I was too young to really appreciate UK garage at it's peak. It's only now when my sister tells me stories of when she snuck out of the house to go to raves at Alexandra Palace that I begin to get a feeling of just how much of an impact the genre had. Recently, UK garage has seen a resurgence in the public imagination, with Jorja Smith dropping one of our songs of the year over crisp, nostalgic sounds, Kurupt FM championing the genre heavy, and new garage commander-in-chief Conducta leading a charge of youngsters harkening back to the quintessential UK sound of the late 90s and early 2000s.
It's only right, then, to get some proper schooling from one of the genre's greats – Original Dodger. Formerly known as Artful Dodger and the brains behind one of garage's true breakout tracks – 'Rewind' with Craig David – the DJ duo of Hill and Deverux are back together after a long time apart, releasing their first single in 15 years, 'Millionaire', earlier in the year. Now closing the year out with a new track – 'Find Space' featuring Shakka – one of UK garage's pioneers are back and here to stay.
Check out their favourite grage tracks below.
Roy Davis Jr – Gabriel (Live Garage Mix)
OD: "Genres were always well defined until a record like this came along and married house and garage so perfectly. A true classic, worthy of a top spot in any chart."
24 Hour Experience – Together
"Grant Nelson was one of the pioneers of the scene and everybody probably has their own favourite track of his. This hits the spot for us, perfection."
Somore – I Refuse (What You Want)
"I think they borrowed the vocal from one track and the drums from another, but the end result is a seminal garage classic."
Ramsey & Fen – Lovebug
"An early production from a real heavyweight of the scene, MJ Cole."
Artful Dodger – What Ya Gonna Do (ft. Craig David)
"After a run of mid to late 90’s bootlegs this was the first 'proper' track we made and released on our own label, Centric. We always thought Craig's surname was Davis and it was only when we called him up to check spelling for the vinyl artwork that we discovered his surname was actually David!"
Gant – All Night Long
"187 Lockdown were best known for ‘Gunman’ and this was one of their pseudonym releases. It’s safe to say they don't make 'em like this anymore!"
Antonio – Hyperfunk
"Stone cold classic. Antonio definitely had the funk."
Artful Dodger – Something (ft. Craig David)
"Another of our early releases with Craig which set out our sound; melodic 2-step with an effortless hook from Craig."
Jhelisa – Friendly Pressure (Sunship Into The Sunshine Remix)
"Ceri Evans is a don and one of our favourite producers from the genre and here, he delivers a near perfect remix. Classic, bumpy four to the floor drums with stabby synths and a killer vocal. As playable now as it was then."
Dem 2 – Destiny
"An early 2-step gem from one of the best UKG labels of the era, Locked On, run by Andy Lewis out of Pure Groove Records on Holloway Road – where we would later sign 'Movin Too Fast' to. ‘Destiny’ was a staple in any DJ’s set and you would often hear this four or five times a night in a club because every DJ was on it."
Check out Original Dodger's new single, 'Find Space', below.
Listen to Dummy's curated playlists on Spotify.