UK Garage has not only returned in a big way but has found open and welcoming arms in the house scene. Be it garage tracks that have been given the house remix treatment or house producers influenced by that infectious 2-step sound, or vice versa, the two are fusing together well and proving to be a winning combination. With the scenes respectively thriving, we take a look at some of the most exciting tracks to have been birthed from this formula.
1. Perplexus – 'Put You On' (Penguin & Goose Deep House Remix)
If you've heard the 2-step vocal garage tune "Put You On" that's been doing the rounds online and on radio, then you'll know it's a massive summer vibe. 2-step aficionado, DJ EZ gave it its first spin on Kiss FM a few weeks backs and has since been supported heavily by Capital and BBC Radio 1Xtra, rising to No. 3 on the UKG Chart. All that we know of Perplexus, those behind the track, is that they're a production duo buried deep in west London. A little more is known about remixers Penguin & Goose, who Perplexus have entrusted this deep house mix to.
Operating out of New York's Safe Haven studios, the two met while studying music at Princeton University and we understand first came to the attention of Perplexus when one sent them a remix of a track they'd produced for none other than grime MC, Wiley. It's Penguin & Goose's re-working of a stellar vocal on "Put You On" (out July 6) that's re-imagined this 2-step classic in the making as a submerged house tune, deep in sound with a juxtaposition of grit and smooth at its essence.
2. Manik – "Because Of You"
New York City's Manik has had his fair share of label interest. With releases on Ovum, Black Butter, Ajunadeep, Hot Creations and Culprit, his garage-infused house leanings have been spread far and wide, showcasing just how highly thought of his talent is. It's through Black Butter Records that his latest offering, "Because Of You," emerges and the UK has taken to him with gusto.
3. DJ Q – "Get Over You"
Former BBC Radio 1Xtra stalwart and long-time champion of UKG, DJ Q quickly carved himself a reputation as a formidable producer after his breakthrough success of "You Wot" in 2008. Q's latest album, Ineffable, was released on Local Action at the end of March and its lead track "Get Over You" is the perfect fusion of house and garage; combining two worlds within the electronic umbrella with ease, the now-Ministry of Sound DJ is expanding internationally with upcoming shows in Australia and New Zealand.
4. Shift K3Y – "Touch"
Columbia Records-signed Shift K3Y landed on the UK charts at No3 with the release of "Touch," a garage-meets-house track that's reminiscent of early Craig David in its vibe and high-register vocal that punctuates the electronic rhythm. Previous offerings in the form of 'Laughing At You' with Ruby Francis and "Make It Good" hinted at the crossover potential of Shift K3Y's music and he didn't disappoint with "Touch," balancing that fine art of appealing to the masses without alienating the core audience that has been there from day one.
5. My Nu Leng Feat. Fox – "Masterplan"
The tradition of Bristol being a hotbed for forward-thinking music looks set to continue with the rise of duo, My Nu Leng. Signed to Black Butter Records after releases on Mindstep Music and Lo-Note UK, the sound, though an amalgamation of influences that is hard to pinpoint, is identified by themselves as steeped in garage. "Masterplan," taken from the EP of the same name, is deep in nature and is led by the most compelling of basslines. Vocalled by Dub Phizix collaborator and MC, Fox, his tones allude to jungle sensibilities; the range of influences on this track culminating in a monster.
Words: James Walsh