Reflections on “Trench”

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About 9 months after my initial Tweet saying “trench still sounds cooler than riddim tbh”, and my blog article detailing my suggestion for a potential name change, I wanted to take another look at the topic and reflect on the state of “Trench” as a name for the sub-genre.

Initial Bias

I took the name change seriously initially because there was an overwhelmingly positive response to my Tweets. This response led me to the conclusion that the majority of fans and artists of the genre were in favor of the change, when in reality the polls and Tweet responses were biased since a considerable number of people who saw them were my own followers, and therefore not necessarily representing the scene as a whole.

That being said, I believe accusations towards me of claiming authority and deciding for everyone were not justified. Even though I was initially joking about how “Riddim is now called Trench”, the article on my website was carefully worded as a suggestion rather than a decision made for everyone involved.

Adverse effects

There are a few things I want to address that didn’t go as expected, or that I didn’t foresee.

Unintended Confusion

One of the goals of the new name was to alleviate some confusion about what defines the sub-genre and what differentiates it from Dubstep. However, since there were (understandably) many people who didn’t agree with changing the name, there were now two names with overlapping definitions, which may in some cases have created additional confusion. Occasionally, I have been confused myself about whether to only refer to the more modern sound as “Trench”, or also to the early tracks of the style, so sometimes I was struggling to communicate efficiently because I wanted to avoid the term “Riddim” at all cost.

I think the best course of action in either case may be to educate—in a respectful, well-intended, non-elitist fashion—about what defines a genre in our personal opinions; in an effort to categorize for the purpose of making it easier to find similar music and like-minded people.

Division, Opposition, Anger

Although I wanted to avoid creating a divide within the scene (as stated in my blog post), in some cases I did see people emotionally fighting for their “side”. Occasionally, people would attack those using the name “Trench”, which, I think, is completely inappropriate, but should still be acknowledged as an adverse effect of the change.

Cultural Appropriation? Suitable Name?

Another issue I had brought up originally was that the genre name stemmed from the patois word for “Rhythm”. Reflecting on this, I haven’t heard from Jamaicans about whether they feel like using the word for the Dubstep sub-genre name is cultural appropriation. But purely in terms of whether the name is suitable; after hearing the arguments of people favoring the name “Riddim”, I do agree that one of the genre’s defining characteristics is its unique rhythm, so something related to it is an obvious choice for the name.

I was also accused of having been one of the advocates of the name “Riddim” when it first came up, and I will say that this is true. At the time, I thought having a name for the sub-genre in general was a good thing, so I supported it. I believe I’m allowed to reflect on my past actions and change my mind based on new knowledge and experiences.


I’ve been enjoying using the term Trench for my music. I think that the name is fitting for the modern sound that is still focused on flow, but uses a mixdown much closer to heavier styles of Dubstep; similarly to how Getter originally intended the usage of the name. It’s been fun to think about what defines the genre in my eyes, and through that, to once again realize what a wide range of styles there is within the genre of Dubstep.

The Future / Conclusion

I am undecided about what I’m going to call my own music in the future. However, I will stop avoiding the term “Riddim”, and use it when I feel like it helps when communicating with others. I’m sure some people might perceive this as a form of betrayal, or an admission of failure, to which I can only say: First, I really appreciate those of you who have been believing in the vision, but I too am human, and there are things I’m not able to foresee. As I said: I believe it should be acceptable to change our minds as we live life and grow. Secondly, the name change was meant as a suggestion, not a rule. So, naturally, everyone (myself included) can decide what they want to do. I appreciate those of you who have been respectful and who have been approaching the topic with an open mind, ready for conversation and debate!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please feel free to drop a comment below.

Much love,
Christian / INFEKT

9 replies on “Reflections on “Trench””

Hey Infekt! Long time fan here (@IHNITmusic on Twitter), Love this article, but there’s a few things I wanted to make a comment about:

1) “Riddim” as a term, isn’t cultural appropriation (imo).

*DUB*step is a combination of Half-Step/Hard-Step (a branch of Dnb), combined with *DUB*, a form of Raggae. Dubstep is IHNERENTLY a branch/fusion/subgenre of Raggae, and so is Riddim.

Its a *description* of the musics etymology, not a *theft* of the style. Its an homage to its musicological ancestors, thus *adding* to the musics history and evolution, not *dismissing* it. Dubstep is not a simulacra of Dub, its a child of it.

