Get to know Cadenza - - Mixmag

Get to know Cadenza

He's the London producer reintroducing dancehall to UK bass

  • Ian McQuaid
  • 18 November 2016

It’s no surprise Cadenza uses reggae and bashment to build his bass-heavy bangers; soundsystem culture runs through his veins. With legendary DJ David Rodigan as his dad, Oli ‘Cadenza’ Rodigan was gifted the best education in Jamaican music you could get, absorbing countless basslines while watching his old man tear down events from London to Kingston. Rather than becoming an out-and-out selector, though, Cadenza has followed his own path; more interested in writing his own riddims than reloading someone else’s, he’s been building a career from the bottom up. The last few years have seen him go from dropping frantic trap/jungle hybrids on Mad Decent to scoring radio hits with ‘How Many Times’, which introduced the world to the ascendant vocalist Kiko Bun.

The unifying theme running through Cadenza’s productions is his mixture of the familiar with the fresh, from finding new ways to breathe life into the much-abused Amen break on Jakwob collab ‘Queens To Brixton’ to current single ‘People’, a searing protest anthem that kicks off as a roots reggae rocker and ends as a breakbeat tear-out. “That song,” he notes, “was written a while back, but it seemed relevant, with everything that’s going on in America.” Yet he’s reluctant to be cast as a protest act, which makes sense when he reveals his next tune: a decidedly unserious, party-centric collab featuring one of dancehall’s biggest stars.

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