2014, apparently, marks the 20th anniversary of ‘UK garage’ – a youth-defining period of time that even now brings smiles to those who remember when they first became captivated by THAT sweet & soulful sound. As such, and fortunately for those who like to reminisce, there’s been a large amount of noise lately (Rewind 4 Ever, Brandy & Coke) regarding the genre, focusing on the quick rise, and unfortunate downfall of that period.
However, one aspect that’s forever stayed true with the genre, even though it may now not be as mainstream as it once was, is the fact that many of today’s dance & house acts cite the DNA of garage as the sole reason for their musical passion. None moreso than can be seen in the varied collection of Ineffable, the debut album by British producer DJ Q.
Bizarrely, whilst much has been said regarding the London/South-East influence of UK Garage, Q derives from Huddersfield, a town probably far removed from the starting blocks of 4/4 and 2-step than his contemporaries. However, Q’s vision for Ineffable, it seems, hasn’t been a pure reliance of the mid 90’s genre, and instead, more focusing on the foundations of various house-offshoots from that era to modern-day.
First play of Ineffable will absolutely bring a smile to your face – there’s slight hints of Ed Case’s Ed’s Guest List in there, whilst Every Time brings a strong reminder back to ’97/’98 when teenagers started hearing garage for the first time. Likewise, a similar story could be said for the Kai Ryder-featuring Be Mine, which brings the sweet, subtle strings and keys to the forefront, not too far removed from early Artful Dodger releases.
But garage has progressed over the past couple of decades, and DJ Q has kept well to point this out, demonstrating the various evolution of house-offshoots with this album. Caught Up seems to mould electronic-grime with the odd trap influence, stretching and skewing vocals in a way that is more Todd Edwards than Todd Terje. The Todd Edwards-influence continues on Let The Music Play, which, from an instrumental perspective, could be considered as a Shut The Door sequel.
It’s clear that DJ Q’s time with 1Xtra and Ministry of Sound have had a positive impact in the creation of this record, particularly the MC-influence on Lassie, featuring Discarda (whose prolific staple within the grime scene has been applauded by many) alongside the silky soulful tones of veteran JayJay Born2Sing.
We’re not going to bullshit around this; though it may be a little short (encompassing just eleven tracks) Ineffable has been long-awaited, and it fully delivers. One interesting aspect however will be around its commercial success, and whether the general population will be ready to place a project of varied UK garage-inspired tracks within their collection. If we had our way though, we’d strongly recommend they do.
Ineffable is out now; hit the iTunes link below to download straight away: