Showing posts with label UK Garage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UK Garage. Show all posts

Friday, 1 February 2019


Darqwan - Said The Spider
What is this? Apart from being a wobbly racket, I guess it's proto-dubstep. Is it even garage anymore? More like a drum n bass//bleep/hardcore hybrid. In 2002 this sounded pretty unhinged. Now that the bro-step era has gone by perhaps a tune like this might get a reappraisal or maybe not quite yet. I couldn't find Darqwan's more garage-y tune Pipe Dreams anywhere.

Active Minds - Hobsons Choice
Another terrible project name. Maybe that's why some white labels just say Hobsons Choice. We're back to pure speed garage gold here.

The Dub Monsters - Waiting
Waiting is the flip of Scott Garcia's bona fide speed garage classic A London ThingDub Monsters were a project for Garcia and another bloke. Waiting's all about the sugar rush of the vocal science. This was an odd little double A 12" of the best variety! 

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

UK Garridge V

Sunship - Try Me Out (Chunky Beats)
Noice. I've heard this before, I mean how could I forget right? The flip of this might even be better. I might post that next time.

Phaze One - Nicole's Groove 
Ooh that bass. You think this is just gonna be a whatever garage tune then all this shit happens. UKG!

DJ ZINC - 138 Trek
I dunno if this one is strictly garage but I like it a lot. It fits in that liminal space of not quite drum n bass and not quite garridge either and it's a bit aaciiidd. Like it matters right.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

More UK Garridge Gold

G.O.D. - Watch Ya Bass Bins (1997)
Another tuuuuune from 97 I didn't know until this week! I'm a sucker for time-stretching and reggae/ragga samples. Oh and then there's that fucking bass. Watch Ya Bass Bins!

Box Clever - Treat Me Right (1998)
This one might not seem immediate but just hang on, it's insidious and by the end of the track it will be under your skin. This is meticulous, mesmerizing and magnificent. Love that organ sample.

Zak Toms - Bring Me Down (1998)
Another state of the art speed garage nugget that I don't recall. Worth it for the bass drop at 1 minute 29 alone. Bring Me Down is another lovely, slinky and hypnotic production.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

UK Garridge

Ruff Driverz - Don't Stop
The following three tracks were the ones I discovered for the first time on that top mix from the previous post. This is pure gold. I cannot believe I missed Don't Stop. How good is the 1 min 13 moment?  When that steppy bass enters. Then the 2 minute 27 bass change. Two tunes for the price of one in the true spirit of hardcore. Mental tune. Menacing.

Danny J Lewis - Spend The Night (H-Man Dub)
How's that beat, bass and vocal sample? There's an Australian connection here, Nissan Cedrics singer Dannielle Gaha recorded a dance tune Secret Love that was a minor hit in the UK in 1993. Five years later Danny J Lewis sampled it here.

Jhelisa - Friendly Pressure (Midnight Mix)
I cannot believe this was not a number one chart topper.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

On the UK Garridge Tip

& A Bit Of Ye Olde Jungle

Found this choice UK garage mix today. It treads that fine line between classy, trashy, rootsy and poppy. The rhythms and sonic innovations are undeniable though. It's got classic faves Find The Path, It's a London Thing, RIP Groove etc. Maybe I haven't heard or don't remember half of these tunes which is refreshing. There are some revelations here like Don't Stop (Deeper Mix) from Ruff Driverz, Spend The Night (H-Mans Groove Dub) by Danny J Lewis and Jhelisa's very commercial Friendly Pressure (Midnight Mix), which I can only assume was a big hit in the UK. I think this gear stays really fresh because I wasn't into the scene at the time and only came to appreciate the music much later. It's not like 'ardcore/darkside/jungle where I've heard, you know, Mr Kirk's Nightmare, Bombscare, Finest Illusion, Terminator, Here Come The Drumz, Renegade Snares et al. 1000 times. Anyway this was a really spot on mix until the final three tunes which didn't seem to fit, starting with that Tori Amos track which was more like funky house. So I'd fade out the mix at around the 1 hour 12 minute mark.

Double 99's speed garridge gem RIP Groove from 1997 led me to the above mix. I'm pretty sure this is the original 6 min track.

DJ Gunshot's 1994 jungle tune Wheel 'N' Deal was sampled on RIP Groove was it not?

