Some great garage reviews by Gareth Metford at Motion
. In this
review of Indo's "R U Sleeping" (a Dem 2 sideproject) he discusses the brilliance of Dem 2, which is hard to fault. I've been listening to their new-ish remix of Divine Styler's "Directrix", and by golly they really are "the Dillinja of 2-step". This has the biggest booming kickdrums and most angular groove I've heard since said jungle-master's "Angels Fell". And all this on a remix of a boring Divine Styler track!
Meanwhile here Gareth discusses the strange relationship between garage and early hardcore, arguing that there's almost a hint of irony and distance to the celebration of it. I'm not sure if it's terribly easy to pidgeonhole the nature in which hardcore influences have filtered through garage. In many ways I think of it as being done naturally and neutrally - the two big garage remakes of the year to my mind have been the new versions of "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" and Adina Howard's "Freak Like Me" (which has an absolutely amazing breakdown, I swear!). Despite the fact that one used to be a hardcore track and the other an R&B track, the construction of the remakes and the motivations behind them seem similar, because really they're just great source material that will get the audience hyper.
As a sidenote the best track I heard while out dancing the other night was a remake of a hardcore track whose name I can't remember. Anyway the sampled vocal chorus goes "Can't beat the system/go with da flow", over a real solid blocky breakbeat groove (as hard as I've heard 2-step/breakbeat garage get) and some nice housey synths. The track seemed to gloriously fuse elements of house, hardcore, jungle and garage together, and although I wasn't around for hardcore, it really does seem strange to dance to music with such a vibrant, multi-faceted sense of history. Anyway, if anyone let me know more about this track I'd greatly appreciate it.