Two nations under one groove
Groove Vol. I | | [Maison Fauna; Aug. 13]
Groove Vol. I, the new UK garage compilation from Durham label Maison Fauna, celebrates the long-standing cultural exchange between rave music in the US and UK.
The soulful sound of garage house took shape in New York and New Jersey in the 1980s. Its name comes from the Paradise Garage nightclub, where it was brought up by iconic DJs like Larry Levan. In the 1990s, British producers began to ramp up the garage and swirl it around with hip-hop, R&B and drum and bass influences.
By the end of the decade, a strain called 2-step emerged. Ground foursome pulses gave way to skeletal swing rhythms full of eerie negative space, which could be stuffed with time-shifted vocal samples, quirky accents, and wobbly bass.
After producing dance hits in Britain, 2-step later spawned chic crossbreeds like Burial and the aggro bane of American dubstep. This is what most people think of as a UK garage today.
Released August 13 on marble vinyl and limited edition streaming platforms, Groove Vol. I is a classic connoisseur’s take on the garage, formally housed in the ’90s but porous to new sounds. The passionate project of Maison Fauna co-founder Kir, who hosts a recurring UKG party of the same title, its eight titles are split equally between American and British artists, with concentrations in North Carolina and Bristol, England.
On “Warning” the Nottingham Panar pierces big, whistling chords with a bassline so wavy it looks like it’s trying to speak. The minimalism of Kir’s snap-filter is evident in his collaboration with Enver, “Sans”.
Lewis Aung of Bristol reduces a celestial arpeggio to a wisp and adds drums reminiscent of a live kit in “Aarai”, while Bristol’s Two Toke brings rapid palpitations of the jungle to “Cloud Lament”. The helium-filled vocals that serve as rhythmic diacritics on many tracks take center stage in “Solid Ground” by the anonymous collective HIDD3N HAND.
Aside from Ohioan’s “Axis” Dan Miles, which draws a tasteful horror movie vibe around an arrhythmic heartbeat, the overall vibe is a subdued euphoria, appropriate to the ocean aesthetic that Kir cultivates. in its visuals. Take a dip in the night out at The Fruit on Saturday August 14 ($ 10 advance / $ 15 gate), which features Kir, Whenuknow and headliner Dan Miles, putting their underground twist on the popular injunction to party like it’s 1999.
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