UK Garage Dark Reviews Archive


Artist: The Wideboys
Title: Breakin
Label: Garage Jams
Released on the Wideboys new label Garage Jams, Breakin is an electro breakbeat monster of a track that you will either love or hate. With electro bass sounds and vocal clips associated with "Breakin" the wideboys have provided the body poppers with some garage breaks to lock to. Beware of headspins and windmills - A class tune from garage heavyweights The Wideboys. DJ DBT 



Artist: Sirus
Title: Whiplash / Red & Black
Label: Downlow

Whiplash is the 4/4 side of Sirus' first own-label release, This great bassline roller continues in the pattern of previous Sirus tracks, utilising a great bassline sound with a boucing 4/4 beat. On the flip we find a little breakbeat treat, Red & Black. Already being canned by the likes of EZ and Pay As U Go, Red & Black will appeal to a wide range of breakbeat fans. This time the distinctive Sirus bass sound is accompanied by tribal beats and an eerie vocal which is sure to cause mayhem on the dance floor! DJ DBT 



Artist: Artwerk
Title: Red
Label: Big Apple

DND and Menta (Sounds of da Future) production henchman Atrwerk comes under his new alias for Big Apple records. Another simple but deadly track working along the same lines that have made Musical Mob so successful, Red is already hitting the top of Garage charts everywhere. This combination of simple beats and rubber bass seems to be leading the way in dark UK Garage at the moment! DJ DBT 



Artist: Specialist Moss & Elizabeth Troy
Title: Heavyweight
Mix: Original / Zed Bias    

This double A side 12" features Zed Bias and DJ Hype remixes of the dance hall track 'Ring the Alarm' and 2 mixes of 'Heavyweight'. Heavyweight is an awesome combination of MC and vocalist with Elizabeth Troy providing a great vocal completly different to her contributions to MJ Cole tracks. The Zed Bias remix, although similar to the original adds depth and in my opinion improves this tune to no end. On the flip we find the Zed and Juiceman mix along with the DJ Hype remix of 'Ring the Alarm'. The infectious ragga vocal with drum & bass style breakbeat backing is sure to be a firm favourite with music fans. Even if you have never heard previous mixes of this track you find it strangely familiar. Big Tune!! DJ DBT 



Artist: Subfunk present Tombraider
Title: Get Crunked Up
Label: White
Mix: Garage remixes    

Hip Hop bad boys IKONZ get the unofficial UK remix treatment from the one and only 'Tombraider' who lets loose with a vocal and instrumental mix, both of which hit the spot. It's the vocal mix which really stands out, with Tombraiders laid back beats and garagey stabs combining nicely with the IKONZ hip hop style lyrics. Has to be played really loud to be appreciated, so go find yourself a copy of this limited 12?, and annoy your neighbours. AL20.7.01 



Artist: Unknown artist
Title: Ballistix Vol 2
Label: Ballistix
Mix: Original    

Breakbeat, bassline 2-step at it's very best coming in the form of Ballistix Volume 2, an uplifting, rolling hard-stepping, super funked up track which will be heard on Londons pirates for months to come. The intro builds nicely, setting the scene with some guitar licks and melodic strings, beofre slamming into the zinc style basslines which dominate for the remainder of the track. Definately one for the Dj's and Mc's in garage land...... Buy it - play it - turn it up! AL5.1.01 



Artist: Mos Def / Nate Dogg
Title: On No
Label: White
Mix: DJ Hype   

Yes, you haven't read wrong. DJ Hype (the original bad boy DJ) comes with a 'Zinc' style remix, which is SLAMMIN. If you like 138 Trek and other soundalikes, you'll love this, but don't think for a minute it hasen't got its own style and flavour - cos it has! Another tune which splits the UK Garage Scene in two, but expect heavy pirate radio play nevertheless! AL2.2.01 



Artist: Ricky Magic Martin
Title: Snake
Label: Spellbound
Mix: Original    

'Zinc' style track from Ricky Magic Martin, with the same kind of beats and little drum rolls on the ends of the drum arrangements. Movie clips make an appearance as well, (special forces, nuclear weapons, terrorists and the like !) Its a dark, dark tune, with an unusual hardcore style bassline, and it will impress those who like it dark and moody. It might grow on me! AL2.2.01 



