When UK garage was at its peak in the early '90s, I was still watching 'Sesame Street' in my nappies... To be perfectly honest, from the amount of debt I saw my older brother in after spending unimaginable amounts on patterned Moschino jean suits and Nike 110’s over the years (this was the dress code, you see), I’m kind of glad that I wasn’t about. But, I may have to eat my words soon and head over to eBay in search of some vintage Iceberg History garms, so I can fit in with the older ravers currently reliving their past in clubland.
The sound that birthed grime, dubstep and bassline has done a Lazarus on us and has risen from the dead! Yes, people: garage is back in all of its blinged-out glory. Over the past few months, I've witnessed the genre slowly creep back on specialist radio playlists and take over popular club nights that it used play a major role in (see: Sidewinder). With producers such as Todd 'The God' Edwards still at, this revival was bound to take place sooner or later. While most of his colleagues went off to try out various UKG offshoots, Todd remained loyal to garage and has continued to make the genre sound as fresh as possible throughout the years.
Someone else who has been championing this resurgence is BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Q, who says "garage never died out, it's just simply down to the fact that people are starting to appreciate the music again." The pioneering bassline producer and DJ continued, saying: "In my opinion, garage never went anywhere. The only thing that’s changed is that a lot of the artists who were around at the beginning, they have now come back to the scene. But, I think the tune that sparked the whole 'garage is back' thing is Mike Delinquent Project's remix of Wretch 32's 'Traktor'. That track used a traditional 2-step beat pattern; very similar to the stuff that was being made back in the early garage days."
So, folks, there you have it: garage is back. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon, so go forth and dig up those bright-coloured Valentino jeans from the back of your wardrobes, practice that old skank you used to do, and head to the nearest 'Back 2 95' rave in a town near you. Who knows? You might even bag yourself a GILF! I joke. I joke.
Wretch 32 – 'Traktor' (The Mike Delinquent Project Remix)
Todd Edwards – 'Head Held High'
Littlefoot – 'Sell My Soul'
Catch DJ Q on BBC 1Xtra every Tuesday/Wednesday, 1am – 4am.
Words and editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)
Photography: Daniel Benson (Vice)