Dancing music in the C20: garage (1993-97)


Gabriel by Roy Davis Jnr. is one of Goldie’s all time favourite records.

Gabriel came from a more amorphous scene than jungle. Later in the decade, some people would call this sound plus 8 or speed garage, and finally UK garage.

Roy Davis Jr – Gabriel

The early tunes that inspired that sound, though, were by American producers like Roy Davis Jr, Todd Edwards and Romanthony. These were relatively unheard of names in their home country, but in the 90s in Europe, they were spoke of with an almost saint-like significance. The general absence of information about these men in the just pre-internet age fed the mystery. The reclusive singer and producer Romanthony, in particular, refused to do any promotion or collaborate with labels or other musicians.

Romanthony- The Wanderer

It wasn’t until Daft Punk eventually wore him down to contribute a guest vocal to their enormous One More Time hit single that Romanthony found fame and had some financial success.

He didn’t see himself as a dance producer, but thought of himself more like a Prince or a James Brown, a classically-trained auteur who could play a multitude of instruments and sing like an angel.

Nevertheless, Romanthony’s classic 90s 12”s – released on his own Black Male label – are unstoppable club anthems.

Spotify playlist: early UK garage (1993-97)