History of Garage Music

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The meaning of the word garage has slipped dramatically. But any definition will pretty quickly run into problems if you name a genre of music after a club [Larry Levan's Paradise Garage] which was known not for one style of music but for its wild eclecticism championed by one DJ.

What we now call garage is music which has evolved from the more soulful, more gospel-inspired parts of disco and it owes its emergence to the taste-making of DJ Tony Humphries at his club Zanzibar in Newark, New Jersey.

When, around 1997, some London DJs took the descendant of this music and latched it to some cavernous, half-tempo basslines, speed garage or UK garage or the London Sound was born. Just to make things even more complicated, this actually took its first steps thanks to records by New Jersey producer Todd Edwards and adopted New Yorker Armand Van Helden.

Speed Garage The Armand Van Helden remix of CJ Bolland's "Sugar is Sweeter" defined the whole [speed garage] sound with that huge breakdown and massive bass-line. He was the first one to really come up with any sort of formula for the music. [...]

"Garage" is one of the most mangled terms in dance music. The term derives from the Paradise Garage itself, but it has meant so many different things to so many different people that unless you're talking about a specific time and place, it is virtually meaningless. Part of the reason for this confusion (aside from various journalistic misunderstandings and industry misappropriations) is that the range of music played at the Garage was so broad. The music we now call "garage" has evolved from only a small part of the club's wildly eclectic soundtrack. -- Frank Broughton/Bill Brewster

Larry Levan Larry Levan was the legendary DJ who for more than 10 years held court at the New York night club the Paradise G

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