What is UK Garage?
UK Garage is a blanket term for several related styles that all share a heritage in US House or Garage Music. It began as a fusion of Jungle/DrumnBass and Vocal House born on the pirate radio airwaves and in clubs in England that were home to the London underground dance music scene. Similar to Jungle in it’s early days, UKG borrows influences from nearly the entire spectrum of music but has particularly strong roots in RnB, Hip-Hop, and Dancehall Reggae.
As Jungle got darker and more minimal and evolved into DrumnBass, it lost many of the melodic and vocal elements that had been a part of it’s appeal to more mainstream audiences in the UK. Many club and rave-goers sought something less aggressive and more friendly. Often times, the “other room” at Jungle Clubs and Jungle Raves was home to US Garage and Vocal House. New Jersey native, Todd Edwards is commonly referred to as the Godfather of UK Garage or “Todd the God” and his visionary style of vocal collage is reflected in different forms throughout many of the various styles of UKG. As legend goes, it was primarily the women who began to move to the Garage rooms and where the women go, the guys are sure to follow. As the DJs in these side rooms and in the off-peak-hours sets on primarily Jungle based pirate radio stations gained followers, many of them wanted to write their own tracks and add their own sounds to the music they played. The UK Garage sound began to emerge.