This is the one where it all began. Back in 2000, when this was originally released, I don't think anyone could have predicted that this was to be the start of a series of mixed cds that has produced 13 installments to date. The UK Garage phenomenon was really starting to take hold of the commercial side of the music scene after being held underground for almost ten years. Garage songs were being heard on commercial radio, they were on the commercial TV channels and were even being used in adverts. Things were really beginning to take off.
The media giant Warner decided to cash in on the craze and release a mixed cd showcasing what many believe to be the best of the scene (based on some of the tracks included on this, I don't really agree with that but more on that later). Who better to mix it than the award-winning and people's favourite, DJ EZ?
Kicking things off is one of Ez's numerous intros and boy, does it set the tone of things to come, full of energy, this really lets you know what to expect from the next thirty seven tracks. As EZ chops, cuts, blends and scratches his way through some great classic tracks which are a good representation of the UK Garage scene at the turn of the millennium:
Tony Momrelle's version of the Alexander O'Neal's 'If You Were Here Tonight' is an excellent example of how to do a cover version without massacaring the original. Momrelle's take on this track is equally as soulful as O'Neal's but injects it with some energy. This is a real summer tune.
E.S. Dub's 'Standard Hoodlum Issue' (more commonly known as Reflex Action Like A Snake due to the vocal sample) has such a distinctive and powerful bassline that I think anyone would struggle to dance to it. Although a very simple track, this still sets dancefloors alight many years after its release.
Patti Day's classic 'Right Before My Eyes' gets an update thanks to N'n'G with Kallaghan. This was an underground anthem when it was originally released in 1998 and rightly so. It has a really catchy hook and bumpy beats.
Sweet FA's 'Flowers' is also included on this. The only way you would have been able to avoid this track around this time was to have lived in a cave. Although not great, this really seemed to be popular with people of all ages. Listening back now, I can see why but it did annoy me at the time.
'Enough Is Enough' by Y-Tribe is a really chilled out 2-step track featuring the sublime vocals of Elizabeth Troy. This was probably their most popular track and launched Elizabeth Troy's career. This has some really nice string instruments and a very very catchy vocal.
10 Degrees Below's remix of Kele Le Roc 'My Love' is a track that gained cult status as soon as it was released. Kele's vocals were used in such a way that this was unrecogniseable from the original. A very simple hook, an easy 2-step drum pattern and flowing bassline make this track great.
Womack and Womack had a hit called 'Teardrops' in the late 80's. Lovestation did a cover version that became very popular. In fact, this is still played on commercial radio stations to this day. I don't think that this song was intentionally made as a UK Garage tune but due to its tempo, was adopted by DJs and ravers and made into an overnight anthem.
Lenny Fontana's 'Spirit Of The Sun' was a track that was heavily rotated on the underground scene. It had an excellent vocal and a very distinctive bassline.
In total there are 38 tracks across two CD's. It would take forever to review them all in detail so I highlighted what I believe to be the best of the bunch.
