Toppa Top 10: Ragga Garage

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Words by Suze Webb—

Ewen Spencer

In the UK you can pretty much get into a club around the age of 13, depending on how spotty and baby-faced you are. It’s probably a part of the reason that club music has become such a deep part of our national psyche, and one of the reasons we need a million club nights every Friday night. When I was about 15, UK Garage was the big club sound and had just broken into the charts – jungle and rave had passed the baton to this shuffling sound. It was club music with a serious pop sensibility – often female vocals, RnB remixes and always some catchy sing-a-longs. But within the classic UK tradition, there was a ragga influence lurking. Thinking back to the days of the Dreem Team and EZ, I’ve put together some of the best ragga-meets-garage tracks (available) from the late 90s and early 2000s. As far as possible, I’ve tried to include the non-charters and original vocals, not remixes – though there are plenty of those. Time for a brandy and coke. Oggy oggy oggy…

[Photo by Ewen Spencer, soon to release a photo book on the UK garage scene]

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