This Week In Garage: Soul Mass Transit System, Introspekt, Sammy Virji, Fixate, Fred again.., Shanks & Bigfoot
From the underground to the mainstream, garage is going global. This week we’re bringing you generational musicality, a #1 hit, and a history-in-the-making Boiler Room set. I’ll catch you next week - right now, I’m headed to the Fred again.. pop-up.
New Releases of the Week
Soul Mass Transit System - Need Someone EP [Shall Not Fade - Time Is Now]
The enigmatic Soul Mass Transit System returns to Shall Not Fade for their latest four-track EP. Melding elements of classic house, garage, and jungle, the beatmaker blends the genres in a captivating way that leads you to the dancefloor. The titular track, “Need Someone,” grabs you from the start with its longing soul samples that juxtapose the hard-hitting bassline, presenting a fresh take on UK bass right from the first track.
Introspekt - Luv U Right [Practical Rhythms]
Introspekt embodies the essence of UK garage in her latest single, “Luv U Right.” Dreamy copped-up vocals weave into the track’s drum patterns seamlessly, highlighting the frantic rhythms that characterize everything we love about garage.
Sammy Virji - 5 Star (feat. Fayyaz Virji) [Self-Released]
The cutest collaboration might have taken place with Sammy Virji’s newest track, “5 Star.” The producer brings on father Fayyaz Virji—a known trombone player and pianist—for this jazz-loaded UKG tune. Blending the soulful elements of both genres, this family affair spotlights both artists’ generational instrumentality.
Fixate - 129SpaceLine [Pineapple Records]
Lauded as one of the most unique producers in the scene right now, Fixate takes to Sam Binga’s Pineapple records for his newest project, the No Good EP. For his second track on the record, Fixate brings a futuristic twist on garage with “129SpaceLine,” incorporating wobbling synths through the tune’s pulsating percussion.
Live Set of the Week
Fred again.. - Boiler Room London
Nobody can shut the fuck about this damn Boiler Room set this week, myself included. For those who aren’t yet hip to Fred again.., they’re wondering where this guy came from. But for us who’ve been obsessed since his Actual Life album came out last year, the energy did not disappoint, nor did it surprise. Although Fred the crowd wraps around him tightly (and even the likes of Skrillex and Four Tet are in there), he rarely looks up from his decks, only acknowledging the crowd by raising his hands to the beat or giving us a rewind on the track. His audience seems to be in their own world, too, if not a little over-zealous and unaware of their spatial boundaries, even stopping the music due to their uncontrollable dancing. As for the clip everyone has seen of Fred again.., Four Tet, flowdan, and Skrillex’s unreleased collab, the London sample-flipper drops it around the 56-minute mark. They got it right in the beginning, though—this set is history in the making.
Throwback of the Week
Shanks & Bigfoot - Sweet Like Chocolate
Shanks & Bigfoot’s 1999 “Sweet Like Chocolate” is credited as the first garage track ever to reach #1 in the UK for a reason. Its sticky-sweet songwriting and candy-coated vocals make it hard not to love. The tune was initially only made for vinyl a year prior as a promotional single but was later officially released on the duo’s debut album. Without “Sweet Like Chocolate” helping break garage in the charts, it’s arguable that we might not know and love the genre as much as we do today.
Follow Shanks & Bigfoot on Spotify