click on the pics above to take a peek at our uk garage interview for DJ Mag & learn about how us yanks got into one of britain’s best musical exports, some of our all-time garage faves, and how we linked up with Nice N’ Ripe to do a compilation.
check out our Top 5 Garage Greats list we did for fashion culture mag i-D. five essential gems for anyone who wants to learn more about the genre… READ HERE.
It’s finally here. The moment we’ve been waiting for since we were like 16. Our official mix of jams from our favorite UK garage house label of all time is OUT NOW! Get it on CD, vinyl and digital if you’re into that kinda thing…
UK Garage has been close to my heart since I picked up an issue of Muzik mag with a Dreem Team covermount CD while in England with my family in ’96. The music with the swingy beats, big bass and r&b/reggae vibe tied together all my early influences and I fell in love. Some of the first records I ever bought we’re speed garage and I continued into 2-step and then grime. My desire to share the sounds in my home country led to promoting one of the only garage nights in the US for 2 years in the early ’00s and dropping more than a few mixtapes. In 2004 I linked up with Martin “Liberty” Larner and he brought me into the Black Ops crew and to gigs at The legendary Smoove night at Ministry of Sound and Paradiso in Amsterdam. One artist in the crew’s r&b meets garage jams really caught my ear and were so timeless they have stayed in rotation til today. His name was Dread D and while we were promoting our album last summer we played on T Williams’ RinseFM show and upon telling this story he revealed that’ve was Dread D. Now it’s all come full circle and I get to embark on this vinyl only journey through one of my favorite genres with one my favorite artists. Boooo!
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Ok so it’s been a minute since our last 90s post, but tonite is YOYOYO 90s JAM so it’s a good time to bring it back. First of all that video up there is I’m Gunna Get You by Bizzare Inc featuring the oh so early 90s vocalist Angie Brown (more on her below). What you might not know is that before dropping this massive cheese dance hit Bizarre Inc had some serious rave anthems, especially 1991’s Playing With Knives (this is the best youtube video I’ve ever seen), which you’re just gunna have to go buy yourself, because that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is that I got some serious slept on 90’s classics in Chi a couple weeks ago and they need to be shared/dug out. This is the first post of gems, it’s focused on the house and garage side of things, soo all you techno lovers hold tight a few days…
Electribe 101 – Talking With Myself (Jazzy Piano Mix) DOWNLOAD
I’m not gunna get into the history of Electribe 101 cause you can read that here. This track isn’t quite house, it’s kinda cheesy (but not as cheesy as Frankie Knuckles’ Extended Remix) and it originally came out 1988. But this vinyl dropped in 1990, when there were also a ton of other remixes released too and has this mix which is like the deepest early 90s dance track I’ve ever heard PLUS Larry Heard‘s Jazzy Piano Mix which is even deeper and super dope, but you’ll have to buy the vinyl off me if you want that.
Dean Street Crew ft. Sweet Pussy Pauline – The Credit Card (The Buddah-Aim Mix) DOWNLOAD
This one came out 1995 on Cutting Traxx and features everyones favorite drag queen turned house vocalist (spoken word not singing) Sweet Pussy Pauline. This is the Danny Buddah Morales mix and the way the vocals are chopped sounds like a new Switch or Sinden track so if someone wants to do an edit and send it to us that would be dope cause we don’t have time to do it right now.
Bobby & Steve present Zoo Tribe – Get Up DOWNLOAD
I know you recognize the horn sample from one of the biggest house tracks of all time, but guess what, this one came out in 1993 on Zoo Klub, one year before Kenny Dope’s dancefloor Bomb! Less known, but just as powerful and it’s the O.G! Oh and if you like house music, but don’t know about Bobby & Steve / Zoo then you best read up on that shit.
