There’s something about UK garage and summer – the two simple go together, like a crisp pair of jeans and some Patrick Cox loafers. The sound was tailor-made for the sunshine months, with its exuberant optimism and slick soul working perfectly with the rising temperatures.
London label Garage Shared know this better than most. The imprint are steeped in the history of UKG, a south coast institution centred on two friends – Gavin and Aki – who grew up around club culture. As teens they would swap Pure Garage CDs, poring over the track listings, so expertly prepared by DJ EZ.
Invited to mix the last ever Pure Garage CD in 2017 – a long-held dream realised – the label was founded shortly after this, and has gone on to become a by-word in the ongoing UKG resurgence.
Toasting their fifth birthday this Autumn, Garage Shared are celebrating with a string of releases, including Soulecta’s R&B-tinged ‘Real Life’ (with Hari on vocals).
As part of their anniversary celebrations, Garage Shared decided to sift through the tracklistings of those Pure Garage CDs, unearthing some stone cold classics and lesser-noted gems in the process. A homage to an era, this list pin-points some of the crew’s formative influences, and celebrates an iconic club sound.
Sammy Porter – ‘True Colours’ (feat. Grace Fleary) [Soulecta Remix]
We love this remix, and this was the first time we heard Soulecta. Hearing someone make garage music of this quality is what gave us the idea of starting a garage label.
Blakk Habit – ‘Fools Love’ (feat. Leighanna)
Same as Soulecta, this was our first time hearing Blakk Habit (who was Bad Habit at the time). We loved his production so much that we would ask him & Soulecta to start ‘Garage Shared’ with us.
Grades – ‘Crocodile Tears’
Immaculate production from one of the UK’s greatest producers, I wish Grades released more as a solo artist.
FooR x Sami Switch – ‘Trouble’
This was the first garage record we released on our Yosh label to have some success. The reaction to this track showed us that there was an audience for new garage music.
Amy Winehouse – ‘Fuck Me Pumps’ (MJ Cole Remix)
When compiling Pure Garage we contacted any DJ we knew that played new garage music, DJ Cartier suggested this for the album, a no brainer really – one of this country’s best ever voices with one of the best ever garage producers.
Wideboys – ‘Westside’ (2 Da Floor Remix)
One of the bumpiest Garage beats, that kick hits differently. We could have picked Stand & Deliver, but as a label we have more in common with Westside.
Zak Toms – ‘Briing Me Down’ (Stanton Warriors)
This iconic bassline has influenced many records past and present.
Y-tribe – ‘Enough Is Enough’
One of the most underrated vocal garage records in our opinion. Great melodic garage track with the amazing vocals of Elizabeth Troy. This is a timeless UK garage record.
Stay in touch with Garage Shared on Bandcamp.