Judge by Riodine , Out Now! A nod to traditional Hip-Hop blended with Indie-rock connotations


Riodine was formed in the summer of 2020 in New York and Pennsylvania. Fresh off the success of his solo project, Neomatik, Ed Kabatsky (vocals, guitar, and keys) has teamed up with Nicholas Kabatsky (piano), Alek Sleczkowski (guitar), Justin Snyder (vocal) and Joseph Tindal (drums), to create a perfect blend of creative influence in experimental, indie-rock sounds from an American and Russian perspective.Born in Moscow, USSR and moved to New York in 1990 at the age of 18. Self-taught guitarist and keyboardist, started his musical journey at the age of 14. His first instrument was a guitar made with his own hands. Upon moving to New York, actively participated in the underground rave and electronic music scene as a musician, music producer and promoter.  His musical style is widely spread between ballads, electronic music, indie-rock, new wave and even symphonic experiments. Released an acoustic album "Collection" in 1998 by Proforma Records. In 2002 appeared on a compilation at “Invisible Power of Electronics” by Zvezda Records. In 2005 participated on C-Arts2 project “33 Tales” by RedKeds. In recent years has switched his interest in the musical styles and completed a full circle back to indie-rock and alternative music.

Out now: Judge

Now here is a tasty treat, a nod to traditional Hip-Hop blended with Indie-rock connotations is the latest release from Riodine, called Judge. Featuring members of Neomatik, Riodine brings a large ensemble to this rap giving this track a party feel. If you can imagine the Beastie Boys teaming up with Biz Markie, then you would have Judge. This offering revolves around the theme of breaking the law and standing before the Judge awaiting sentencing. Of course, for our hero in this narrative, we are getting a guilty verdict which in turn, allows Justin Snyder and Ed Kabatsky (vocals, member of Neomatik) to paint a colorful tapestry of emotions running through the accused’s mind. “Remember to keep your story straight, Don’t cross that line, man, You should have listened.” From here we go through the stages of denial; “You prayed for an answer, You looked to the sky, You cursed and spit spells, What you got was a war cry” but in the end, the Judge makes the final call; “Bring down the gavel, Slam the book closed, Witness the unraveled, Legend decompose”. OK, we have some clever metaphors throughout these crafty lyrics, but the performance is where we should really be focusing this review. Judge features a guest player (Rashid Akmanov) playing the mouth harp as a harmony to the choral rapping going through the recapitulation phase of the track. This is a very fitting choice of instrumentation as it helps draw the imagery of all the voices in the accused head as the gavel is being brought down, sealing his fate. The chaotic presence as the song resolves the narrative, and the almost cheeky sounding vocals clearly make this track entertaining and almost funny. What I truly enjoyed about this track, however, is the snare work from the drummer (Joseph Tidnal). The syncopation he presents to these well-performed rudiments give the opening stanzas an almost militant feel like the grand stature of the judge enters the courtroom, but with the off-time snaps just before the downbeat (giving this track its swing), makes the courtroom almost feel carnival-like; “The judge in the hall, is firm on his stance, The circus will happen, in spite of romance.”

Judge is a highly enjoyable track, offering something from any school of musicality. From the traditional Hip-Hop vibe to the party-like anthemic approach this track clearly should be enjoyed by all. Although it may not be an ideal track for mainstream commercial radio, with the exception of Alternative Rock format, Judge would be an ideal addition to any party playlist. In the clubs, and as an underground cult classic, Judge will remain in my catalog of witty, satirical, yet highly professional tracks I need to just sit back and enjoy. The highly professional mix blends all these chaotic elements of this track together beautifully while allowing the deep bass funk, and the high-end overtones to ring out clearly and concisely. Although this is the first offering I have had from Riodine, it has piqued my curiosity about what other magic will come out of this project. With the addition of Neomatik on this track, the collaboration is a clear success and should be a partnership worth exploring for future tracks. Don’t just take my word for it, listen for yourself. You will not be disappointed. 

Listen to Judge: