in the early 90s, clubbers fell into two camps – the hiphop/r&b crowd and the house/garage/techno crowd. the latter was far more dominant and you would find that most clubs had a main floor playing cheesy house and a smaller room with a cooler crowd playing funkier beats. you had to go to a proper club to hear real house music.
i liked both, and often wondered what an amalgamation of the two would sound like. but it made my brain hurt. several years later it became evident that others had been thinking the same thing, and new sounds started to emerge.
there were two distinct types of speed garage, as it was called then. two step was slower and used an entirely new beat, and four-four garage, bassline house, speed garage, raggage, whatever you want to call it, was basically US garage speeded up. speed garage adopted the jungle attitude, was strictly a london thing, and jacked many of its sound effects, but it was more danceable for the rhythmically challenged.
incidentally, the londoncentricity that prevailed can, i believe, claim the demise of jungle, speed garage and uk garage as directly attributable. the rest of the UK fights a constant, and sometimes imaginary, battle against the capital’s dominance. interestingly, southerners didn’t reject the madchester scene for being too northern.
new scenes don’t just take over the saturday night dancefloor. they have to work their way up. so, in 1995, speed garage became known as ‘the sunday scene’ at clubs such as spread love, deja vu, twice as nice and cookies and cream. the pirates, most notably freek fm, magic fm and erotic fm, had been playing garage for years, but in the mid 90s, they all but ditched us garage and drum’n’bass to promote the new uk sound.
this is a mix of the early speed/four-four garage tracks, including some that were ahead of their time and subsequently got played out years later as they fitted into the current mix. this is the sound of poky rooms in shared houses, pirate stations blaring out of clapped out cars racing around wood green. out clubbing for the third night in a row and no signs of stopping. good times.
bizzi – bizzi’s party – booker t mix
kristine blond – loveshy – club mix
jodeci – freek you up – mk dub
187 lockdown vs natural born chillers – rock the funky beats – beatdown mix
gant – sound bwoy burial – 187 lockdown mix
sound of one – as i am – todd edwards mix
scott garcia – a london thing
sneaker pimps – spin spin sugar – armand van helden mix
same people – dangerous
double 99 vs another level – be alone no more
x-presidents – diamond rings
all saints – never ever – booker t vocal mix
juliet roberts – so good – booker t mix
n’n’g – right before my eyes – grant nelson mix
nightcrawlers – push the feeling on – the dub of doom
robin s – show me love – stonebridge mix
kim english – nite life – retail mix