Where to Download UK Garage
Are you looking for where to download UK Garage music?
UK Garage, or abbreviated as simply UKG, is one of the UK's most vibrant music genres. It originates from Garage House, Breakbeat, R&B, Pop and Jungle and was first developed and made popular in the UK, predominantly in the inner cities. The UKG style is characterised by a percussive, shuffled 4/4 breakbeat rhythm with syncopated hi-hats, cymbals and snares, and sometimes includes irregular kick drum patterns. Garage tracks also commonly feature 'chopped up' and time-stretched or pitch-shifted vocal samples. MCs are often used alongside the music. The BPM of Garage or UKG is commonly 130BPM but can vary.
So, where do you find it? As it's quite an underground sound it can be hard to track UKG tracks down online. Sure, there are many UK garage tracks to be found while crate digging in the many record shops (click here for some of them) but nowadays a digital DJ will need to find some great places to download UK Garage music online. We've compiled a quick list of the best places to download UKG music!
Starting as the ‘Dance Music Resource Pages’ in 1996, Juno opened their online shop during the height of the 90’s .com boom. The website is split into three main sections, one for physical sales, one for digital downloads and one for studio equipment. They have a great selection of UK Garage and unlike other shops mentioned in this list, their UKG is dedicated to the sound and does not share with any other sub genre i.e Dubstep / Bassline. Juno also has some great editorials and reviews making it easier for people newer to the genre to find what they are looking for.
One of the most well known music hubs in the industry, Beatport has been on the top of its game since inception in the USA in 2004. Mostly focused on House, Techno, EDM and Tech House beat port is the place to find all the biggest global dance music trends. It offers a great insight into what is happening in some of the bigger clubs across the globe, not so good for more obscure or underground records. That said it does have a UKG section which seems to be more focused on the Bassline end of the spectrum rather than the true UKG sound. Good for seeing what's popular but not much else.
My favourite website by far for downloading UK Garage (Or any music for that matter) is Bandcamp - launched in 2008 they are a relative newcomer. They operate a slightly different business model compared to other sites by having the artist upload their music directly to the website, cutting out the middle men and putting more money directly into the artist's pocket. They also often have Bandcamp Friday where they waive any fees so 100% of the profit goes to the artist. The other upside of having users upload is that they are able to list and add better genre descriptions to describe their music, making it much easier to discover new music and micro genres. The app is also well worth getting as you can stream and listen to any music on the website available for purchase.
Swedish founded Soundcloud is well known as a hub for emerging artists to stream their latest tracks, however there is also an abundance of tracks for free download, including plenty of UK garage. Much like band camp Soundcloud’s music is user uploaded which makes it a great platform for discovering new artists but maybe not the best if you are looking for some specific tracks. Have a look at https://soundcloud.com/freeukgarage which has plenty of brand new UK garage up for download.
Another newcomer with a business model closer to beat port, Traxsource is primarily aimed at house DJ’s and doesn't have a specific UKG Garage genre tab, however it has a very good weekly playlist ‘Essential Garage’. It's a great summary of all the different Uk Garage scenes and sub-genres two step, NUKG, Garage House and bassline all get a feature.
Article written by UKG DJ and producer Olli Rant. Follow him on Instagram here.