Drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare have been at the epicenter of reggae, dub, ragga, and Jamaican crossover music since the 1970s. Known primarily for their innovative work as session musicians, the Riddim Twins (as they are called) also garnered attention for their cutting-edge production techniques. In addition to helping to define the sound of such Jamaican superstars as Gregory Isaacs, Peter Tosh, and Black Uhuru, Sly & Robbie have also worked with Grace Jones, Bob Dylan, and Herbie Hancock, among others.
RIDDIM collects the duo's own work in the dub vein between 1978 and 1985. While Sly & Robbie have lent their trademark sound to recordings that range all over the stylistic map, it's perfectly suited to the deep, heady vibe of instrumental dub. Shakespeare's pulsing, organic bass bobs and weaves between Dunbar's fractured, rimshot-filled rhythms, creating grooves that are at once spare, elemental, complex, and irresistible. Ironically, Sly & Robbie man the mixing boards on only a few tracks here, allowing guest producers to assist in constructing their soundscapes. The result is a lengthy, completely satisfying set of instrumental dub that spotlights the talents of one of the world's most notorious rhythm sections.