Steven Jude (Aka Groove Chronicles, England)
The music will not appeal to all who hear it. But those that are loyal to it often state that they wish that it could go back its glory days. When it seemed that MUSIC release after MUSIC release of UK Garage music singles were reaching the top 10 within the Uk music pop charts without any problems at all.
I recently came across a couple of tracks that stopped me stone dead in my path. In fact I had not heard of this tracks since 1999.
It brought back memories of that time which saw a musical fusion that had taken hold of the Uk so badly that even HipHop music, Jungle (Or Drum and Bass music), Rnb and Soul music was having difficultly in getting a look in. The years in which this was all happening would be from 1996 to 2001
The music’s of HipHop music, Jungle (Or Drum and Bass music), Rnb and Soul music which I mentioned above those particular types of music's were still selling to be honest in the Uk; but there was a new boy in Town and that person was UKG (Uk Garage music. This was a music that started up as a sped-up, bassier update on the soulful American house music sound. UkG eventually evolved into very much its own sound.
Groove Chronicles is an English-based UK Garage music project founded in 1996 by DJ and producer Noodles (real name Steven Jude) with El-B (real name Lewis Beadle) as engineer. (I would like to mention here. They do not get enough credit from what they bought to the table at the time.)
This duo paired up as a production duo and quickly established themselves as a major player within the music of UK club music. They went about releasing a series of tracks which were a fusion of R&B, jungle, broken beat and house music influences. That even today these are considered by music lovers of the gender as “Classics”
This duo stayed as Groove Chronicles until late 1999, when the band member that was El-B left left for a solo a solo career.
Noodles (who's real name Steven Jude), now works alone as Groove Chronicles and is still putting out tracks. Groove Chronicles are best known for the remix of 'We Can Get Down' by Myron along with their hit singles 'Shattered', 'Stone Cold' and the track is '1999'.
For those who have never heard of the music that is UK garage (also known as UKG) It is a genre of electronic music originating from the UK in the early 1990s.
The genre usually features a distinctive 4/4 percussive rhythm with syncopated (shuffling) hi-hats, cymbals and snares, and in some styles, beat-skipping kick drums.
Uk Garage tracks also feature 'chopped up' and time-shifted or pitched up-shifted vocal/s samples within the music. Which helps the song/s along in regards to the underlying rhythm structure or tempo which is usually geared around 130 BPM.
It’s really pretty incredible that after 20 years, the influence of the UK Garage music is still very present within the Uk even though the music is not as popular as it once was.
The first Single that I am going to tell you about that made set up and take note of was this one.
Groove Chronicles - Stone Cold – 1997
This is single is so classy. Its uses a jazz sax sample, together with some laid-back, yet cool vocals which were sampled from the artist known as Aaliyah ( From the single called “One in Million”) that was added to the mix.
Then the invention,or introduction of that “bassline” which gives the music the much needed kick that is needed to be played to a dance floor of hungry thirsty clubbers. Wow, to me it still sounds good. Well it does to me anyway.
It must be said that the Uk Garage scene of time was helped heavily from Uk Pirate Radio scene that is still prevalent today. Without it the scene would not have grownn as huge underground success that it was.
Pirate Radio Stations such as Girls Fm, London Underground FM, Freek Fm, Dejau Veu FM, Ice FM, Magic FM, Mac FM and Upfront Fm come to mind here as station that you needed to have on your dial to get the best Uk Garage music selections at the time. I personally loved the stations that were – London Underground, Freek and Dejau Vea!!!
The Pirate music scene is still huge today within the city of London, England playing music that would never, ever get a chance to be played on Legal radio.
The Pirate Radio scene still heathly and running in the Uk - News Night report
Even though the threat of heavy fines, or even jail sentences are there. The scene seems to be growing and no signs of slacking.
Another Factor that helped the scene immensely was the London fascination on raving or clubbing on a Sunday at the time!
“Perhaps there was something in the air in the early ‘90s – or, more likely, it was the pills that were knocking around – but the pace of almost all dance music in the UK was rapidly accelerating. (The hardcore / jungle scene had already heard BPM’s creep from 140 to 160 and over.) Masters At Work’s dub mixes played at +8 were especially huge at The Elephant & Castle. The result was a spaced out, sped-up version of New York garage perfect for weary dancers looking for a second wind at 10 AM. This was the primordial soup from where UK Garage would evolve". add Matt "Jam" Lamont, Dj/Producer, Uk.
Masters at Work – Photography of Mary Dub – 1992
This led to Dj/producer - Matt “jam” Lamont (Uk) to start to experiment with making similiiar music but with a British feel to it.
