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The sound started developing in about 1995 and had various names to start off with including speed garage, london garage and the sunday scene.

Armand van helden was probably the first artist to make a so called "speed garage tune ". He said that he wanted to make some tunes that were a cross between house and drum 'n' bass, many people thought he was mad or something but when they heard his stuff it was a fresh sound. He released remixes of Spin Sugar by Sneaker Pimps, Sugar is Sweeter by Cj Bolland and
Nu Yorican Soul - Runaway. All these tunes were to become classics.

In 1996 artists like RIP (also Double 99), Tuff Jam , Dreem Teem, Booker T 187 Lockdown (also Nu Birth and Gant) and MJ Cole



emerged in the underground scene each with their own unique style. It had become clear by now there were two types of undergound garage, bass line drive tunes like Double 99 , Rip, 187 Lockdoen and more vocal and melodic tunes by the likes of Mj Cole, Todd edwards (also on the discovery tip) and Tuff Jam.

A lot of remixes of non garage track had also been produced. However after a year the bass line tunes were getting too much as so many amateuurs producers were trying to jump on the bandwagon and all of them started to sound similar.

1997 was a big year for UK garage, it was very much in all the DJ mags as it was a new sound, Double 99 had chart success and also appeared on top of the pops with there tune Rip groove.

Towards the end of 1997 another new underground sound was emerging. Instead of kick drums on every beat like "4/4 garage", kick drum beats were altered, this later became known as "two step garage". Some of the first tunes was the theme by the Dreem Teem, Dem 2 - Destiny and also Ramsey and Fen - Lovebug, which was to be a classic. By 1998 2 step had become a house hold word in the UK London garage scene and 4/4 was slowly dying out in the mainstream scene more as Tuff Jam had started remixing less as they were concentrating on their radio show. Booker T also took time out to find a new sound. MJ cole was adding the fusion from 4/4 to 2 step 1999. If you went into a record shop and listened to 20 UK garage tracks possibly only 2 would be 4/4 style.

1998 was very much another underground year (the music was out of the commercial eye). Dj's like Mj Cole, Mike Ruff Cut Lloyd and Dreem Teem

doing the round in all the big under ground clubs. Many pirate radio stations had been set up in london. It was last year(1999) that saw many 2 step garage chart entries including Bump and Flex, Artful dodger and Doolally - even a number 1 hit by Shanks and Bigfoot - (Sweet like chocolate). The path had been set for the explosion UK garage in 2000 in the mainstream with tunes by Artful dodger, Colour girl, Y Tribe, DJ Luck and Mc neat, which had been on white labels for some time before hand, all geting played on mainstream radio.

The UK Garage scene has litterally exploded and taken the World by storm.. who would've thought such a small underground scene would ever get this far?

Written by Craig Vernon

UK garage chat All rights reserved. 2003

 

 

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