Tuesday, July 30, 2013

12 O'Clock Track: Wayne Wonder and the Diwali riddim

Posted By on 07.30.13 at 12:00 PM

diwali_riddim.jpg
The other night I had dinner at a new restaurant where literally every single review of it that I can find online uses the word "hipster" at least twice. Befitting its reputation for hipness, the soundtrack was an intriguing mix of electronic music that I didn't recognize, including an electro-leaning remix of Wayne Wonder's 2003 single "No Letting Go." The remix was pretty cool but it also struck me as mostly pointless since the original is based on the Diwali riddim, which is one of the best beats ever made.

If you're not familiar with Jamaican music, Jamaican artists don't consider beats exclusive in the way that many do in the States, and if someone gets a hit song off a certain riddim every other vocalist on the island is going to take a swing at it as well. A popular riddim can be worked over by a dozen or more artists, and the highly addictive, hand-clap-filled Diwali riddim, which dominated dancehall at the dawn of the millennium, appeared on at least 30 officially released singles, including ones that charted in the U.S., like Sean Paul's "Get Busy" and Lumidee's "Never Leave You (Uh Oh)," which I always considered an extremely weak song compared to Wayne Wonder's own R&B take on it. Hit the jump to hear "No Letting Go," and as a bonus I'll throw a 22-track Diwali riddim compilation so you can compare and contrast different versions and fill your day with more hand claps than you can handle.

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