01 DJ EZ - EZ Intro
02 Glamma Kid & Shola Ama - Why (10º Below Vocal Mix)
03 DJ Lewi - Hold Me Tight (Dark Mix)
04 Tony Momrelle - If You Were Here Tonight (Original)
05 Doolally - Straight From The Heart (Bump & Flex Vocal Mix)
06 M Dubs & J.P. - For Real (Breakbeat Funk Mix)
07 Artful Dodger & Romina Johnson - Movin' Too Fast (Original)
08 E.S. Dubs - Standard Hoodlum Issue (Z Bias Mix)
09 N'n'G - Right Before My Eyes (The Remix feat MC Neat)
10 Colour Girl - Joyrider (Y Tribe's Underground Remix)
11 Zack Toms - Bring Me Down (Vocal Mix)
12 Amar - Sometimes It Snows In April (Dreem House Dub)
13 Sweet Female Attitude - Flowers (Sunship Mix)
14 Zed Bias - Neighbourhood
15 Y-Tribe & Elisabeth Troy - Enough Is Enough (Original)
16 Dee Kline - I Don't Smoke (Original Mix)
17 K-Ci & JoJo - Tell Me It's Real (Club Asylum Steppers Mix)
18 Dreem Teem vs. Neneh Cherry - Buddy X
19 Brand New Heavies - Apparently Nothing (Artful Dodger Main Mix)
01 Resistance - Open Your Eyes
02 Teebone - Fly Bi
03 D'Minds - Joy & Pain
04 Kele Le Roc - My Love (10º Below Vocal Mix)
05 DJ EZ - Want You Back
06 N'n'G - Liferide
07 Sunship vs. Chunky - Dread Love (Dub)
08 Gabrielle - Sunshine (Wookie Dub Mix)
09 Ed Case - Something In Your Eyes (K-Warren Remix)
10 Corrupted Cru vs. DJ Luck & Shy Cookie - Poison
11 Shola Ama - Still Believe (10º Below Deep Vocal Mix)
12 Wideboys - Stand & Deliver
13 Lovestation - Teardrops (Flava' Mix)
14 Lenny Fontana - Spirit Of The Sun (Bump & Flex Remix)
15 Valerie M - Tingles 2000 (Z Bias Mix)
16 Ray Hurley - Your Love (Y2K Remix)
17 D.E.A. Project - Springer
18 DJ Luck & MC Neat - A Little Bit Of Luck
19 Tin Tin Out - What I Am (Groove Chronicles Mix)
When people hear the name UK Garage nowdays they instantly think of the MC-led style of music which seemed to attract so much negative attention. I would emplore them to listen to this cd with an open mind as I think they would be far from disappointed. DJ EZ is one of the best DJ's out there and this shows off his skills very well.
At the time of release, this was around £15 but you can now get it for less than £5 online. It is well worth getting, especially for that price.
Pure Garage when it came out which was in 2000 was undoubtingly the best garage compilation out. This makes a good album to play in your car and to have it on full blast. I have all the Pure Garage albums except V and I still say Pure Garage is the best they have ever done. Pure Garage II has the same songs as Pure Garge but just remixes of the songs. All of the Pure Garage albums have a wide range of tunes from Happy to dark. Popular tracks include: Disc 1 & Disc 2 Doolally - Straight From The Heart Artful Dodger - Movin Too fast N 'n' G - Right Before My Eyes Colour Girl - Joyrider Sweet F.A - Flowers Dee Kline - I don't Smoke Ed Case - Something In your eyes Shola Ama - Still Believe DJ Luck & Mc Neat - A little Bit Of Luck I'd recommend this album to anyone who likes Garage Music.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 DJ EZ - EZ Intro
2 Glamma Kid - Why
3 DJ Lewi - Hold Me Tight
4 Tony Monrelle - If You Were Here Tonight
5 Doolally - Straight From The Heart
6 M-Dubs - For Real
7 Artful Dodger - Moving too fast
8 S. Dubs - Standard Hoodlum Issue
9 NNG feat.Callahan - Right before my eyes
10 Colour girl - Joy rider
11 Zack Toms - Bring Me Down
12 Amar - Sometimes It Snows in April
13 Sweet FA - Flowers
14 Zed bias - Neighbourhood
15 Y Tribe - Enough Is Enough
16 DJ Dee Kline - I don't smoke
17 Kci & Jo Jo - Tell me it's real
18 Dream team feat.Neneh Cherry - Buddy X
19 Brand new heavies - Apparently nothing
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Resistance - Open Your Eyes
2 TKS - Fly Bi
3 Dangerous Minds feat.C Kie - Joy
4 Kelly le Rock - My love (10 below remix)
5 DJ EZ - I Want You Back
6 NnG feat.Rose Windross and Creed - Liferide
7 Sunship Vs Chunky - Dread Love
8 Gabrielle - Sunshine
9 Ed Case - Something In Your Eyes
10 Dj Luck & Mc Neat - Poison
11 Shola Ama - Still Believe
12 The Wide Boys - Stand and deliver
13 Lovestation - Teardrops
14 Lenny Fontana - Spirit of the sun
15 Valerie M - Tingles
16 Ray Hurley featuring Dean Morter - Your Love
17 D.E.A Project - Springer
18 Dj Luck & Mc Neat - A little bit of luck
19 Tin tin out feat.Emma Bunton - What I am