BONUS: Yasang – Because Of You (Roy’s “Nothin’ But Love” Mix) DOWNLOAD
There’s 2 reasons I had to put a 4th track on this post. First: Yasang was a group that had one release ever and guess who was in the group? That’s right Angie Brown! The original of the track was released in 1997 and was produced by longtime dope dealers Bugz In The Attic. Second: speaking of Chicago, this mix was from the second release of this track in 1998 on Catch Records (one of my favorite UK garage labels) and is by none other than second generation Chitown don Roy Davis Jr. who I saw throw it down twice while I was in Chi and you may remember from our recent Roule Records post. There’s another mix of this track that’s more on the bumpy UK garage tip that you can check over on The Bamboozla Blog.
Ok, just woke up from a week long blog coma. Sorry to keep all the Armand fanatics at bay. So next up we’ve got Armand’s first releases on Strictly Rhythm and Nervous Recs, both of which ironically are back in buisness. For those that didn’t know, Strictly partnered with Defected UK for a 2007 relaunch with new mixes of Wink’s Higher State of Conciousness and a new single from Todd Terry.
Anyways, back to AVH, who’s so rediculously diverse that we’re giving you a taste of deep, tribal and garage from ’94-’95.
Kim English – Nite Life (Retail Mix)
Ok first up, hot fire from 1994. Armands pass at Kim English‘s classic vocal anthem, which went even so far as to get picked up on Polydor UK. This tune is epic, rave stabs, resonating b-line and New Jersey garage shuffle. After Nervous Records closed down, Kenny Dope remixed and put out a version on Dopewax in 2006 as Nitelife(Encore), but this one’s the O.G!
Armand Van Helden – Nrongo Ra Morongo
Do you want to dance and be happy? Hell yeah, 1994 Strictly Rhythm Nrongo Ra Morongo is the tribal banana boat. I don’t know what language this is, but I know that Armand was feeling samples from Indonesia and Africa. It sounds like they’re saying Namaste which would be from India, i dunno fer sure. Anyways, if you peep the breakdown you might notice that its the same sample he used for 1994’s Zulu (Change Mix) under the Circle Children alias. This track totally flips into some naked percussion. So F*cking DOPE, plus there’s crickets homie, crickets!
The Mole People – Break Night
The Mole People, I definitely relate since Soul Clap has been living in the studio with no windows. I can’t really put my finger on exactly this sound but its deep, dubby, tribal and so freshly phasered out. Released on Strictly in 1995, can’t tell if its sampled or original, but anyone that knows get at us and set the record straight!
So I was gunna do all Armand’s ’94 house works in one post, but there are too many tunes and the 4 labels he was on are too long to fit in one line of the post title. So I’m breaking into 2 parts, but here’s a little info that applies to this post and the one coming tomorrow. 1994 was the year that Armand broke out and defined the hard edged new garage sound that carried him and NYC’s house labels through the mid ’90s and ultimately played a huge role in the creation of the entire UK garage movement (actually wikipedia’s entry has a ton of errors so maybe someday I’ll have time to update it).
Tonja Dantzler – In And Out Of My Life (AV8 Mix)
This remix was actually released in 1993 on ‘tique Records a sub-label of Woburn, MA based Critique Records, which also released albums from early ’90s acts 2 Unlimited and Digital Underground! The chopped up vocals and tough swing beats on Armand’s mix laid out the framework for his ’94 releases and the new garage house sound.
Armand & The Banana Spliffs – Crusty The Caveman (Land Of The Lost Mix)
This EP came out on Cutting
Records Traxx in ’94 and has 2 all-time Soul Clap secret weapons on it so I gotta post my least favorite on it. If you are dieing to get your hands on 2 of the best ska/dancehall/house tracks ever then you will buy my second copy of this vinyl.
Old School Junkies – Heh Baby –
Armand’s first Old Skool Junkies EP came out in 1994 on Henry Street and has 3 top choice party cuts PLUS beat tools for all of ’em. All 3 tracks are necessary, but this one is often overlooked in favor of voguing anthem Work Me! (Gadamit). It’s disco house looper that samples Tata Vega’s “Get It Up For Love” (edited to perfection by Dimitri From Paris in 2002).