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 and hip-hop 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 or reggae than traditional house or garage.
In the early years, records mainly featured vocal versions using proper singers (with additional instrumental/dub mixes), but from 1998 onwards, the use of MCs 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.
The "House & Garage" days: Carl Bias & BIP - I'm Up In Heaven (1994)
Early "classic 4x4 UK Garage" sounds: Underground Solution - You're No Good (1997)
Early 2-Step UKG: Ramsey & Fen - Love Bug (1998)
Early UKG with MCs: Da Click - Good Rhymes (1998)
Dark pre-grime Garage: So Solid Crew - Dilema (Instrumental) (2000)