Wheel 'N' Deal put me in mind of this all time classic jungle Amen smasher Drum N' Bass Wise from Remarc. Wow this still sounds fucking remarkable (pun intended) and current and future... It's from bloody 1994. That's ages ago! I don't even wanna say the amount of years that is. Is 94 when the future died?

This whole sonic journey started here with Grant Nelson's classic Step 2 Me because this tune was posted at Energy Flash several hours ago.

*Some previous posts on UK Garridge:
Proto Dubstep, Speed Garage & Recreations.
UK Garridge With Simon Reynolds.
UK Garridge 101 Part 1.
UK Garridge 101 Part 2.
Uk Garridge 101 Part 3.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

UK Garridge 101 - Part 3

Here it is then one of the two Steve Gurley remixes of Lenny Fontana's Spirit Of The Sun previously mentioned in the post UK Garridge 101 Part 2 in a discussion with Simon Reynolds. We believe this to be the Full Vocal Mix by Gurley. Feel free to correct me if Simon is wrong. The Ballistic Beatz Dub version remains unfound and unheard by me. It's a mystery. Where is it?

I've found The Ballistic Beatz Dub in a mix from DJ Cemtex called rather creatively Past Garage Vol. 1. 

It's A London Thing from Scott Garcia & MC Styles, another 97 speed garage classic! I only discovered this last year too. At some stage last year I had an epiphany about Speed Garage which I just didn't dig at the time after being a jungle fiend. I thought it was backwards disco pop shite. I didn't pick up on 'the encoded traces of hardcore and rave'* ie. the way jungle skills were transposed onto vocals and other bits of 2-Step. The rhythms weren't as fucked up but traces of the deranged remained intact in more subtle ways and in other areas of the tunes. It was those recent Deep-Tech trax that made me reassess the garridge genre. Now I can't believe how many great tunes there are which is exciting as I'm discovering good stuff all the time. Sadly I don't see this happening with Grime. Hey I quite liked Boy In Da Corner though and I have been known to change my mind. I had this great homemade speed garage mix I made but my computer died (think I lost all files). Trying to piece it back together. Don't trust zipcloud, bunch of arseholes!

Richie Boy & DJ Klasse - Madness On The Street
Uh huh! This is the version I know. Fabulous. It's even got guitar samples in it! Are they the same people as the Stamp Crew who also have a version on youtube? Maybe they just changed their name. Who knows? This garridge/2-Step thing is confusing at times. So many versions of one track, different names, white labels etc. This one is true gold though.

Back to hardcore now. Speaking of unfound tunes I cannot find the version of D'Cruz's Bass Go Boom remixed by DJ SS & E.Q. on youtube. Several uploads of the remix seem to have been taken down. The Bass Go Boom remix was on last year's Suburban Base compilation and it's an absolute killer, one of the best jungle tunes ever made according to these ears. It was another tune I had not consciously heard before, previous to buying that compilation but I believe I would have remembered it as the time-stretched out of control drums and distorted bass are unfuckingbelievable. Anyway we're stuck with the original here which is good but not a patch on the DJ SS & E.Q. remix. Hey do yourself a favour it'll be the best $1.69 you ever spent on i-tunes. I think I'm gonna spend a dollar sixty nine on the other remix. Imagine if it's better than the DJ SS & E.Q. one?!

*Almost forgot this footnote. A quote from Simon Reynolds in a piece on his Energy Flash blog.

Monday, 9 February 2015

UK Garridge 101 - Part 2

This one is from 94 and is a gem. My files have disappeared and my computer is dead till I get someone to look at. I'm not hopeful though. I'm using the Mrs computer. I don't think I had this as an mp3 track, it was definitely on a mix though. So this is a Ray Keith alias and there is some Foul Play connection as well. I think they did something on the flipside. I don't know if Ray went onto garage or continued on with drum'n'bass.

Now this is Wookie from 99 and it's garridge gold. I don't think I knew this one at all. That organ sound plus the drums and bass seem so simple and that's what makes this so great. Then there's that cool serene outro, nice.... I guess it reminds me a little of some of those early hardcore trax that were really minimal like 2 Bad Mice but Wookie does it in garridge form.

Ha, now we're back to Steve Gurley who may or may not have had anything to do with that Renegade B-side at the top. I think I'm lovin the dub (below) even more than the vocal mix. Gurley did both of these versions. Gee he had a knack for this shit. The way he seamlessly went from hardcore to jungle to garridge is something to behold. Nobody probably did it better as far as I know (future topic perhaps?) He was born to do wonder what the original is like?