Artist: Charlie Browns Big Beat Orchestra
Title: Good Thing
Label: Telstar

Booooooomm! This one's red hot - I swear I could see steam coming from the needle the first time I played this - or was that the effects of the alcohol ?! This huge bassline led floor filler offers two mixes, one of which feature's MC Teller. The tune's intro builds nicely, using the same Hip Hop style noise as used on 'Super Sharp Shooter'. But..when the bass comes in - Game over! Good Thing? I think so !! AL 



Artist: Young Star
Title: True VIP
Label: New Deal recordings

Drum & Bass orientated two step, guaranteed to blow up your speakers wherever you drop it. The intro's top class, as is the chunky wobbly bass, old skool stabs and vocals which make up the main arrangement of the track. Can't help but think Drum & Bass everytime I hear it, but I guess thats the way the two step sound is heading. Another fine track for the Bass lovers among us. AL 



Artist: Wassup !!
Title: Wassup !!
Label: White
Mix: Original    

It was bloody obvious somone was going to do it, and i must admit that it had crossed my mind ....but after hearing this I'm glad I did'nt. It says 'wassup' a lot, and then the vocal goes on to say that "he likes chillin with his girlfriend". How nice . Buy it...and then turn it into an ash-tray......and stop saying 'wassup' sound stupid ! AL 



Artist: So Solid Crew
Title: Oh No (Sentimental Things)
Label: Relentless
Mix: Original    


honk, honk, honk-honk-honk! You know this is a tune of course, although even I'm shocked by its popularity (remember, this was rolling around for ages on the pirates!) I'm into the mc'ing on this one, which is unusual for me, but all in all it's a stomper... Oh, and with catchy female vocals from Lisa Maffia, and large scary dogs in the video, you can't really ask for more ! AL 



Artist: This is Stan
Title: Eminem
Label: White
Mix: 'This is Stan' Mix    

This much hyped Eminem track, which of course looks bound for x-mas number one, gets the garage treatment by the 'illejitimate children' (whoever they are..and yes, it is spelt like that!). Well, to be honest, I'm not sure about this one. It will be a crowd pleaser for sure, mainly down to the hype surrounding this tune, and the phat warped bassline which is huge! But the vocals are fast, and sometimes incomplete, and the arrangement won't win any prizes, so don't expect to hear this version over your turkey and crackers! AL 



Artist: Phat Bass inc
Title: Zombie Antics
Label: White
Mix: Original    

More nu-skool breaks for the hardcore nutters among us. Hard two step beats slapped together with snippets of "zombie nation", that unusual house track that everyone went mad about in the summer. Its ruff aroung the edges, but then thats never put me off a tune, so don't let it put you off. It sounds like it was made in someone's bedroom, and probably was, but if you like tunes underground, give it a go. AL 



Artist: Santos
Title: Camels
Label: White
Mix: DJ Zinc    

Yee - haahh! I know I love the garage lick, but holy shit, you can't afford to ignore this bad boy. This ones better than "Hold On" and just as good as "138 Trek", so if you know and love those tunes you know what to expect with this one. Low down dirty beats and basslines, super fast hi-hats and dark, nasty strings smash it up to give you what can only be described as nu-skool - a brand new musical genre if you ask me! This is the new sound London was waiting for, so look out for more of this stuff blasting out of London's Pirates and beyond. UK garage was always gonna go underground again... and it's done it in the form of nu-skool... you heard it here first! AL 



Artist: Tasty Jay & Nicky Ni Feat MC Jensky
Title: Rise Out
Label: Strange youth
Mix: Original    

Watch out, watch out...PIG in the box, PIG in the box !!! Now as you all know, I'm not the greatest lover of MC'ing tunes..and if you hear this you'll understand why ! Poor quality production, meaningless vocals (you know the kinda stuff...diggy diggy widda widda bassline bassline blah blah) and, if that wasn't enough, they've nicked the 'Dark Stranger' hook (shout to all the old skool jungle crew !). MC Jensky says his name starts with a capital J...well this is crap with a capital C. AL 



