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A decade of 'Riddim'

Published:Monday | August 22, 2011 | 12:00 AM

  • No-Maddz headlines Germany-based magazine's celebration

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

In true reggae fashion, the Germany-based Riddim Magazine's 10th anniversary celebration on September 10 will be held at a nightclub. The No-Maddz poetry quartet will headline the event at the U-Club in Wuppertal and Riddim's Ellen Köhlings pointed out in an email interview that it is consistent with the full-colour glossy publication's start up.

"At the initial launch of Riddim, Sean Paul and Gentleman performed. That was before they 'bussed'. So we felt obliged to again take a look at the future of reggae, which we feel the No-Maddz represents," Köhlings said.

The No-Maddz performance is not the only way that Riddim is showing its faith in Jamaican artistes who are new to Germany. In the upcoming edition, roots reggae band Raging Fyah, which recently launched its debut album Judgement Day at Wickie Wackie, Bull Bay, St Andrew, takes the cover story spot.

Celebrating live music

The recognition of new music from Jamaica is more than cover deep. "When you look at the cover of the new issue you see that we are celebrating the new live music coming out of Jamaica - Uprising Roots, Dubtonic Kru, Jah9. Another development that we are happy to witness is the return of consciousness to the dancehall, for example Konshens, Protoje, Agent Sasco," Köhlings said.

The Riddim duo of Köhlings and Pete Lilly have visited Jamaica several times since the magazine's start up. In December 2001, The Gleaner reported that they spoke on 'Reggae Dancehall Culture in Germany' as part of the Reggae Studies Unit's lecture series at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. Last year, they spoke on 'Jamaican Music in Europe: The Homophobia Debate' at the International Reggae Conference, also at the Mona campus.

Köhlings said "the circulation is still 45,000 copies distributed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We always have to make sure to keep a balance between reggae and dancehall. While many people in Jamaica see Germany as a place for roots reggae, most kids today know more about Vybz Kartel, Mavado and so on than Burning Spear or Jacob Miller."

There was a brief period when Riddim had an English edition and there is the hint of a possibility that it will once again take a shot at translation to an English-speaking audience, though not necessarily in a physical publication format.