Within garage music, the scene has genuinely never looked healthier, especially when you take into account how many new fans this explosive wave on energy and flavour is now bringing to the table. However, if there was going to be one flaw, one tiny fault in the way the system is set up, in my eyes, it would be a serious lack of longer form project drops. The game is, quite rightly so, focussed almost exclusively around short form single and EP releases, which for dance music is obviously quite a common theme. However, I definitely feel that there is enough variation and spectrum within garage music and across the producers who are involved to deliver a flurry of longer format projects.
This is thankfully, exactly what the Four40 team have brought to the table for us today. Following on from their seemingly endless stream of top quality EP drops, the machines behind the legendary imprint have now offered up a longer-running collection of sizzling UKG originals from the one and only Deadly Habitz, who has continued to impress us over the last couple of years with a really consistent selection of drops, all working around the UKG sound with vibrant twists and turns every way we look.
This latest selection takes the title ‘Dark Hours’ and is a top notch collection of garage variations across 7 explosive compositons, beginning with the rave-ready vocal slices and warbling bass designs of ‘Gyaldem Skank’, exploring a more niche style of the garage sound. From here, an old school slice of 4×4 energy with ‘Rockport Flex’, followed by a breaks-infused showcase of rhythmic mastery on ‘So Mysterious’, again utilizing colourful LFO flicks at every turn. It gets grizzly on ‘The Love Dealer’ next as we are greeted by a barrage of low-ended sub pulses, before ‘Watch The Ride’ eases the landing with a colourful fusion of warm basslines and floating chord progressions, re-imagining THAT famous David Rodigan vocal sample.
Following this, two crispy pieces to round us off in style, as ‘Who U Are’ firstly utilizes a big square-sounding warble for more nostalgic flavour, before the more intense, high tempo drum skips and flashback organ chord melodies of ‘U Don’t Know’ give the perfect bed to a very lively vocal display. All seven tracks hold a real amount of merit, which you can check out the previews for below via our good friends at JunoDownload: