What Is Garage Music: Where It Started
Updated: Jun 9, 2022
There's something about garage music that just makes you want to move. Whether it's the bluesy feel of the guitar or the funky rhythms of the drums, garage music has a groove that is irresistible.
But where did this style of music come from? And how has it evolved over the years?
Read on to learn more about the history of garage music. You might be surprised at what you find!
What is garage music and where did it originate?
Garage music is a type of electronic music that emerged in the early 1990s, characterized by a heavy bassline and repetitive 4/4 beats. Garage music is often associated with certain subcultures, such as grime and pirate radio.
Early UK garage
Pirate radio stations played a huge role in developing and popularizing the UK garage genre. These unlicensed stations were often run out of people's homes, blasting music for hours on end, helping to spread the latest tunes and styles to listeners all across the country. Garage bands got their start by performing live on these pirate radio stations, which helped to build up a following for their music.
The UK garage scene itself exploded in the late 1990s, led by artists like DJ EZ and Artful Dodger. Their catchy, bass-heavy tracks dominated the charts and helped to make garage music one of the most popular genres in the country.
The different styles of garage music and how they've evolved over the years
Garage music has come a long way since its origins in the late 1980s. Originally, garage music was a more stripped-down, minimal style of house music, with basic drum patterns and simple basslines.
Over time, garage music has become more complex, incorporating elements of other genres like hip hop and dubstep.
As a result, there are now many different styles of garage music like garage house, speed garage, garage rock and 2-step garage.
Now, garage music is as popular as ever, especially with club-goers, with new sub-genres emerging all the time. Whether you're into the deeper, more experimental sounds of wonky garage or the catchy hooks of bassline, there's a style of garage music out there for everyone.
Famous UK garage artists
Today, the UK garage scene has become a vast and exciting place to experiment and enjoy. Here are some examples of famous UK garage artists that you might recognise:
1. MJ Cole
M J Cole is a British musician who has made a significant contribution to UK garage music. Cole's music is characterised by its use of samples, often from classic soul and R&B tracks.
Cole's biggest hit to date is "Crazy Love", which reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in 2000. What makes Cole's music so special is its ability to mix different genres and styles. This has helped create a unique sound that has won Cole a loyal following among fans of garage music.
2. Ceri Evans (Sunship)
Ceri Evans, or stage name, Sunship. Originally from Wales, Evans moved to London in the early 1990s and quickly made a name for himself as a DJ and producer. His track "Alive" became an underground hit, and he went on to produce a string of successful singles.
Sunship's music was characterised by its intricate melodies and catchy hooks, and it quickly gained a following among clubbers and ravers. He was widely respected by his peers, and his influence can still be heard in the music of today's garage artists.
Any fan of UK garage music knows that EL-B is one of the most important producers in the genre. His unique style blends elements of house, dubstep, and grime to create a sound that is both fresh and familiar.
EL-B's tracks are often built around catchy vocal hooks and syncopated percussion, creating a sound that is both infectious and empowering. In addition to his work as a solo artist, EL-B has also produced tracks for some of the biggest names in UK garage, including Skepta and Wiley.
His ability to appeal to both mainstream and underground audiences has helped to broaden the appeal of UK garage music and cement its place as one of the most exciting genres in the world.
How to get into garage music if you're interested
If you're looking to get into UK garage music, there are a few things you should know.
First of all, the genre is heavily influenced by R&B and hip hop, so if you're a fan of those genres, you'll enjoy UK garage sound.
Secondly, the beats are usually quite fast-paced and energetic, especially in genres like "speed garage" or "UK funky", so be prepared to dance!
Finally, UK garage has been around for over 20 years, so there's a rich history to explore. If you're interested in getting into UK garage music, start by checking out some of the classic tracks from the '90s and 2000s. Once you've got a feel for the genre, you can start exploring some of the newer artists who are keeping the sound alive.
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Tickets are available here.