UKG Classix Vol.3
We kick off UKG Classix Volume 3 with the first ever UK Garage record I purchased when I was a spotty teenager over 20 years ago. Taken from St Germain’s 1995 album “Boulevard”, “Alabama Blues” got the full Todd Edwards treatment and this tune still remains one of my favourite UKG records. I can also remember Kiss FM rinsing this tune during the summer of 1996 and this led to a re-release of the single where it hit the UK singles chart in late August.
Up next is Mike Dunn Presents The MD X-Spress - “God Made Me Phunky”, a tune that is just an all round club classic and a song that helped path the way for UK Garage in the early days. First released in the UK in 1994 on Ministry’s offshoot label Open, and has subsequently had many re-issues over the years, notably on Defected and Matt “Jam” Lamont’s label Solo Recordings in 2000. “God Made Me Phunky” is all about the bassline and remember first hearing it at my local nightclub Zens in Dartford, the club used to have an awesome sound system thanks to the Jazz Funk era, and you dare not put your drink down while this tune was playing as the vibrations from the speakers would knock it off the side.
Track number 3 “Do You Want Me” by Cloud 9 is an alias of New York House music royalty Victor Simonelli. Released in 1993 this tune was one of the building blocks of the UK Garage scene. The song was then re-released in the UK in 1998 on UK Garage label Locked On where it featured a remix from Dem 2 and then in 1999 the Tuff Jam remix was released on the Locked On - The Best Of...Exclusive Remixes double pack.
Talking of Tuff Jam, their first vocal track together is up next. “Experience” was released in 1996 on Casa Trax and Fifty First Recordings. Still a UKG anthem today and was last featured on the Pure Garage Reload - The Very Best of Old Skool Garage compilation. This tune was almost the blueprint of what the Tuff Jam sound would become, tuff driving drums and basslines with sweet vocals over the top.
Next up is a song that featured on the first UK Garage compilation I ever bought in the summer of 1997, Tuff Jam presents Underground Frequencies Volume 1. Smokin Beats “Dreams” was released in 1996 on their own label and would be snapped up by AM:PM records where it would hit the top 30 in the singles chart in January 98. “Dreams” would also be one of the pivotal track's that would start to see UK Garage DJs fill their record boxes with records made by UK producers, making it truly a UK sound.
The final track in the mix “Guy and Girls” by G.O.D. which was originally an alias of Grant Nelson and Simon Firmin, but was then hi-jacked by Jeremy Sylvester and Mike Millrain. A track that featured on the G.O.D. - Limited Edition “Special” that was released on Nice ’N’ Ripe in 1998. This track gives you a true flavour of the first bumpy underground records that were produced in the UK and reminds me of tuning into pirate radio while working a nightshift in the London Docklands in the late 90s.