The musical styles which are at the center of the ¡Radical Riddims! events are associated with each other, and while each of them has been developed and shaped within and by their own regional characteristics and are produced in a quiet lo-fi fashion, they all are footed on the three global dance music styles HipHop, House and Techno. The styles are in a constant exchange process with each other while their hybridization has increased especially during the past decade. Parallel to the trend towards global connection, these styles are firmly rooted in their local Black Atlantic sound system cultures, in which dj-ing, mc-ing and dancing have equally important parts. The bass heaviness as a musical, seemingly somatic element comes across as a reaction and response to the immateriality and transferability of the global age, with which this music is often associated.

Baile Funk
A fast-paced electronic variation of HipHop that has evolved from the Brazilian favelas during the 1990s. Associated with US-American Miami Bass from the Eighties, it also reproduces musical elements from 80s New Wave. It is quickly produced and features raw and rather monotonous vocals.

Baltimore Club

A House music style with a tendency to staccato sounds at a rate of 130 bpm, which evolved during the late 80s in Baltimore. It is related to Ghetto Tech from Detroit which was developed around the same time. It is influenced by Miami Bass and European Breakbeat, and like Chicago Juke, it involves distinctive and characteristic dancing styles.


A style that evolved around the year 2002 in Sheffield. It is a modern variation of British 2Step/UK Garage and their predecessor Speedgarage. Similar to these styles, the R&B vocals are also pitched up. Bassline is footed on four-to-the-floor beats, where the bass line carries the melody which usually stretches out over 16 bars. As in Dubstep, there is an extreme emphasis on the bass sound. It is generally rather fast-paced at 135-140 bpm.


An energetic variation of HipHop, which was created during the late 80s in New Orleans as ‘project music’. Bounce features staccato sounds, while its MC style is characterized by a distinct call and response technique. As in Baile Funk, the physical and sexualizing Booty Dance plays an important role in this style.


Generic term for an important segment of global rhythmic dance music, which is characterized by broken beat structures typical to HipHop, as opposed to the “straight-line” 4/4 beat of Techno and House. It’s related to Drum’n’Bass, which features straighter and clearer beats similar to the more analogous sounding subgenre of Big Beat. Breakbeat consists of many sub-categories and is paced at a rate between 110 and 150 bpm.


A traditional, ethnic music style of the Caribbean which is generally danced and sung by women. This style is related to Cumbia.

Chicago Juke

Fast-paced, Lo-fi variation of Ghetto House (150-160 bpm), which is accompanied by its signatures dance style Footwork (a form of break dancing in which the steps are performed at a high speed, while the upper body stays as still as possible).

CoupÉ DÉcalÉ

One of Africa’s most popular music and dance styles. It was created by Ivorian musicians living in the Paris diaspora around 2003. It is an advancement of Ziglibithy which was created based on traditional rhythms in the 1970s. Coupé Decalé also bears influences from Jamaican Dancehall.

Cumbia Digital

Contemporary and club-compatible version of Cumbia, which is a driving, swinging rhythm with African roots and Spanish influence. Cumbia Digital is enhanced with electronic instruments and digital drum samples. Rather slow-paced at 90-110 bpm, it has been popular in Colombia, Mexico and, for the last decade, in Argentina as well.


A bass-heavy music style from Jamaica that is based on Reggae and which was created in the 1970s. It can be seen as a predecessor of all contemporary soundsystem cultures. Consists of danceable instrumental riddims (chosen by the selector), combined with the toasting (i.e. rapping) of the MC (Master of Ceremonies).


This bass-heavy music evolved around the year 2000 in England and has since been adapted internationally. It is a more instrumental and "musical" version of its predecessor, Grime. Like 2step and Drum’n’Bass, it is based on off-beat patterns. Although it is rather fast-paced at 140 bpm, it sounds like slowed down dance music. The rhythm of the bass drum gets varied within a sequence of 8 or 16 bars, to then start again on the first beat of a 4/4 bar.

Ghetto Tech

At 140-160 bpm, a fast-paced House Music that evolved in the beginning of the 1990s in Detroit. It is influenced by Electro Funk and Miami Bass. Being closer related to Techno than to Breakbeat, it is somewhat rough. mc-ing doesn’t play a big part in this musical style.


During the late 1980s, music producers from the Angolan capital Luanda started to mix percussion samples with traditional Calypso and Socca rhythms. The resulting musical style was initially called Batida. When more rapping was added, it was called Kuduro. As in many global Ghetto Tech dance styles, the Kuduro dance style was strongly influenced by Dancehall and is an essential part of the genre.


While HipHop and Dancehall left the biggest marks, historic local genres and international pop music influences also played their part in defining this style of music. It evolved during the early 1990s in South Africa’s urban centers, the so-called townships, which were characterized by the social and musical structures of Apartheid.

Miami Bass

This musical style was developed in succession of Electro Funk during the 80s and 90s. It is related to Ghetto Tech from Detroit and had an impact on Baile Funk.


Over the last two years, this mix of Cumbia and House has evolved from the data highways between New York and Washington DC. It has a straight and groovy kick drum and uses many significant samples. Similar to Reggaeton, its beat is paced at only at about 110 bpm.