Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee takes a look at the resurgence of UK Garage music.

During the 90s I was at the height of my mobile DJ career performing 5 or 6 nights a week at events across the UK. I had to adapt my sets accordingly depending on where in the country I was performing as music tastes varied from city to city.

I was enjoying learning about & playing new music styles including expanding my dance music knowledge.

Towards the end of the 90s the ever-growing dance scene saw a new music style emerge that was hitting the charts and filling the dancefloors. It took inspiration from Drum & Bass, Jungle, Urban & Pop-Dance vibes to create a new sound called Garage!

It was new, it was exciting and audiences were lapping it up. Artists including Craig David, Artful Dodger, MJ Cole, Doolally & Tina Moore all scored huge hits:

These tracks are among many that feature on a range of Garage mixes from Mastermix:

Music often works in cycles, what may be fashionable for a period can find itself out of date very quickly, but occasionally a genre will come back and influence a new era of DJs and audiences, which is very much the case for Garage music.

Artists including AJ Tracey, Aitch and Jorja Smith have all recently released tracks using a UK Garage sound and enjoyed huge chart success, and there have been a number of classic Garage hits like ‘Flowers’ & ‘Bodygroove’ that have been re-worked for a whole new audience with many searching for more of the same and often enjoying tracks that their parents grew up with.

As with most music genres there are some tracks that will stand the test of time and sound as good now as they did when originally released and Garage is no exception with audiences enjoying tracks like ‘Re-Rewind‘, ‘Do You Really Like It‘ and ‘Sweet Like Chocolate‘ that are perfect as part of any Dance set or to complement a modern set that includes tracks & artists who are influenced by the Garage scene.

Many DJs reading this will already be playing a large number of Garage tracks for their audiences, whether classic, modern or a combination of both. It’s an infectious music style that effortlessly creates a unique atmosphere when played and I use it often on my events.

Using popular Garage anthems alongside forgotten gems can offer both you and your audiences a unique music experience with many guests appreciating the throwback to their ‘clubbing days’ or being introduced to new songs that sit well alongside the tracks they’re familiar with.

Mastermix have created a new album to add to the hugely-popular Classic Cuts range: Classic Cuts 169 – Garage Anthems

Classic Cuts 169 Garage Anthems front cover

Many DJs will find this release a useful addition to their music library as it includes 30 massive Garage tracks that have been carefully selected by expert DJs in this style of music and features a selection of popular anthems & forgotten hits that will allow DJs to add a few tracks to their sets.

The album includes big hits like:

Whilst it’s always good DJ practice to play the big hits I always find dropping a few rare gems into your set is often greeted with huge appreciation from those on the dancefloor and can be the difference when it comes to standing out amongst other DJs.

Garage music is enjoying a new lease of life. I’ve enjoyed playing the classics again as well as embracing new Garage tracks that have become an integral part of my DJ sets…and maybe they can for you too?

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