George Michael - Outside - Epic - UK Garage
Track Listing1 Outside (Garage Mix) (7:40)
2 Outside (House Mix) (6:59)
3 Outside (K-Gee's Cut) (5:18)
Media Condition » Very Good Plus (VG+)
Sleeve Condition » Very Good Plus (VG+)
Other Titles by George Michael
Information on the UK Garage GenreUK garage (also known as UKG or simply garage) is a genre of electronic dance music originating from the United Kingdom in the mid-1990s. UK garage is a descendant of house music which orinated in Chicago & New York US by African Americans. . UK garage usually features a distinctive syncopated 4-4 percussive rhythm with 'shuffling' hi-hats and beat-skipping kick drums. Garage tracks also commonly feature 'chopped up' and time-shifted or pitch-shifted vocal samples complementing the underlying rhythmic structure. UK garage is often associated with the hardcore continuum. UK garage was largely subsumed into other styles of music and production in the mid-2000s, notably within hip-hop and urban music. It also spawned multiple off-shoots including Grime, Dubstep and Bassline.
In the UK, where jungle was very popular at the time, garage was played in a second room at jungle events. DJs started to speed up garage tracks to make them more suitable for the jungle audience in the UK. The media started to call this tempo-altered type of garage music "speed garage", 4x4 and 2-step's predecessor. DJs would usually play dub versions (arrangements without vocals) of garage tracks, because pitch-shifting vocals could sometimes render the music unrecognizable (although sped up and time stretched vocals were an important part of the early jungle sound, and later played a key role in speed garage). The absence of vocals left space in the music for MCs, who started rhyming to the records. Since then MCs have become one of the vital aspects of Speed and UK garage parties and records. Early promoters of speed garage included the Dreem Team and Tuff Jam and pirate radio stations like London Underground, Ice FM, Magic Fm, Mac Fm, Upfront Fm, and Freek Fm. During its initial phase, the speed garage scene was also known as "the Sunday scene", as initially speed garage promoters could only hire venues on Sunday evenings (venue owners preferred to save Friday and Saturday nights for more popular musical styles). Labels whose outputs would become synonymous with the emerging speed garage sound included Confetti, Public Demand, 500 Rekords, Spread Love and VIP. Debate continues to rage over the first true speed garage record; contenders include "So More (I Refuse)" by Industry Standard, "Love Bug" by Ramsey and Fen, 'RIP Groove' by Double-99, and Armand van Helden's remix of Tori Amos's "Professional Widow". Speed garage tracks were characterised by a sped-up house-style beat, complimented by the rolling snares and reverse-warped basslines that were popular with the drum & bass producers of the time. Speed garage already incorporated many aspects of today's UK garage sound like sub-bass lines, ragga vocals, spin backs and reversed drums. What changed over time, until the so called 2-step sound emerged, was the addition of further funky elements like R&B vocals, more shuffled beats and a different drum pattern. The most radical change from speed garage to 2-step was the removal of the 2nd and 4th bass kick from each bar. Although tracks with only two kick drum beats to a bar are perceived as being slower than the traditional four-to-the-floor beat, the listener's interest is maintained by the introduction of syncopating bass lines and the percussive use of other instruments such as pads and strings.
Among those credited with honing the speed garage sound, Todd Edwards, is often cited as a seminal influence on the UK garage sound. The producer from New Jersey introduced a new way of working with vocals. Instead of having full verses and choruses, he picked out vocal phrases and played them like an instrument, using sampling technology. Often, individual syllables were reversed or pitch-shifted. This type of vocal treatment is still a key characteristic of the UK garage style.
The UK's counterpart to Todd Edwards was MJ Cole, a classically trained oboe and piano player, who had a string of chart and underground hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s, most notably with "Sincere" and "Crazy Love". MJ Cole won a BBC Young Musician of the year.
Arguably one of the earliest examples of a 2-step track is 'Never Gonna Let You Go' by Tina Moore. Jess Jackson was responsible for many garage records but one which stood out was "Hobsons Choice". The B Side of this record changed the UK garage scene from funky and soulful to dark and bassy.
Another example of the evolution in 2 step was the release of "Troublesome" by Shy Cookie and DJ Luck, in which non sampled 2 step beats were merged with a full ragga vocal (performed by ragga artist Troublesome).
The producer duos Shanks & Bigfoot with Sweet Like Chocolate and The Artful Dodger, aka Pete Devereux and Mark Hill, who (together with Craig David) were very successful with the track "Re-rewind", which became an anthem for the 2-step scene, and got onto BBC Top Of The Pops. After the platinum-selling success of Shanks & Bigfoot's Sweet Like Chocolate released the year before, the floodgates had been opened. Although Re-rewind was denied a #1 position by Cliff Richard, it was also a platinum seller, one of the garage scene's first and last.