“Almost everyone will make a good first impression, but only a few will make a good lasting impression.” Sonya Parker
Not only is this quote relevant in music as an art form, but it also applies in its cataloguing and presentation. The music industry has steadily evolved over the past centuries. However, due to various aspects such as globalisation and technological advancements its makeup encountered a drastic spike from the turn of the 21st century to date. It was just in 1948 when Columbia Records introduced the long-play record. Then fast forward to 1979 when the compact disk was invented. Ask any millennial now what those things are and it may just be crickets. Nowadays, albums are released and distributed online and all your music can be stored digitally in ‘the cloud’.
Navigating your way through a genre of your choice could become a cumbersome task that’s almost a deterrent due to how much music is out there. When you look at reggae and dancehall and I mention them in the same breath as they originate from the Caribbean, different rhythms are churned out almost on a daily basis. The unique riddim culture plays a huge factor so you can imagine the volume of it, as it dates back to the 60s. So when it comes to first impressions there are numerous websites that have catalogued all this music and present it to the web community in various unique ways. With that in mind, I have outlined a few dancehall/reggae websites that will make the experience a lot more enjoyable and simple. The 10 websites below make the list as the site aesthetics reach chilling levels on the cool meter and most importantly have all music catalogued in an informative manner with all the pertinent information that could be the difference if you want to be a millionaire. If you get the gist.
RiddimID: With over five thousand riddims, riddim-id.com stands out as a top dancehall/reggae database with over 50k tunes. The site is backed by Pupa Vlado’s collection from www.reggae-riddims.com (no longer available) and Camphouse Riddim Index compiled by Robert Camphouse. The database is regularly updated and contains all pertinent information including artist biographies, producers and labels.
Riddim(s)World: Boasting approximately 14 000 riddims and a growing following of over 70 000, riddimworld stands out as an informative site that is updated daily with the hottest riddims. It has grown organically for the past 10 years and offers a ‘Caribbean experience’ with the hottest news on what’s going on in Jamaica. Founded by a Zimbabwean, the site has its own unique feel and offers music dating back to the 70s. Reggae and dancehall span to all countries in the world and riddimworld encapsulates that. It shows the connections of the red gold and green movement in both Jamaica and the surrounding Caribbean nations – Trinidad and Tobago etc.
The site offers an informative music review section which can be a useful guide and the music is cataloged very well, making the browsing experience less cumbersome.
Reggae Vibes is one of the most trusted and respected online reggae & dancehall magazines. Their focus is centred on reggae & dancehall reviews, interviews, reports and news. With a weekly analysis of Jamaican music charts, the site showcases all that is Jamaican and the site definitely leaves a lasting impression.
It is interesting to note that the majority of websites on this list are not owned by individuals who reside or are from any of the Caribbean countries. Reggae-vibes.com has a rich history in the Netherlands that dates back to the seventies when the owners fell in love with the genre. They too amassed their music collection researching and cataloguing the music with artists, producers and recording studios.
In the eighties, reggae-vibes spread to the airwaves where they spread the reggae love and explored that avenue of getting reggae to the people.
After creating a non-profit organisation “Reggae Vibes Productions NL,” a strong reggae culture was created. Furthermore, the site has a magazine platform RUNN Records Mailing Club, where they write news articles and music reviews.
Riddimkilla: Similar to the aforementioned sites, there is something for my Frenchmen and francophone affiliates. riddimkilla.com is a French-based site that offers you reggae and dancehall music. Updated regularly the site advertises its music very well and packages it in an informative manner.
What makes the site stand out is its news and review section. riddimkilla talks about the newest and hottest riddims guiding your perusing experience and should definitely be on your radar if you prefer the French approach.
Dream Sound Media is another web platform whose aim is to make reggae and dancehall music conquer the globe.
Since 2010, Dream Sound Media has the passion and purpose to show the world Caribbean music. Their mantra is to promote DJs and artists by exposing their music on the web with a good SEO. They are present on most of the major streaming platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, Audiomack and make mixes for Mixcloud and MixtapeWire for DJs.
DancehallArena: With over 7k dancehall riddims, dancehallarena.com’s mantra is to promote music worldwide and their site is testament to that. They too have a news and reviews platform along with numerous mixtapes which have enabled them to make the list. The site has a platform allowing its visitors the chance to promote their own music online, enabling worldwide growth of the genres.
Since 2008, Jamworld876 has promoted Caribbean music and culture, and Jamaican music in particular. Through music, reviews, event coverage, and interviews, Jamworld876 highlights the best of Reggae & Dancehall music going back as far as the 60’s up until now. Jamworld also offers a unique interview videos section. The founders actively seek artists and producers to interview and have managed to score more than a handful of legendary artists and producers in the reggae world, including Lee Perry, Al Campbell and more.
ReggaeVille: With an informative news section, reggaeville.com is a front runner when it comes to island news about concerts and festivals. The site brags a good bio section that is very informative about artists and producers. With current videos and riddims the site focuses more on what is going on in Jamaica so it is very useful for that authentic ‘Caribbean experience.’
Reggae Collector: When you know what you’re looking for reggaecollector.com is very useful. Stacked with music from other genres like rock and hip hop the site is suited for people who know what they are looking for. Unlike the previously mentioned sites, it does not have a news and reviews section but it makes up for it with numerous vintage tracks and riddims.
Last but not least there is Discogs. With a wide range of music on offer, the site has an extensive catalogue of the vintage tracks but unlike the previously mentioned sites, it is not focused on dancehall and reggae alone. With 20 years of experience, discogs has an extensive music catalogue that is worth your time. The site had about 280k new releases just last year so you can imagine how extensive the catalogue is. Not solely dedicated to reggae and dancehall the site is still a top option granted you know what to look for.
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