UK Garage is a form of electronic dance music which originated in clubs at Vauxhall, south London around 1994-1996, and rapidly spread around the capital, but which actually has its roots in the original Garage sound which began in New York in the 1980s.
Originally referred to as "House & Garage" or "the Sunday Scene" (because it was difficult for promoters to find venues for the music on other weekend days at the time), the speeded-up Garage sound was eventually given the name "Speed Garage
" by the media.
The original UKG
sound had a four to the floor
beat; however from 1997 onwards, the breakbeat-influenced "2-Step
" sound became increasingly popular. Reggae
, drum 'n' bass
sounds, as well as R&B vocal samples, increased in influence in uk garage around this time.
The main difference between UK and US Garage, other than being faster, was the use of heavy sub-bass which had more in common with drum 'n' bass
than traditional house
In the early years, records mainly featured vocal versions using proper singers (with additional instrumental/dub
mixes), but from 1998 onwards, the use of MC
s started to gain prominence, having originally been used mainly at the rave
, and on pirate radio
stations which were of great importance to the music's development.
At the start of the new millennium, east London's UK Garage offshoot - grime
- grew out of the increasingly MC-driven garage style, whereas south London's dubstep
scene tended towards more minimal, dubby, instrumental tracks but with heavier bass.