Sleng Teng  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Sleng Teng is the name given to the first fully computerised riddim in Jamaican music. As is normal in Jamaican music, the riddim was named after the first vocal track released using it, namely Wayne Smith's "Under Mi Sleng Teng". However, in this case Wayne Smith was the one who had found the computerized sound in Noel Davey's keyboard. Together they were the ones who arranged the riddim , slowed it down, matched it to his key, and rehearsed on it before taking it to King Jammy's studio. The riddim itself is allegedly an attempt to recreate Eddie Cochran's "Something Else". It is a pattern built into the Casio MT-40 home keyboard.

After the riddim was brought to the studio and Jammy heard it, he then placed a clap on it. Jammy recorded a number of other artists on the original backing track including Tenor Saw (with "Pumpkin Belly"), and Johnny Osbourne (with "Buddy Bye"). The tunes were first unleashed at a now legendary soundclash between Jammy's own sound system and Black Scorpio at Waltham Park Road on February 23, 1985. King Tubby, who had originally taught Jammy how to produce music, was inspired by the track to create his own "Tempo" riddim.

Sleng Teng is among the most versioned of Jamaican riddims, with listing over 180 versions. The riddim was updated by Jammy in 2005 (slightly speeded up, with added horn riff) and this variation is known as "Sleng Teng Resurrection". Several new cuts on the original Sleng Teng were also released by Jammys in 2005 in celebration of the riddim's 20th anniversary.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sleng Teng" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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