In the same regard, I just don’t think its right to be “scared” (floabt), to use the term “Riddim”. You’re right, there *is* a pretty blurry line between homage and cultural appropriation, but even then, I still really think “Riddim” is far beyond that line.

>Is it cultural appropriation to call soft 90’s era, deliberately low fidelity, jazz-infused drum and bass “Jungle” because *your* culture didn’t coin the term? I don’t think so.

>Is it cultural appropriation to continue to make that kind of music to this day, and still call it Jungle, purely because *your* culture didn’t invent it? Still I don’t think so.

>Is it cultural appropriation to make offshoots of “Jungle” and continue to use that name, even though the offshoots are only loosely related to the source genre via a small set of constraints or formalities? Still, I *really* don’t think so.

And I get that there’s more to it than that, and that I might be being a touch reductive, but I hope you can kind of see the parallels between the arguments I just made, and the controversy that you see between Riddim and Jamacain Folk Music.

Maybe this is just a personal qualm, but I think being scared to embrace other cultures out of fear of being seen as “stealing” said culture is a really… bad? and only further the barriers between cultures. And that leads to my second point:

>>2) I actually *personally* have nothing against the name change.<>3) Why do people care so much?<>>>SUMMARY<<<<

All in all, I personally love your music, and I just wanted to express my take on the whole situation in an extended format. Really, you're doing what YOU think is morally right, and I don't think anybody can really knock you for that. I just think it'd be better to coin "Trench" as a successor to Riddim, instead of replacing the terminology that people have been using for decades. AGAIN, thats just me though, you do you.

Thank you SO much for your time, please feel free to reach out to me!

-Eric D. Trent

PS: It was really difficult to write this because I couldn't copy or paste, or autocorrect any of the text in this textbox. It would've been a lot easier to proof-read this in a word document, and then paste it into this tiny little text box, but that wasn't possible. I understand that you want to avoid plagiarism, but I would probably look into making it possible to copy and paste things just within the textbox, (if that's at all possible)

Thanks Again!!

The stuff that it cut out was:

Isn’t it kind of bad for a white European to change the name of a genre that is, at its core, a fusion of European Club music and Black Jamaican Folk Music? Isn’t that just as culturally problematic as using the original name?

And I said that it might be best to just call you’re specific *type* of Dubstep, “Trench”, instead of trying to retcon a word thats been used for decades. Also a reason that you might be getting so much pushback is because people have been getting kind of harrassed by your fans / people who disagree with you, which kind of injects toxicity into the situation when there really just shouldn’t be any hard feelings on either side.

the appropriation implications come from the term “riddim” being used by jamaicans to allude to instrumentals/beats; i.e. the ‘riddim’ is an accompaniment to vox from either a MC or a vocalist. i think the most important part of infekts statement is that Jamaicans arent offended or upset by our use of it, which is really what defines appropriation. I still think trench is more fitting but realistically naming it riddim is here to stay

I am glad that you started this conversation ab the name “riddim.”
I don’t really feel like the name is cultural appropriation but I do think that if a few people found the name offensive and spoke up about it, the “riddim” community would easily switch to the “trench” community.

When it first came around I was a big fan purely because the term Riddim has become heavily diluted since 2017/2018. In a way it started with Subtronics, or more specifically his fan base. Riddim became loosely interchangeable as people who didn’t truly understand the genre used it to describe dubstep, brostep, space bass, etc. In my mind the transition to Trench was purely for the people who were true fans and deeply involved in the scene. True Riddim becoming trench, and the Dub that people like Subtronics played, becoming Riddim by all the people who honestly don’t know any better.

When I read your first article on the sub-genre name, I agreed with your opinion in changing the name considering the name “riddim” came from a negative place of pirating music (I think that’s what you said in your first article, my bad if I’m mistaken), but my only issue with it was if you were serious about changing the name, you should’ve been grammatically correct, which I believe I caught two instances in your first article in which you were not grammatically correct. That’s just a pet peeve of mine, but I felt that if you wanted to be taken seriously about changing an entire name of sub-genre of music, you should’ve been grammatically correct. It was only because of that that I chose to stick with calling it riddim. Other than that, I completely agreed with you opinion and enjoyed reading your views.

I really think it is far too late in the game to rename this genre. The crazy amount of “riddim” sample packs and tutorials alone will make it impossible. This is why people will never refer to twitter as “X”. It is far too late.

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