Part of a discussion with Simon Reynolds, author of Energy Flash & Retromania, and me lifted from the comments box.

heard lenny fontana 'spirit of the sun (steve gurley remix)"? also tuuuuuuuuuuuuuune.

I found the 'Full Vocal Mix' on this mix at Soundcloud

This is a pretty cool mix from Revealomaniac, no relation.

The 'Full Vocal Mix' & 'Ballistic Beatz Dub' are not on i-tunes or Beatport. I don't get these guys and the way they treat their own archives?

yes the mix in that Soundcloud thing (which i downloaded last year now i recall) that is the same as the one described as 'Renegade Business Mix' - so i wasn't wrong all along after all. phew!

i suppose it's not an archival culture really, as much as there are fanboys clustered around all different stages of the hardcore continuum who track stuff like who engineered which jungle or hardcore tune and auteur trajectories of producers etc - the actual core of the culture is not archivally conscious. all these great tunes we fetishise were done as fast-money music, it was about getting the track out for the weeks or few months it was blazing on the pirates and making quite a lot of quick money for the label and the producer. they weren't thinking that far ahead and many would have gone out of business. i mean is the label that put out the gurley rmx even in existence any more? is there anyone with an active financial interest maintaining the archive? probably not. but you would think that the artist would want to keep their work out there in some form. however i got the sense that Gurley was burned in his business dealings, that's the story i heard from somewhere, that he was locked into something iniquitous. so perhaps the whole period something he wants to put behind him, or even doesn't own that music. i mean a remix is usually a flat fee payment for a service, the remix is owned by the original artist / label no matter how different the track is at the end of the process.

Lenny Fontana has Hundreds of trax on Beatport and Gurley even has a few. They're just not the one's I want. Maybe there are some issues like you say with certain tunes. Steve Gurley did acknowledge and recommend that Soundcloud mix though. It's a funny old world innit?

***Both Victor Romeo's Inside You and Lenny Fontana's Spirit Of The Sun were issued on Public Demand Records which I don't think has a current release schedule. Probably shutting up shop in the mid 00s by the looks after 2-Step and UKG were superseded by Grime and Dubstep. In 2013 there was some archival (I think?) audio file release activity from the label. They do have a twitter account.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Twisted Mentasms

Keep It Coming (Dem 2 Twist Up Dub) - De Souza feat Marcell Duprey.
Holy Fuck this is a tuuuuune!!!!!!! This has to be one of the best records ever. I don't think I even knew these 2 tunes until the other day so they're new to me and they're fantastic. This one from 98's got subtle and slinky Mentasms. I can't believe how much I like garage now. I was certainly one of those guys who didn't get the paradigm shift. It didn't really matter because there was still loads of other types of music happening but then by the early 2000s even that had dwindled to a trickle. Never even heard of De Souza and according to discogs this was the only thing he did. Don't ya love that? Make an all time classic then skedaddle. Of course Dem 2 are always good. Did they do anything shite?

The Twisted Mentasm - Bizzy B.
Bizzy B man of many top tunes but this one totally passed me by. I'm wondering if there was a different version of this though but I can't seem to find it. Like Second Phase's Mentasm wasn't fucked up enough Bizzy B had to fuck with it some more in 1993. This is pure hardcore gold.

Mentasm - Second Phase.
Why the fuck not? Hey while I'm in the mood we might as well hear the most seminal rave track ever. What more can I say that hasn't already been said. Mentastic!!!


*Some people say my blog goes over their head a little. I guess I take for granted my knowledge & do expect a certain amount of pre-knowledge from my readers on the subjects discussed. Or I think 'hey they're on the interweb if they don't know what I mean, finding out is just a click away.' But people are lazy and will quickly lose interest. Anyway this is something I endeavour to correct. There's not much point preaching to the converted, or is there? There must be something in it as the same people go to mass each week. This would be a good essay topic. Anyway what I'm getting at here is that mental noise on Mentasm. When I say things like Mentasm Stab, Mentastic or Mentasms this right here is what I'm referring to-The tune Mentasm by Second Phase which was Joey Beltram & some other guy. It was released in 1991 on the legendary techno label R&S Records from Belgium in 1991. This sound became treasured and had to be had by every hardcore artist for the next few years in the 90s. It kinda actually was the sound of the 90s wasn't it? Hey it's even been back recently on some top 40 hits from the likes of Rihanna. I'm boring myself. Being a teacher must suck. Next week's class: The Hoover Sound.

