Throwback: “African Beat Riddim”
The “African Beat Riddim” is quite an original piece, not only musically but also historically. It has often been mistaken for an original Studio One‘s Rocksteady production composed by Don Drummond. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find out it was actually a cover of a track titled “Afrikaan Beat,” composed by German orchestra leader Bert Kaempfert, in 1962.
Despite being one of the most popular versions, Bert Kaempfert‘s version isn’t the original track, which inspired the “African Beat Riddim.” The very first version of this track is titled “Skokiaan (Chikokiyana),” and has been recorded in 1947 by Rhodesian artist August Musarurwa. Apart from Bert Kaempfert, and Studio One, Louis Armstrong also covered this song, inspired by ancient zulu chants, in 1954.
The riddim’s lead brass is quite unique in its way. It sounds like it could have been the sound track of a comical silent movie or one the early-days cartoons. It is very cheerful and lighthearted. The walking bass line is very catchy too. Overall, this riddim is the kind that gets stuck in your head for hours simply because of its simplicity.
The popularity of this riddim has considerably grown since its very first release late 60’s. Various producers like Ranking Joe, King Jammys, Fat Eyes Records —just to name a few— have remade it. Especially during the late 80’s, with the rise of digital Reggae music. It seems to me that the “African Beat Riddim” has everything to be a classic.The few tracks, off the “African Beat”, which I am sharing with you this weekend were released between 1996 and 1997.
So, I hope you’ll enjoy them. Do not hesitate to share and comment if you like it. Let us know what your favorite version of the “African Beat” is.
African Beat Riddim
- Release date: 1996
Other linksDownload (1)
01 – Sanchez – I Believe I Can Fly  / Cover of “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly
02 – Beenie Man – Come Back Darling 
03 – Buju Banton – Love Sponge 
04 – Ghost – I Love You 
05 – Singing Melody – Let It Flow 
06 – Leroy Smart – Journey 
07 – Capleton ft. Yami Bolo – Put Down Your Weapons 
08 – Terror Fabulous – Jah Works 
-  Stone Love Music
-  Gargamel Music
-  Fat Eyes Records