In the early 80s the commercial future of house music might have been precarious, but one thing that was certain was the love, passion, and experimentation of sounds. Raging bells from disco met with tribal beats in the gritty clubs of New York and Chicago, and over in the UK the English were toying around with a new style of underground music that was started and played by NYC legends such as Junior Vasquez, Tony Humphries and Larry Levan. While house was gaining more popularity on the East Coast and garage transitioned over to the UK, it was destined for them to intersect and create a genre that many have to come love, celebrate, and appreciate as Garage House.
When it comes to who did what, it’s often a toughie to pin down unless you were actually there. But one thing that many can confirm is that at the Paradise Garage, Larry Levan was spinning a new style of music that had more gospel-piano riffs and a distinct percussion pattern that wasn’t yet explored in most house music. House, as you know, is a large genre of music with so many variations and hybrids, but garage house became a sub-genre which allowed for the UK style of garage to marry the American vibes of classic house.
Not much a history lesson, since I’m not in connection with an of the originators of the garage house scene, but hopefully with this little bit of information you can get a sense of Garage House. And this isn’t a genre that has faded into extinction. No sir, Garage House has been steadily rising on the scene in the past few years, and NeedWant Records put together a lovely compilation that shows off some of the influences of what happens when house meets garage.
Titled, The House That Garage Built, this compilation by TRAXX is loaded with gems of garage house that you really ought to know. Even if you didn’t know the artist or the name of the track, hopefully you’ve been exposed to some of these great songs via podcasts, mixes, or live DJ sets. Personally, I’ve heard each of the tracks on this EP in the past (and lately,) and I commend TRAXX for selecting some items that truly capture the atmosphere of garage house.
With selections from Disclosure, George Fitzgerald, The Mekanism, Huxley, and many others (a lot of UK producers, ) this EP is one that you really do Need/Want.
Give the selections a listen and give NeedWant Records a high-five for being awesome!