dirty martini

old music for new people

the two step invasion April 12, 2008

no genre of music has ever divided clubgoers like uk garage. after speed garage, which was basically still 4/4 and just like us garage but faster, 2 step garage emerged. a significant proportion of the first wave of 2 step records were r&b covers or bootlegs.

i seem to remember that after an initial bang in 1997/8, garage went back underground in 1999, bar ‘sweet like chocolate’, before a resurgence of interest later in the year that eventually took it mainstream. i was in london, so it never really went away, but there was little evidence during 1999 that it had a presence beyond the m25.

this was an expensive scene saturated with champagne and designer labels, and many of the clubs such as twice as nice operated an over 25’s door policy. the attitude was reminiscent of the wine bar scene of the late 80s – only now you needed to be cool and have the cash (credit…come on, most of the clubbers were on less than £20k a year, those promoters should be ashamed).

my man did not like uk garage at all. to me, it was the house/r&b hybrid i’d often tried to imagine.

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ramsey and fen – lovebug

dhl – favourite girl

lenny fontana – spirit of the sun

n’n’g – right before my eyes

future underground nation – the way

sweet female attitude – flowers

destiny’s child vs jameson – bug a boo

brandy and monica vs architechs – the boy is mine

richie dan – call it fate

tin tin out and emma bunton – what i am

artful dodger and romina johnson – movin’ too fast

dem 2 – destiny

kele le roc- my love

christian falk- make it right

n’n’g and rose windross – liferide

doolally – straight from the heart

 

it’s not just a london thing… September 2, 2007

tower-blocks.jpg

 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.

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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