So you may or may not know about Riddim, but you have probably read about it on the internet somewhere. Probably in comments on Reddit or something-something Subtronics. In any event, your humble correspondent here has been in the dance music scene from the Daft Punk 2007 era through today but I still did not understand what Riddim is.
I have loved Progressive House, Big Room, Future House, Trance, Tech House, Techno, Trap, Dubstep, and even some Drum & Bass. The one genre I have yet to fully understand is Riddim. I recall seeing the word Riddim used in Progressive House circles back in the day, but clearly that has little to do with the current iteration.
I’ll admit that my age puts me in the older category of active EDM fans, so maybe this is a bit of “get off my lawn”. I’ve heard Riddim described to me before and couldn’t understand it. Today Subtronics (known in circles as a Riddim DJ) put out a Now That’s What I Call Riddim mix so I decided to take a listen.
At first, it sounded like any NGHTMRE, SLANDER, Snails, etc set I’ve ever heard. Then the drop finally came, but it wasn’t something I’ve never heard before at all. It was a very specific type of drop that is nothing new to Dubstep. If you’re familiar with Dubstep, it’s the wobbly womp-womp Snails kind of drop that has been sprinkled in dubstep sets since maybe like 2015. It’s less of that angry headbanging insane robot music that you would associate with Skrillex and more that chilled headbobbing. Then I realized that it’s just that type of drop, over and over and over again.
So, to recap, Riddim is just a series of pulse-pounding build-ups that you would hear in any Dubstep set- but leading to one specific type of Dubstep drop. A type of drop that I always found really boring in dubstep sets. As somebody that loves Skrillex, Zomboy, NGHTMRE, SLANDER, Bassnectar, Virtual Riot, and the like – it was actually this type of sound becoming prevalent that moved me away from bass music. Shocked at the possibility that there is really a subgenre (of dance music) for just this sound, I asked one of our Writers that is a fan of the genre. He recommended I check out this mix for the epitome of genre-leading Riddim.
And wow, just wow. That’s exactly what Riddim is. I thought to myself, every subgenre of dance music has its gems. Even the genre I personally like the least (Drum & Bass) has some amazing tracks and some good live artists (Sub Focus). So I asked my friend
What is the ‘Strobe’ of Riddim?Me
” I don’t even think there is one. It’s just like, who has the hardest drop rn hahaha”.A fan of Riddim
So if you’ve been wondering about Riddim, don’t bother. At the risk of sounding like a “get off my lawn type”, there are plenty of genres out there worth your time. In fact, you can just listen to Dubstep and Bass Music to get a sliver of this sound. Do that. They say Riddim could be the next big genre in EDM. Let’s hope they’re wrong – and I’m pretty sure that they are.
Update: A lot of strong opinions on this one and that’s great. I revised the headline since I don’t want to say the genre is objectively trash, however after exploring it further my overall opinion is unchanged. Like Melbourne Bounce and Tropical House, this seems like a “genre” that is just way too niche to really grow or develop without just going back to regular ol’ dubstep. Some Riddim tracks would surely go off when dropped into a genre-bending Bass Music set, however I personally can’t imagine sitting through an entire set of just Riddim. To each their own though. I’m sure there are still devoted fans of Bounce and Tropical House today too.