Artist: Bass city rollaz
Title: Bass city rollaz 002
Label: White
Mix: Original    

Ouch ! This super little one sided slab of vinyl certainly hits the spot, unleashing a lethal cocktail of banging 2 step beats, ragga chants and piano breakdowns on the unsuspecting raver. It's harder and faster than Mike tyson in a ferrari, with a gnarly bassline following the unusual piano style intro (IT'S HEAVY !). It's also great to mix, and sounds mental on a loud system ! Buy it now ! AL 



So Long
Fierce vs BumpandFlex


Oh the bline is gonna get you isn't it. The dub mix was rinsed on pirate radio though personally to feel this tune you should hear in a club because it really shines there. On the radio or a normal hi-fi set up it doesn't really sound that criss. The long Bump and Flex intros that have those certain hooks. In this intro you have a robotic sample which builds up to the breakdown. With those words to warn you about the bassline and then a build up kick drum rolls in and the bassline comes out. A typical Bump & Flex sounding bassline, but sounds very rough with those crisp swinging beats with those hi hats and rolling snares. An absolute roller of a dub. The vocal mix on the other hand is really well produced with bouncy but classy chords mix well with Fierce's sweet vocals. The swingy 2step beat slide perfectly underneath the vocals and then the chords mix with the nice bassline which isn't to harsh for this vocal remix. Two different remixes to suit your mood. IM 



It's The Way
Krunch Records    


"It's the Wayyyy". This tune as I've discovered is a love hate tune, being many people either love it or hate. I personally love it, when you get an MC rinsing over instrumental parts the tune really does fill in. It is repetitive with the vocal sample but the culminated with that rough bassline, that isn't to harsh and that borrowed beat from Dem2 Destiny though differently arranged it sounds PHAT. The breakdown with the man announcing "Come Down Operator With the 99 Remix, Remix" really does warn you that something big is going to happen and then hits you with the vocal/beats/bassline stormer. F.U.N. tried to bring back the tune with Y2K remixes but they sounded awful and didn't really understand where they where coming from. I think this tune is a raving tune, slap a rough MC on top of it and it should rock the show. IM 



DJ Oxide


Urghhh. What a terrible tune. Oxide mate, get your act together and stop making so much dry tunes. Sampling Casualty was a joke but really wore out quickly. Yes you've made your money from that, but bringing out Superman and then Terminator, jeez. I know loads of people like this sound but this isn't real garage it's just a laugh, something that you don't seriously, though it seems some people have taken that sound seriously. HUH!!, anyway if Oxide only stopped sampling films/programmes he could come up with a average bassline tune but no he sticks in this stupid Terminator sample and ruins an average tune. The drums are decently programmed and bassline is alright but sticking stupid samples are just annoying. Personally I think Oxide has talent though once he's grown out of this phase he could actually make some good garage. If he got a vocalist and thought of a proper tune, I think it could sound good. Though at the moment I think he's a dry producer BUT he has got potential. IM 



Deetah vs Bump and Flex


Wow. Now this was and still is a tune. One of Grants best remixes in the Bump and Flex guise, this tune was quite a pioneering. It had these elements that we have heard before from 2step tunes and the early 4/4 tunes but they all came together on this tune. It was quite a dubby remix with Deetah's vocals used sparingly. The intro is wicked as usual with its gradual build up which really works the crowd and gives the DJ a chance to ride the mix. This then peaks into the final kick of the build up and then SMACK the bassline kicks in with such a bassline. The chords then are introduced into the tune and mix really well with the bassline. The dubby use of the vocals is really clever and the tune sounds really filled when the vocals playing. The whole tune is well produced and arranged and shows of Grants skills as such a talented and skilled producer. IM 



Smooth Operator
Ross Young featuring MC RB


This tune always gives me jokes. The lyrics are so bloody funny which really gets the steppers going. The beat is a simple 2stpe beat with a stong house hi hat and the bassline is a sub standard garage bassline which is quite boring. RB fame from Sunship's Try Me Out lyrics are feel good and I still don't feel the tune. Peronally it does get the ravers going but really I think it's another MC-ing tune, though an MC tune which makes me laugh with those lyrics. Either you love this tune or hate it. IM 