Jam Experience - Feel my love - 1997
Unsurprisingly this heavy bass weight owes a lot to Matt’s cohorts in the hardcore scene. “One of my friends, the drum & bass producer Blame, came round my house. He listened to a track I was working on and he said, ‘Push the bass up, push the bass up!’ When I played it at The Elephant & Castle, that was it, the track shook the windows. The owner of the pub ran up to me and was suddenly telling me to turn the bass down”
One of the clubs that catered for this new hybrid was the night known as “Happy Days”. – which was pub called the Elephant and Castle, in Vauxhall, London.
However, before it became a success it was near to proximately wise to probably Europe’s most famous club at the time that was/is – The Ministry of Sound Nightclub.
The Ministry of Sound Nightclub, London, England was created to try capture and import that glamour and the vibe that was found within the former night club that was the Paradise Garage nightclub within New York, Usa
The Ministry had even gone ahead and created a Sound system that was supposedly as good as the Paradise Garage nightclub – which claimed to have the best sound system for a nightclub in the world when it was running.
Also the Ministry of Sound Nightclub had attracted the Dj of the calibre of Dj Tony Humphries to play at the Ministry of Sound Nightclub as a resident. Who had made such a name for himself at the Nightclub called Club Zanzibar (New Jersey, Usa) playing Soulful House and Garage music. They had previously asked DJ Larry Levan to become resident first. However, he was not well at the time.
I remember those times well. As Dj Tony Humphries back then was on fire. He played some the best Soulful House and Garage sets that I have ever heard. He was helped by the fact that the City of New Jersey, USA and its House and Garage music artists were fast taking up the mantle of challenging the cities of New York and Chicago as making the best House and Garage music within the Usa. In fact he was one of the Dj’s within the Uk at the time that in introduced us to the New Jersey Garage House sound.
So Matt came up with the Idea - Why not throw an after party to catch the crowd leaving Ministry of Sound Nightclub?
“The clever thing was to do it bang next door to Ministry,” remembers Matt Jam. “You could have done it a mile down the road and people would have been undecided what to do. Ministry finished at 9, and Happy Days ran from 10-2. People used to come out of Ministry and sit down and wait for The Elephant to open.”
The Success of this club – The Happy Days inspired other clubs to take a chance on opening on a Sunday. This new sound soon spread all over London, the South east of England and the rest of the uk.
This dubbed hybrid style of Garage music that became known as UK Garage music lead to nightclubs like Café De Paris and The Gass Club being created. The Gass Club became probably the most famous Sunday night club before another club that catered for this new hybrid sound that was called the Twice as Nice ( Situated in Vauxhall, London) was created.
Such was the popularity of the music during the time – Sunday had now become the most popular time to go out clubbing to.
The success of Happy Days quickly inspired new Sunday parties and spurred on the existing ones. Up-tempo, dubbed out garage became the soundtrack. The Park in Kennington, another questionable South London pub, started opening at 4pm.
When that shut, many would head to Café De Paris or The Gass Club, perhaps the best remembered of the early UK Garage clubs. Within a year a tight knit Sunday scene had sprung up. The crowds were racially diverse, working class, and in the know. You’d have clubbers, still up from the night before, dancing next to gangsters. As Creed remembers, “It was kind of like being part of a club that no one else knew about.”
Here is a explanation of the nightclub by Dj Spoony,UK – in regards to clubbers coming to the Twice as Nice event in Vauxhall, London at the time.
Dj Spoony,UK - revisiting the TWICE AS NICE
The Groove Chronicles reminds me of a time that put the fun and class back into the music that many stated didn’t have any class.
Here is another tune from Groove Chronicles that many have stated has become a classic within the Uk Garage circles.
Myron – We can get Down (Original Mix) - 1997
Wonderful slice of Rnb music that greeted us here in the Uk, to moderate success when it first released.
However, when the Groove Chronicles were given the go ahead to do a remix for this single, and put out a Uk Garage mix for the same single. It resulted in this. And was a huge favourite all over the Uk. Listen to this.
Myron – We can get Down (Groove Chronicles Uk Garage mix!) - 1998
Myron – We can get Down (Groove Chronicles Uk Garage mix!)
Steven Jude (aka Groove Chronicles) adds himself ….
"Myron just happened. I was working in Release The Groove Records(London, England) at the time and was given the promo to listen too. I thought 'this is good', went to the studio, and produced it. I gave it to a couple of DJ's on Kiss FM(Uk) (Bobbi and Steve), and with their support it got played by various DJ's across the board genre-wise. The rest, as they say, is history."
I have say that I feel I have called it right – when I say that even if you do not like the music that is Uk Garage music these two singles are an exception to the rule
I ‘m not sure now which of the two tunes that I have put across to you that feature Groove Chronicles is the better one?
Maybe you could decide?
Well that all folks for me now anyway.
Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show © www.electricsoulshow.com