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Early 4/20 party: Albuquerque’s The Riddims headline show at Launchpad in April

Local high-desert reggae band The Riddims will headline the Four Twenty Pre-Roll Party on April 18 at the Launchpad.

The Riddims are spreading their soothing vibes with a new album and coming tour.

For now the band that describes their sound as high desert reggae will headline the Four Twenty Pre-Roll Party on April 18 at the Launchpad. The show will feature The Big Spank, Red Light Cameras and Slums of Harvard. A show The Riddims were scheduled to play on Friday, March 20, with California artist Kyle Smith and other local bands has been postponed.

“This year, April 20 is a Monday, so we’re going to celebrate it a little bit earlier, on April 18, which is a Saturday,” said Myles Chavez, lead vocalist and guitarist for The Riddims. “I work at High Desert Relief Dispensary. They help us put it on every year. It’s going to be them and Bhang medical chocolate who actually sponsors our event. Us and them, we actually put together a big 4-20 festival at the Launchpad. It’s going to be us, The Big Spank and Red Light Cameras, who are two of the biggest bands in New Mexico. And then we’re going to have Slums of Harvard … to open the show, which is a new college band from (the University of New Mexico), really good, really talented guys. We’re also going to have a DJ there. We’re going to have live art, vendor booths, a food truck. We’re going to be doing specials and giveaways for the upcoming holiday on Monday. It’s going to be a really big show.”

The Riddims, who have been playing together for six years, created their own sound with influences from reggae combined with their New Mexico roots.

“We started playing, and people were, like, ‘You have that reggae vibe,’ ” Chavez said. “We had that chunky guitar kind of feel, but I didn’t necessarily think of us as reggae, because we’re not Rastafarian in any way. We don’t preach any religious things. We are very into our own New Mexico culture. … So when people ask us, ‘What genre are you guys?’ We tell them we’re a high-desert reggae band, because we feel our version of the reggae that we play is so unique to New Mexico that it can’t really be generalized as just reggae.”

The Riddims are working on a new album. The band is working with a producer from California who is mixing and mastering tracks for the album. The band plans to release a new song in April and expects the new album to be out by June or July. The band is also working on planning an out-of-state tour in support of the album.

“For this album, we wanted to focus on mainly the quality of the sound,” Chavez said. “We want this to be a very crisp album so the producer we’re working with is helping to make this a very well produced album so we can reach a mainstream audience but within that we want this to be very much about our culture because we have a feeling that this album is going to be something that might help break us in a big way.”

It is important for the band to bring attention to the state its members grew up in.

“We want to let people know that we’re not a flyover state,” Chavez said. “There’s immense culture, and it’s not just this city but the entire state that we want to represent our culture the best way we can. So we really want to focus on our roots on this album. So we’re talking a lot about how we grew up, where we grew up, the struggles we’ve been through and how it’s made us better people.”


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