Little Bit Of Luck
DJ Luck & MC Neat
Red Rose    


This tune has been given the commercial treatment though it originally featured on Red Rose Records EP by DJ Luck and MC Neat and this tune was initially an intro tune for Luck's sets. Hence the overuse of the word Luck. It hollowing intro with Neat's lyric's instantly recognisable with his rough lyrics and individual style such as "With A Little Bit Of Luck you can get me true the night". It borrows the Hyperfunk beat which slides over the harsh bassline and Neat's enjoyable lyrics. Personally people did overate this tune, though it is still a tune but it wasn't THAT GOOD. IM 



The Fone Tune
Two 1 Two


This tune really take the novelty thing to another level doesn't it? I mean using a mobile phone sample over some garage beats???? I mean really it that necessary. The actual instrumental of the tune is alright just another bassline tune but adding annoying samples really does take the biscuit. The production of these tunes has harmed the garage scene with the producers producing these tune to sufice the market. Tunes like this are only made solely for the money, the early ones where fine, they where a laugh a bit of a crowd reaction some variation. Though people have seen this and thought tell would sample something so stupid that it will sell and can line my pocket so I can buy my car. It's like the rave days, when people made novelty tunes to make a few grand to buy a suit or something, not seeing and caring what effect these tunes would have on the market. Though this was bound to happen with a new scene somthing always comes along to break the scene but the scene is stronger than ever, and Y2K is garage the second coming. IM 



Bring Me Down
Zac Toms
Unda Vybe    


One half of the Stanton Warriors Zac Toms has been rightfully been given the rinsed treatment by the all the major garage DJ's. It has an obvious house influence from the sweet chords but has a mixture of the 4/4 garage flava with a dark old skool style garage bassline. The bassline and the breakdown is influnced from Montono Vs Trumpet Man-It'za trumpet Thing. It is a really chrisp tune and remains and progresses with smooth 4/4 style chords which gives this stomer added funk. Though when all the vocals/chords/bassline/beats all culminate into one that is where the tune really shines. Absolute club smash. IM 



Over Here
M Dubs
Baby Shack 001    


This was the first M Dubs tune I heard even though they had produced tunes previous to this was the one that really got me. From the men Dennis M-Dubs and Ras Kwame and vocals from Richie Dan they produced an absolute gem. The intro is of a sparse breakbeat with very noticeable reverb snares. When Richie Gives the indication "Now Here This" his lyrics roll with this mad old skool bassline. That is when the tune rocks the whole place, and believe me this tune does the rock the show. The female sample of "Iron Mike" which stuck in many of the ravers mind and they kept on saying to the DJ, 'You Have Iron Mike?" This was a club anthem and it was a new style to the ever expending garage scene which showed how diverse this scene was going to be. It paved the way for M-Dubs and Richie Dan and gave them the recognition they deserved. IM 



Life Is What You Make It
Zed Bias featuring Jhay Palmer

Oooh. What a tune! The smooth female vocals over this bass driven tune shows a rough hybrid of the two sounds. The vocal and bassline scene, Zed Bias is a master at this technique. The production has this irony to it by the lyrics 'Sunny Days Are Here' and you have some evil, dark bassline underneath it. Intentional or not this tune is one of my favourite Zed Bias tunes. IM 



Freak Beat
Lady Saw vs B15 Project

Lady Saw will be known to most of you as the vocalist on the massive M-Dubs Smash 'Bump & Grind'. She returns here with the impressive 'Freak Beat' with Lady Saws unique style being instantly recognizable. Originally a ragga tune, it has been remixed by the Birmingham based B15 project. Chopped up beats and scratch organ effect build the track and leave you anticipating the deep organ base that kicks in. Overall, a bit of a dancehall stormer. IM 



Western End - The Birmingham Crew
Mr Vegas vs B15 Project

Mr Vegas will be known to all of you, I'm sure, as the voice behind the Chart storming ragga anthem "Heads High". His latest offering has been remixed by the B15 project to create a hard-hitting piece of 2-Step. A low pad section sets the mood but the real class comes in the half speed breakdown which kicks into the Bad bass line. Included on the flip side is B15's earlier remix (released over a year ago) which was one of the earliest tracks to combine Ragga Vocals with a Garage four-to-the-floor beat. Also included is the origional reggae version. IM 



