Riddim review: Muddy Road Riddim Image

by Jordan Delahaye

As the Reggae genre continues to grow and fresh talents surface, it is only natural that the sound evolves. Though this evolution has been somewhat languid when compared to other genres, new players like the Natural High Music record label are hoping to muddy the mix with their own unique sound.

The fledgling music syndicate recently premiered the Muddy Road Riddim with a mix that is now available on Amazon and on iTunes for preorder. Though the riddim is by no means ground-breaking, it is brimming with originality and displays a creative inspiration that speaks to the talent present at Natural High Music.

Like many of the riddims before it in classical reggae, the Muddy Road Riddim carries a subtle yet singular bass progression that is both charming and effortless in its simplicity. This is complimented by the melodica which brings a light and refreshing air to the mix. The use of the melodica is noteworthy also because not many reggae musicians currently employ the instrument which was greatly popularized in the genre by reggae luminary Augustus Pablo - a legacy perpetuated by his son, Addis Pablo, today.

A basic percussion beat and some dub enhancements add to the overall impression of the riddim and even though the various elements come together to produce a full sound, the muddy road riddim, at first glance, seemed rudimentary. This minimalist effect is likely exactly what the inventors where going for however, as the reggae genre is notorious for its classicality and ease.

Whatever the Muddy Road Riddim may lack (or not) in sound however, it makes up for in versatility. The mix leads with "Muddy Road" - a track which features reggae dynamo, Jesse Royal and smoothly navigates a coterie of singers and sing-jays who each bring their own unique flavour to the mix.

Kelissa, one of the promising female acts in the reggae revival vanguard, delivers a captivating performance on "Step it Up" and seems to make the riddim her own. Her performance stands out among the drove of male vocals not only in its pristine tone but also in the distinguished competence of her rendition.

The trailblazers at Natural High Music have set a vibrant tone with the Muddy Road Riddim that puts them close to the crest of reggae’s new wave. The riddim might exude simplicity but in actuality displays advance technical skill and an ear for clarity and quality.

Check out a preview of the Muddy Road Riddim and if you're impressed head over to iTunes to get the full versions!

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