Alex Lawton made his mark on the UK Garage scene by masterfully chronicling it in his 2013 documentary Rewind 4Ever: The History of UK Garage (read our earlier piece about the documentary here).

For 5 Magazine Issue 142, he compiled his lists of underrated, unheralded and unsung music, labels and producers from UK Garage history.

 

Gavin “Face” Mills

A key figure in the history of UK House and Garage, Gavin Mills was arguably the ‘go-to’ guy for engineering and mixing down tracks throughout the best days of UK Garage.

As an engineer Gavin has worked with some of the biggest names in UKG, from Tuff Jam, The Dreem Team, Norris “Da Boss” Windross and Scott Garcia to name a few, but for me Gavin never really got the props he deserved as a producer in his own right. Gavin also ran one of the first ever UK House and Garage labels, Catch Records, alongside his Banana Republic production partner Brian Tharme and was also one of the first ever UK producers to have a release on the mighty Strictly Rhythm back in 1995 (Capital Swing – Jazz Doubt/2B).

Alongside Matt Jam Lamont as ‘Jam & Face’ Gavin co-produced some of the biggest 2 Step remixes of the time (most notably Misteeq’s “Why”) underlining his reputation as one of the most adaptable and talented producer-engineers in the industry. Gavin is now producing and DJing all over the world as one half of production duo Copyright.

 

Mike Millrain

aka Urban Myths, Large Joints, DJ South Central. A massively underrated producer who was signed to Nice ‘n’ Ripe in the late-’90s/early 2000s. Mike’s productions often featured a sweet mixture of R’n’B vocals, jungle-style basslines fused with 2Step breaks. check out his Stone Cold Steppaz “Hit ‘Em” track as a prime example – wicked!

 

Donna Dee

A female producer and DJ ahead of her time. A producer who’s worked across a number of different genres since the rave days, Donna Dee’s “Your Love” was one of the first ever 2Step tracks to be released back in 1997, she also co-produced DJ Deekline’s 1999 hit “I Don’t Smoke.”

 

Para

aka Para-Beats. Originally part of the production trio D.E.A. Project. I’m a big fan of his solo projects, most notably “Tell Me” featuring Robbie Craig, “Mountains” featuring Trinity Sky and “By Your Side” which I featured on the Rewind 4Ever soundtrack. I know I speak for a lot of people by saying he needs to release more music!

 

Y-Tribe

Seminal production duo consisting of Ali Jawando and Vegard Verdoen. Y-Tribe rose to prominence in the late ’90s and were responsible for numerous Garage classics such as “Enough Is Enough”, “Baby (You Bring Me Up)”, “I Wanna Know” and countless remixes. Y-Tribe always brought that sexy vocal vibe and were definitely a duo that helped define the 2Step sound while never really getting the limelight they deserved.

DJ Solution

My favourite New Skool producer. Solution has been around since 2008 when he was voted “Most Hyped UKG Artist” off the back of his breakthrough track “X-Cited” which was released on Karl “Tuff Enuff” Brown’s label 2tuf 4 U Records. I’ve been in the studio with him a number of times and to see him work is amazing as he can make quality tunes so quickly. you can tell from his style that he’s a big Todd Edwards fan. Solution also contributed a couple of tracks to my Garage documentary Rewind 4Ever, a great talent.