David Bowie The Father of Dancehall Riddims???

For those of you who are into Dub Reggae and Dancehall Riddims, you probably have heard the Sleng Teng Riddim and the song Under Mi Sleng Teng by Wayne Smith. It marks the transition in 1985 from live-band-based Roots Reggae to Digital / Drum Machine based Dancehall Reggae. A similar change happened within hip hop around 1982 or so with Kurtis Blow and Afrika Bambaataa releasing their ground breaking drum-machine-based tunes. Songs using the Sleng Teng Riddim include, Buddy Bye by Johnny Osborne, Murder Dem by Ninja Man, and Lodge by Bounty Killer among a couple others. Hiroko Okuda who is the music engineer who created the preset demos for Casio back then created a Rock Preset Demo that was this. 


I used to play around with my mom's Casio CT-510 and stare at the drum pads wondering how they made those demo beats and The Sleng Teng Riddim is clearly just that, made on the Casio MT-40 Keyboard with some added embellishment by Noel Davey


Which brings up the question; where did Hiroku Okuda get the idea to create that demo beat as a rock preset? The answer surprisingly points back to David Bowie.

Perhaps some of you music enthusiasts knew this but it was news to me when I discovered it this week. The original info source is HERE if you'd like to read the full background.

Sonny JamesComment