Friday, 16 January 2015

The Future Is Dark - Redlight

I was going to continue on with Steve Gurley's history and more Garridge (that'll have to wait) but I came across this. What a bewdy. Somehow this has passed me by for 18 years. I don't even recall it on any mixtapes/DJ sets or even mentioned anywhere ever. I guess it's a slight anomaly with it almost being a 93 Darkside throwback but that bass (which is soo good) puts it firmly in 1996, the era of Jump Up and Tech-Step. So this was just before Garridge took over and Drum'n'Bass dwindled away into inconsequence. Many of Drum'n'Bass's motifs however would continue to pop up in UK Garridge, Grime, Dubstep etc.

Who are Redlight?

Is there more pre Garrdge gold to be discovered? I really did think I'd excavated everything up to the point of the UK Garridge paradigm shift. But perhaps not.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

UK Garridge 101

Another tune I only just discovered from 1998, well identified, as I'm pretty sure I've heard it before and maybe it's in a mix I've got. The vocal version is good too. So Grant Nelson is apparently like the godfather of UK Garridge and was doing it long before everyone else. I read somewhere that Nelson is still doing his thing in House related zones. He was also Bump & Flex so this is him remixing himself.

Turns out Steve Gurley did a remix of Things Are Never by Operator & Baffled. I can't work out if it was his dub version in that previous post or not. Anyway this is a tune from 2000 he did and it's a cracker. One wonders if there is an actual vocal version of Hotboys though, because I've not been able to find one. Bloody hell! Steve Gurley was in 4 Horseman Of The Apocalypse and Foul Play. Then he became a leading producer of UK Garridge and a remix extraordinaire. Legendary enough for ya? I'm expecting him to show up at some point in the Deep-Tech milieu, if he hasn't already that is.

Simon Reynolds adds the Gurley remix of 'things are never' is so much better than the original - which is good - but it's incredibly baleful and rolling. but it's not on YouTube, which is odd, i remember it getting played a lot on the pirates, so obviously well loved. i might try to dig it out and digitize it and put it up myself.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

UK Garage With Simon Reynolds

"Double 99 and Gant are just pure classic speed garridge. Deekline is sort of 2step turning into breakstep (breakstep really not a good development in my opinion, with a few exceptions - although he liked to call it Nu Rave, Deekline - sort of starts to merge into the nu skool breaks scene which you may nor may not recall - Rennie Pilgrem and others that my memory fails to dredge up. Stanton Warriors were the big breakstep act as I recall. But all of it -- speed garage, 2step, breakstep, proto-dubstep like Horsepower Productions, proto-grime like Pay As U Go Kartel, Oxide & Neutrino, and So Solid Crew - could be subsumed under the rubric "UK garage". Which runs from about 1996 in its earliest stirrings through to 2003-4 when grime and dubstep broke off as separate entities - so that's like an eight year period of great music and ferment in the UK dance underground, but also spilling into the charts. "I Don't Smoke" was a hit single."

*This was left by Simon Reynolds in the comments box of the previous post. Seeing as nobody clicks on the comments box I've put it here, hope you don't mind Simon.
As I've said, this is around the time I got off the Hardcore Continuum. I Don't Smoke went to number 11 in the UK chart for DJ Dee Kline in 2000, the year after it's original release. Horsepower Productions feature prominently in that J Rolla Proto Dubstep Mix with 3 tunes. Nu Rave & Nu Skool Breaks are familiar terms as I would have tuned into radio shows playing this music at the time but obviously got turned off by it. This is also around the time (99) I stopped going to clubs. I gave 2step a go but I just couldn't get into it. As far as Grime went I didn't hate it but I didn't love it (like I loved jungle) either, I guess that's indifference or at least tolerance, if it was within earshot. Having said all that it seems I'm open to reappraisals as some Speed Garage, 2step & Breakstep are now seeping into my consciousness in a very good way.

Oh Boy - Fabulous Baker Boys
This is a beauty from 97.

Destiny - Dem 2
Also from 97 and heading into 2step

187 Lockdown - Gunman (Original Mix)
This is a "Tune" from 97 as well.