Sweet Sensation

A sub-standard bassline remix featuring the vocals from Loleatta Holloway's-Love Sensation by. It's to bassline heavy, with a boring bassline that doesn't really give this tune any feeling. The vocals are put on over this backing tune and turns Holloway's beautiful DIVA vocals into just another bassline garage tune. It would get played but it's just another bassline tune which doesn't stand out. IM 



What You Want

At first this 2step remix of the classic, What You Want by Industry Standard is at first a very dark piece of 2step almost tech-step. Then vocals kick in and this semi-happy xylophone bassline and is loses the audience with its repetitiveness. It really is a poor remix of the classic and doesn't do any good to the original. If you know the original then I recommend you stay away from this one. IM 



Richie Dan

Hmm. A weird piece of piano/Ragga 2step from the man Richie Dan who has scored on many successful garage hits. It has an acid jazz bassline underneath this smooth jazz influenced piece of 2step. It's really a song-orientated piece with Richie constantly rolling the lyrics. It's the beginning of a new style of jazzy 2step, some may find to get their heads around so don't judge it on the first hearing and give it a chance. IM 



MC Belove and Valerie M

Another Mcing tune is the flava of da raver isn't it? An alright attempt by MC , the lyrics are nice have a hip-hop feeling to it. The vocal section is quite sub-standard and the production is too receptive and doesn't have the flare of the other MC tunes. The actual tune is just a rolling bassline, though doesn't develop and does get a bit annoying towards the end. An all right attempt though nothing too special though isn't it a bit late for that 11:59 moment? IM 



Stand and Deliver


Bassslineeeeeeee. I love this tune so much. I have to congratulate the Wideboys well done for another hit. The xylophone bassline is rolling. There is also a wonderful 4/4 mix which I absolutely adore for the beats suit this harsh bassline. It's not in that typical d&b/garage style but a bad rough rolling garage bassline. The production and vocals are rough with the vocals skimming the tune. The change slight change in bassline over that breakdown should guarantee a rewind from any self respecting DJ. A tune that's in my box that won't be leaving for a while. Wideboys bringing us 2step and 4/4, what can I say, nuff respect boys. IM 



Taking Over Me
New design
Public Demand    

This Tune has been around for ages since and has only recently been getting the much-needed attention it deserves. It starts of with a nice keyboard intro, quite cheesy and poppy if you think about it in the way its portrayed. The vocals are skimmed over the beats in the intro and the Ragga man announcer is saying his business. Then this standard breakdown occurs and out of the blue comes this rolling jazzy bassline. It has that feeling to it which puts a smile on my face. Though there isn't enough vocal the tune then there could be which is the major downfall in this tune. Though still is a decent piece of 2step compared to the dry tunes out there. IM 



Don't Waste My Time

What a tuneeee. The Wideboys are good underground producers who are actually underground and not that prolific. They have produced some stomping tunes and this tune has just proved there ability. Now this Tune is the ultimate bridge for 2step and 4/4 and is done so seamlessly you don't actually notice it. What a change for some ordinary 2step with a choppy vocal to this wonderful piece of 4/4. Chords are in the right place and bassline rolling with the descending down to form the classic sort of descending 4/4 bassline. A fresh piece of garage which is getting the props it deserves. Nuff respect to you boys, getting the attention from clubland (big in the garage world at the moment). IM 



Do For Love (2step mix)
2 Pac

This is a mellow piece of garage which remakes the bad boy rappers tune. It is inevitable though that one of 2 Pac's tunes was to remixed into and brought to the attention of the garage ravers. Not too much variation though on the original except of the beats and the added rough sub bass. An absolute bwad boy tune that should raise a smile and a hand, especially from any garage head who likes their 2 Pac. IM 



Your Love

A piece of vocal/bassline garage. An interesting dark bassline with the stabbing vocal sample of 'Your Love' which slides over the well programmed predominate beats in this cut. Everything seems to slot into place and the bassline, which is heavily, chopped which should give the bass headz something to dance to. The vocal sample is continuously put in and out which has a 'It's the Way' or 'Deep Inside' sort of feel to it. For those who like their 2step nice and dark. IM 



