The landscape of dance music has gone under one of its most difficult and unpredictable periods over the course of the last year, with the entire approach to releasing and performing being completely changed due to obvious reasons. Even with this however, communities of dance music fans from as many genres as you can count have been rallying together to keep the flow of quality sound chugging out bangers for us to enjoy from the comfort of our own homes.
However, there is no denying that there will be a significant boom in event attendance and live music events as soon as the lockdown restrictions are eased, which means selectors, primarily within the UKG sector, will have to ge on their toes in collecting and arranging set lists that not only represent the here and now, but also the vast catalogue of incredible music we have been unable to hear within a real rave environment.
The reason we point out garage so specifically is because out of all UK dance music genres, we feel it has undergone the most growth by far, with a plentitude of labels projects springing up left right and centre, all of whom have been intent on keeping the quality levels high!
We have therefore decided to put together a very important list of corker UKG tracks we feel cannot be forgotten when the raves reopen, which you can check out below:
Conducta & Jgrrey – Time
The crazy thing about this first addition is that we feel even at the time is was a tad slept on as Conducta linked up with the super-versatile Jgrrey for a powerful garage original. It’s Conducta at his melodic best and was an easy pick for this listing.
Lyrical Strally & Dakota Sixx – Clouds (prod. By Higgo)
What a terrific link up this was. The guys over at 1Forty have a fantastic track recorded of forging together unexpected collaborations, with this being one of the best last year. The combination of Dakota’s delicate vocal, Strally’s catchy verse structure and Higgo’s seamless production makes for a cracker we can’t ignore.
Yemi – On My Mind
Released on the fantastic Wub Club imprint, Yemi really did hit the back of the net with this one entitled ‘On My Mind’. As the only track on this list to not feature either a leading or original vocal line, it still holds its weight against the rest of the list with a beautiful harmonic design and choppy drum structure. Yemi is a real favourite right now and tracks like this are exactly why!
Badger – Switch It Up (feat. Rio)
The most recent addition to this list comes with a tad of bias from myself, with it being a banger released on the Southpoint: Introducing platform, but boy does this one roll. The combination of silky saxophone lines and crunchy drums with Rio’s perfect vocal tones makes Badger’s STPT debut a no brainer of an inclusion!
Popcaan – Family (Champion Remix)
Finally, the only remix on this list, which for a garage listing is still somewhat of a rarity. With this one we hear all of Champion’s experience come to the forefront as he reworks a Popcaan classic into a bouncy UKG singalong, rounding off this high quality list in style.