Highly Swung Records have flown the flag for quality Garage, UKG, 2 Step and Bass Music for almost 2 years. The label has been host to top class releases from Kindred Soul, B1G PROJ3CT, 2 Rotten Scoundrels,Tigs, Ayrton Hood, Impact, Pud & Dan, GWM, Scott & Nick and many more. In May this year, Highly Swung will take things to a whole new level with a various artist compilation called ‘Highly Anticipated Volume 1′
Lets take a deep dive into the tracks on this album starting with Bad Habit ‘Nightlife’, a modern 2 stepper that incorporates elements of Future Soul and classic UKG rhythms- 2 Step 2.0 for the nowties
Of course, there is nothing wrong with going completely oldskool and 4×4 Garage chugger, Danny Phillips ‘Light Of Love’ basks in the warm sun of late 90s/early 00’s Garage with a Disco flourish
Of all the many sub-genres to come out of the musical style rooted in DJ Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage DJ sets is one very unique sound that owes as much to UK Hardcore & Jungle as it does to New York House music. We are of course talking about Speed Garage, the style that blew up in 1997 due to Double 99’s ‘Ripgroove’. Now that little history lesson is out of the way, Highly Anticipated has its own slice of Speed Garage thanks to Dista with ‘Feel Me’, the Sheffield native has done much to revive this sound and he really hits home with this pure and authentic track.
Next up, label boss iMPACT teases some nice melodic guitar riffs into a bouncing 4×4 heater ‘Flex Factor’, a track that bridges the sound of two decades combining the original UKG sound with a fresh Bass music twist.
Now, we all know about Craig David, the guy has a great voice, no doubt about it. But another great voice you should hear is the voice of Martin Carr and we get a taste of it with ‘Stronger’ Proper UKG needs some soul and Martin Carr – Stronger has bucketloads of it!!!
More fast paced oldskool influenced action comes from Switzerland’s Radical DJ with ‘Hear No Evil’, a combo of uptempo skipping beats, well-rounded grimey bass and eerie strings. Save Link As ‘Concrete’ furthers the theme of golden era beats with a sparse 2 stepper that keeps it brilliantly straight to the point with chopped up vocals and Techy synths.
Germany’s Zemon ‘Block’ opens up carnival-style before going on the attack with an intense mother load of buzzing like bees bass and pounding kicks.
Lamont Dex serves up a nice cold ‘Brandy N Coke’, a great blend of classic 4×4 Garage organs and thumping beats. Midi Logic Ft Karen B ‘Forever’ is the proper song of the album with R&B style keys and spectacularly sung lyrics. Mikey Smith makes sure his contribution of ‘Simplistic’ count, it’s a real galloper with speaker pleasing subs and a busy arrangement with Nice N’ Ripe undertones. Oldskool ravers will love Californian Rob Bliss ‘Gift Of Life’, the crunching amen breaks and 1992 hardcore pianos touch on that all important Uk connection that links the warehouse sound of the early 90s to the UKG, House & Bass sound.
‘Highly Anticipated Volume 1′ affirms the standing of Highly Swung as one of the premium Garage labels both locally and globaly while showcasing real talent and continuing the legacy of one of the most popular sub-genres to come out of underground dance music. You won’t want to miss out on this massive LP when it hits the download stores this May.