Why You Follow Me
Erick Benay

Interesting production on this tune. The predominate high hats gives this tune character on what I would call 'Electro 2step'. It has that Electro feel to it due to the bassline but with a feeling of funk as the tune progress's. With the tunes choppy vocals and dark solid's on the tune gives it a nice feeling to it. IM 



Jump & Shout
Basement Jaxx vs Dem2

When I first heard the original mix of this tune I though it was absolutely rowdy. Though quite a few people didn't seem to feel that way, i.e. chart sales where lower compared to 'Red Alert' and 'Rendez-Vu'. Though the Ragga vocals on this track would totally suit a garage mix at present, thanks to tunes like 'Troublesome' and 'Bump & Grind'. This Dem 2 mix has the usual Dem 2 qualities, such as the rolling chopped up drums, and the grungy style effects and the pounding kicks and blines. This mix uses the minimum amount of the vocals but uses them to effect. There is a deep/dark feel to the tune and is the type of tune to get the crowd hyper. A good remix from the Dem 2 stable, keep it up lads. IM 



Fly By
T-bone feat. MC Sparks and Kie


This tune is a nice piece of MC-ing action by these two MC's giving us some rough lyrics. It's a good piece of 2step with a nice tune underneath it. A lot is happening in this tune and the lyrics are quite amusing, i.e. 'K-Kinder Surprise, I-Into Your Eyes, E-Just realise'. Also the inclusion of sound effects, wisps all add to this tune. A feel good tune which should keep the ravers happy, a tune which keeps me happy anyway. IM 



It's the Way 2000

It's the way was a bwad bwoy tune, a tune which when the MC's ride the Mic over this one it sounds amazing. The new remixes are strange. One of them being a bassline influenced piece of garage. The bassline is rather dark and bass heavy that of course is a reflection on the bass heavy audience at the present time of garage. The other remix is a sort of reggae style piece of garage in the way of the chord structure. It is no way as good as the original that really keeps the crowd happy. IM 



Bigging Up The Massive
Orris Jay feat MC Rankin

A bassline flex with MC Rankin and Orris Jay on production. It's a piece of feel good tune which has a throbbing bassline to it. A tune which should get the ravers going with Rankin' bellowing 'Big Up the Massive. The production is rather bland and it does get boring after a while. The type of tune to be played for a short while in a set, just to get a cheer from the ravers. IM 



For Real
M Dubs


Dennis M Dubs does it again. After the Sweet Love remix, which was rather a let down he has come back with a stormer of a tune. Ras Kwame does the vocals in true Ragga stylee. The production is first class with rolling percussive beats as usual. It's in the vein of bump and grind but has a dirty bassline, which seems to suit the mood of todays garage raver. It's got a chanting background while Ras rinses the mic with his vocals. A good tune, absolutely tearing the place, nice. B-side in much the same vein with a slightly varied b-line. IM 



Bulletproof (Rmxs)
Breakbeat Era
Talkin Loud    


Breakbeat Era, a good combination of Roni Size/DJ Die/Leoni Laws is remixed by MJ Cole and Steve Gurley. MJ Cole brings us a nice piece of garage, nice sweeping effects, good bass effects and his true productive styles show. It's amazing how he can recreate Laws vocals from the d&b circuit to the garage circuit. The dub is MJ Cole making a more slower with a straight forward militant jazzy beats, not bad. Steve Gurleys mix is average, in typical Steve Gurley fashion with his standard booming kicks and solid effects and that sparse production technique. He's a good producer but needs to develop his style a bit more, move it forward. Recommend MJ's vocal mix, rough. Original included for you d&b headz (myself included). IM 



Second Protocol


A tune regularly played by EZ, possibly called BASSLICK a bit of a tune. Basically if you have heard EZ play out recently then you must have heard this tune. It's the tune with piano melody reminds me of The Lighter (old jungle tune) and then kicks into a mad rhythm. Its badly produced and everything but has that raw feeling to it, a feeling which is not usually easy to come by. This is a rather hard tune to get but if you get a copy watch the place blowww. IM