Garage is clearly at forefront of UK dance music right about now, I think to deny that at this point is just shaking your head at the painfully obvious. We are witnessing such a fantastic resurgence, with labels such as Kiwi, Strictly Flava, Slime, Four40 and more all chipping into the pot to create a fantastic new combined catalogue of sounds, bringing in exciting new faces and showcasing the more seasoned in the same light.
Today we are here to take a peek at the latest release from the Sheffield based team at Rare Supply, a label who recently put together one of the most exciting compilations UKG has seen this year, which saw the likes of Moony, Sammy Virji, Joedan and more join forces across six tracks of pure dancefloor flavour.
Another artist that featured on that release, in fact as the creator of it’s lead track ‘Same Way’ is Higgo, a London based producer who has been on an absolute tear of late. We have seen his uniquely energetic production style catch the ears of the majority of UKG’s top dons, including Conducta and the rest of the Kiwi Recordings crew.
We are here today to take at his brand new ’95’ EP, which showcases him at his best, exploring the different energies and styles that go into a garage composition today. We kick off the EP with a look at the title track itself ’95’, a soundscape slathered in nostalgic chord progressions and drum skips, coupled with subtle summer-ready melodies, giving this one the certified banger status from the off.
We also hear the super groovy switch ups of ‘Meet Me In The Middle’, which follows closely, working some fantastic keyboard riffs and lowkey sub lines together with apparent ease. Finally we finish up the project with a viewing of the experimental compsotional structures of ‘Work’, which uses extreme side chains and popping bass instrumentation to create a serious bounce, capable of waking up any dance.
We were lucky enough to grab Higgo for a quick interview for threethousand, looking at his influences, future plans and fruit preferences. You can check out the full interview transcribed below:
So the name 95, what’s the reasoning?
I wish I could say it’s something profound, but it’s literally just the year I was born haha!
Garage is seemingly the hotbed of dance music in the UK at the moment, what do you think has made this the case?
It’s been bubbling below the surface for a few years now, I think people are finally seeing the new-school guys as their own scene and sound, not just piggybacking off the classic UKG guys from 20 years ago.
If you were a tropical fruit, what would you pick?
Probably the durian, cause it’s fat, abrasive and nobody’s heard of it lol.
The tracks seems to vary in style yet still fall under the UKG bracket, is this intentional?
I wouldn’t say it’s intentional exactly, I’ve always tried to follow my own sound instead of trying to make ‘typical UKG’. My inspiration comes a lot from oldschool hip-hop and jazz records, so I think a lot of that comes out through my tunes.
From a producer’s perspective, there always seems to be so much bounce in your tunes, how do you it?
Almost always the keys are the ‘key’ to the instrumentation in my tracks. There’s nothing like a naughty rhodes or M1 riff to give a track that soulful, bouncy vibe.
Beer or Cider?
Beer 100%. That answer would probably be different if you’d asked me when I was 15 haha.
Who would you say is your biggest musical influence?
Definitely MJ Cole. His tracks all come together in such a classic, timeless way. He’s still bringing out such incredible music too, the same can’t be said for too many of the old school garage dons today.
If you could pick a mainstream artist to work with, who would it be?
Probably Lewis Capaldi. Not that we’d finish any tunes though, would just end up sat in the studio polishing off cans.
Which is your favourite track off the project?
‘Work’ I reckon, it’s the one I finished most recently so it still feels pretty fresh to me. Plus it always gets a sick reaction in the dance.
What’s next for Mr. Higgins?
I’m playing at Bassfest in July which is pretty huge for me! Got so many unreleased tracks in the works too which I can’t wait to drop later on this year.
The full EP is available from tomorrow, but you can check out the official showreel for this one below