UK garage

UK garage

Infobox Music genre
name = UK garage
color = white
bgcolor = #666667
stylistic_origins = (US) garage, Rap, Drum and bass, R&B
cultural_origins = Early-Mid 1990s, United Kingdom
possible_creators = Jeremy Sylvester, Grand Nelson, Tuff Jam, Michael King, Todd Terry
instruments = Synthesizer - Drum machine - Sequencer - Keyboard - Sampler - Laptop
popularity = Mainstream success mostly in the UK in the late 1990s - early 2000s
derivatives =
subgenrelist = Subgenres
subgenres = 2-step, 4x4, Bassline, Breakstep, Dubstep, Funky, Grime, Speed garage, Fidget house

UK Garage (UKG) is an umbrella term that refers to several different varieties of modern electronic dance music generally connected to the evolution of house in the United Kingdom from early/mid-1990s.

The evolution of house music in the UK in the mid 1990s led to the term, as previously coined by the Paradise Garage DJs, being applied to a new form of music also known as speed garage. In the late nineties the term "UK garage" was settled upon by the scene. This style is now frequently combined with other forms of music like hip hop, rap and R&B, all broadly filed under the description urban music. The pronunciation of UK garage is IPAEng|ˈɡærɨdʒ ("ga-rij", rather than the American pronunciation IPA|/ɡəˈrɑ:ʒ/ "guh-raj"), as this is the most common pronunciation of the word in the British Isles.

Artists like Sillo, The Artful Dodger, So Solid Crew, Heartless Crew, The Streets, Shanks & Bigfoot, DJ Luck and MC Neat, Sunship (Ceri Evans), Oxide and Neutrino and numerous others have made garage music mainstream in the UK, whilst Dizzee Rascal's and Wiley's arrival raised the profile of grime, an offshoot of garage. However on the East London underground scene garage is distinctly different, it has a much more raw sound, placing a greater emphasis on electronic beats and rhythms.

Female garage artists include Lisa Maffia, Ms. Dynamite, Gemma Fox, Kele Le Roc, Shola Ama, Sweet Female Attitude, Mis-Teeq and Ladies First.

There is a successful UK garage CD compilation series called Pure Garage, mixed by DJ EZ.

"'Garage' is one of the most mangled terms in dance music. The term derives from the Paradise Garage itself, but it has meant so many different things to so many different people that unless you're talking about a specific time and place, it is virtually meaningless. Part of the reason for this confusion (aside from various journalistic misunderstandings and industry misappropriations) is that the range of music played at the garage was so broad. The music we now call 'garage' has evolved from only a small part of the club's wildly eclectic soundtrack."

"-- Frank Broughton/Bill Brewster in Last Night A DJ Saved My Life"



In the USA, where jungle and techno were very popular at the time, garage was played in a second room at jungle events (as a counterpart to chill-out rooms at techno parties). As jungle tracks are much faster than (US) garage, DJs in the US started to speed up garage tracks to make them more suitable for the jungle audience in the UK. The media started to call this tempo-altered type of garage music "speed garage", 4x4 and 2-step's predecessor. DJs would usually play dub versions (arrangements without vocals) of garage tracks, because pitch-shifting vocals could sometimes render the music unrecognizable (although sped up and time stretched vocals were an important part of the early jungle sound, and later played a key role in speed garage). The absence of vocals left space in the music for MCs, who started rhyming to the records. Since then MCs have become one of the vital aspects of Speed and UK garage parties and records. Early promoters of speed garage included the "Dreem Team" and "Tuff Jam" and pirate radio stations like "Freeze FM", "Deja Vu", "Erotic FM" or "Kiss FM". During its initial phase, the speed garage scene was also known as "the Sunday scene", as initially speed garage promoters could only hire venues on Sunday evenings (venue owners preferred to save Friday and Saturday nights for more popular musical styles). Labels whose outputs would become synonymous with the emerging speed garage sound included "Deja Vu", "Spread Love" and "Twice as Nice". Debate continues to rage over the first true speed garage record; contenders include "So More (I Refuse)" by Industry Standard, "Love Bug" by Ramsey and Fen, 'RIP Groove' by Double-99, and Armand van Helden's remix of Tori Amos's "Professional Widow" Fact|date=August 2008. Speed garage tracks were characterised by a speeded-up house-style beat, complemented by the rolling snares and a reverse-warped bassline sound that were popular with the drum & bass producers of the time.

Speed garage already incorporated many aspects of today's UK garage sound like sub-bass lines, ragga vocals, spin backs and reversed drums. What changed over time, until the so called 2-step sound emerged, was the addition of further funky elements like R&B vocals, more shuffled beats and a different drum pattern. The most radical change from speed garage to 2-step was the removal of the 2nd and 4th bass kick from each bar (see "Characteristics" for more details). Although tracks with only two kick drum beats to a bar are perceived as being slower than the traditional four-to-the-floor beat, the listener's interest is maintained by the introduction of syncopating bass lines and the percussive use of other instruments such as pads and strings.

Among those credited with honing the speed garage sound, Todd Edwards, is often cited as a seminal influence on the UK garage sound. The producer from New Jersey introduced a new way of working with vocals. Instead of having full verses and choruses, he picked out vocal phrases and played them like an instrument, using sampling technology Fact|date=August 2008. Often individual syllables were reversed or pitch-shifted. This type of vocal treatment is still a key characteristic of the whole UK garage vibe.

The UK's counterpart to Todd Edwards was MJ Cole, a classically trained oboe and piano player, who had a string of chart and underground hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s, most notably with "Sincere" and "Crazy Love".

Arguably one of the earliest examples of a 2-step track is 'Baby can I get your number' by Sillo and 'Never Gonna Let You Go' by Tina Moore. Jess Jackson was responsible for many garage records but one which stood out was "Hobsons Choice". The B Side of this record changed the UK garage scene from funky and soulful to dark and bassy.

The producer duos Shanks & Bigfoot with Sweet Like Chocolate and The Artful Dodger, aka Pete Devereux and Mark Hill, who (together with Craig David) were very successful with the track "Re-rewind", which became an anthem for the 2-step scene. After the platinum-selling success of Shanks & Bigfoot's Sweet Like Chocolate released the year before, the floodgates had been opened. Although Re-rewind was denied a #1 position by Cliff Richard, it was also a platinum seller, one of the garage scene's first and last.

2002 saw an evolution into two main directions: the first being that, 2-step was moving away from its funky and soul-oriented sound into a darker direction called "grime" (now a genre in its own right - generally no longer considered or classified as UK garage but retaining BPMs which usually range from 138-143 beats per minute, a common element in modern garage). During this period traditional UK garage was pushed back underground amongst the bad publicity emanating from the tougher side of the genre, and publicized violence surrounding members of the So Solid Crew.

In 2007, DJs such as DJ Charma, DJ Elski and Matt Farley have been involved in the promoting and revival of UK garage's popularity, with producers like Delinquent, Ayklogic, Control-S, DJ Ade, Marvel, Solution, Duncan Powell and Danny Dubz producing fresh new UK garage, also known as "new skool" UK garage.

So called "old skool" UK garage producers MJ Cole, Sunship, Wideboys- to name a few, have produced new UK garage to give the scene a huge push, which also provides a nostalgic link to the "old skool" UK garage scene that everybody remembers.

The end of 2007 saw "new skool" UK garage push to the mainstream again with notable tracks like Delinqent's "My Destiny", T2's "Heartbroken" (which some class as Bassline rather than UK garage) and Wideboys' "Snowflake", reaching the mainstream charts. This was topped by DJ EZ releasing "Pure Garage Re-wind to the Old Skool", which contained a third CD with fresh "new skool" UK garage.

End of 2007 and beginning of 2008 has seen the rising popularity of an off-shoot of UK garage, called bassline. Artists like DJ Q, Riplash and Sus, DJ BDM & Ender MC, MC Bones, Northern Line Records, Brett Maverick, T2, Delinquent have been producing fresh new bassline, and currently the UK garage scene contains a significant number of gassline producers, which are going on strong to promote and push this sub genre of UK garage.

As is stands, many view bassline as it's own genre. The popularity of bassline is so strong, that earlier this year, Kiss FM gave DJ EZ an hour long Saturday show to promote new bassline tunes.

ee also

*Artful Dodger
*MJ Cole
*Todd Edwards
*I Records
*Romina Johnson
*List of UK Garage artists

=External links=
* [ Slick n Fresh - UK Garage News, Views and Downloads]
* [ Homepage of the UK Garage & Grime section of BBC's 1Xtra Radio]
* [ The UK Garage Scene at Uptown Records Forum]
* [ Download and Discuss UK Garage Music]
* [ - UK Garage, Dubstep, Grime, Bassline, etc in the US and Canada]

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