex, Marshmello, Boombox Cartel, Herobust, Slushii, and Kayzo.[3]


The genre shares its name with riddim, the Jamaican Patois pronunciation of the English word "rhythm", and was coined for its repetitive, minimalistic layers and triplet percussion arrangements.[1][5] Like dubstep, riddim is often produced at a tempo of 140 to 150 beats per minute and was noted as having comparatively more "space", atmosphere, and "super dark textures" by riddim producer Infekt.[4] Jayce Ullah-Blocks of EDM Identity characterised modern riddim with the presence of low-frequency oscillation (LFO) sawtooth waves, wide delays, and a large use of flanger and chorus filters.[2]

Speaking to Chris Muniz of Insomniac, an anonymous musician, who was proclaimed to be a well-known pioneer of dubstep, noted that riddim is often involved in controversy as to some people don't see the subgenre as new or breaking new ground and say that "riddim should just be called dubstep". Later in the interview, dubstep producers Oolacile and Definitive commented on this controversey, with Oolacile stating that it has to do with that a lot of newer dubstep fans are only recently finding about the genre and are attempting to "associate riddim on their own without much guidance." Definitive compared riddim to liquid drum & bass, jump-up, neurofunk, and techstep, all of which are subgenres of drum and bass and wrote that riddim isn't a "standalone genre, but it’s really just dubstep."[3]

Artists and producers[edit]


  1. ^ a b "What is this Riddim Everyone Keeps Talking About?". iedm.com. Archived from the original on 2019-04-26. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Ullah-Blocks, Jayce (2018-03-25). "What We Like || Riddim". EDM Identity. Archived from the original on 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  3. ^ a b c d "How to Talk to Your Kids About Riddim | Insomniac". Insomniac. Archived from the original on 2019-04-30. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  4. ^ a b c Jenkins, Dave (2017-10-27). "Infekt's Guide To Riddim". UKF. Archived from the original on 2019-04-30. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  5. ^ a b c Stevo (2017-03-08). "30 Best Riddim Songs Of All Time". EDM Sauce. Archived from the original on 2019-04-30. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  6. ^ Masood, Saad. "HEROBUST DROPS A MONSTROUS BASS BOMB WITH "DEBT 'N EIGHT"". EDM.com - The Latest Electronic Dance Music News, Reviews & Artists. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  7. ^ ago, Tyler Chance • 4 months. "Kompany Drops Several Anticipated IDs on 'Metropolis' EP". Noiseporn. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  8. ^ Meadow, Matthew (2019-02-08). "Marshmello Responds To The Haters with Svdden Death On Heavy-Hitting "Sell Out"". Your EDM. Archived from the original on 2019-02-09. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  9. ^ "Snails and Wooli Combine to Create "Snailephant"". TRILLVO. 2018-11-15. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  10. ^ "SVDDEN DEATH Solidifies His Production Prowess on 'VOYD Vol. 1'". Nest HQ. 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  11. ^ Chiang, Nina (2018-02-01). "Virtual Riot Releases Heavy New EP Titled German Engineering". EDMTunes. Retrieved 2019-05-01.