What is Garage Music?

Many things can happen in a garage – automobile and bike repairs, restoring old furniture, storing household stuff that you can’t be bothered to put in the loft and music. Wait…. music? Many a budding, young band has started out playing together in garages. Out of the way and out of earshot – a garage is a great place to set up a drum kit for example! In fact, the humble garage has a whole genre of music named after it. Let’s take a look at exactly what ‘garage music’ is:

The music genre ‘garage’ was named after the birthplace of house music — the Paradise Garage in New York. Garage is considered to be the dance style closest in spirit to the original disco music of the ’70s.The style favours synthesizers and gospel vocals similar to house music but with even more polished production than house, garage has more of a soulful feel.

What is Garage Music

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During the early ’80s, garage was big in the New York area, mostly in Manhattan, but later became known as the Jersey Sound as well. At that time, the early history of garage is practically synonymous with that of house music. It was only when Chicago house became popular around the world that New York garage emerged as a separate entity. Spurred on by a big following in the U.K., new labels opened up during the late ’80s and early ’90s.

London’s influential Ministry of Sound hired the influential Tony Humphries for an exclusive deal to DJ for its club and produce for its record label. By 1996, a British variant of garage had emerged, called speed garage and then 2-step, with its aggressive mix of drum ‘n’ bass and ragga combined with the original garage sound.

What is Garage Music2

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Garage continued to gain in popularity and develop in the UK, where it began being played at raves and then back in the US, where the influence of the drug ecstasy caused the DJs to begin speeding the records up and looking for slightly harder, rougher sounds. Hence the birth of ‘Speed Garage’. If you’d rather keep your garage strictly for manly DIY activities then you may wish to consider Garage Shelving Systems.

The records continued to be speeded up until they went over 135 beats per minute. This made it increasingly difficult to dance to so a new trend was started in which every other beat was dropped. This occurred in the late 1990s, being influenced by R&B and Drum & Bass. This was the beginning of ‘2-Step Garage’.

2-step garage had massive mainstream success in the early 2000s, but after a backlash and some negative press attention, it went back underground where a new sound started in London’s urban clubs. The sounds got more bass-heavy, darker and a whole lot dirtier. A cross-over began to occur with 2-Step and London’s hip-hop sub-genre – grime. This developed into another sub-genre when some producers decided to drop 2-step’s 140 BPM tempo and half it to 70bpm so it would mix with hip-hop. Thus, a new genre was created –  Dubstep.

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