Just picture it: the sun is shining, there's not a cloud in the sky - amidst breezy drunken chatter, sweeps in the glorious vocal from Strickly Dubz 'Realise' to the eager ears of a burnt faced, cheap tinny brandishing crowd. It's summer 2021 baby, and this is the summer of UKG.
The warm weather has arrived just in the nick of time for us to get moving to our long-beloved genre, so we've decided to bless your eardrums with the naughtiest vocal samples plucked straight from unanimously adored classics. From 90s garage aficionado El-B right up to Kiwi Rekords’ Conducta, our top 10 throws it back to basics with a sprinkling of new recruits.
Check out our selection of the top 10 UKG vocal samples:
24 Hour Experience 'All Nighter'
It’s impossible to listen to this track without getting the impulse to boogie. A vocal loop from Zhanés ‘Groove Thang’ pairs with rolling 2-step beats making for an intoxicating UKG spin on the R&B classic.
AJ Tracey & Conducta ‘Ladbroke Grove’
Future Underground Nation ‘The Way’
Garage masters Future Underground Nation take Regina Belle’s vocals on ‘Show Me The Way’ (not to be confused with the ’99 remix) and shape their darker dubs around her impressive set of pipes.
J Da Flex & El-B ‘When I Fall In Love’
A choppy tune bordering on the edge of breakstep and undeniable chemistry between garage staples J Da Flex and El-B could only offset the hardest of beats. The warbling bassline of ‘When I Fall In Love’ is finely cut by a delicate vocal from Axus.
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Sunship ‘One Night Stand'
Sunship dropped this vocal mix back in 2001, refurbishing Mis-Teeq’s ‘One Night Stand’ into a high-energy, rowdy garage spin-up. Infused with the trio’s seductive lyrics, Sunship’s edit made a permanent mark on UKG sound.
Wookie ‘What’s Going On?’
It doesn’t get any more 90s than Soul II Soul. Far from the four-to-the-floor regulars that take up UKG Discogs, Wookie’s ‘What’s Going On?’ samples the London band's 1990 hit ‘Back To Life’ ten years down the line.
El-B & Ghost ‘Heads High’
Back to El-B again, this time in a cheeky collab with Ghost. Shifting the sound of Mr Vegas’ 90s classic ‘Heads High’, the pair layer wavering basslines over the dub track, leaving us with this almighty banger.
Strickly Dubz ‘Realise’
There’s no vocal garage track quite like Strickly Dubz’ ‘Realise’ - Mary J Blige is unrecognisable in this take of her 1992 anthem ‘Real Love’. A feel-good all-rounder, this track stays true to Sylvester’s immaculate, unfailing years of garage production.
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M Dubs ‘Bump ’n’ Grind’
‘Bump ’n’ Grind’ was pretty forward-thinking for its time, a track that neatly samples Lady Saw’s ‘No Long Talking’ and fuses it with some syncopated cymbals underlined by a low-end bassline.
MJ Cole ‘Mindless and Broken’
Rough around the edges - as all homemade garage tunes were back in their prime. MJ Cole’s ‘Mindless and Broken’ pairs strings and synths with this spine-tingling sample from 3rd Core member Anju Sharda's breathy vocals.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter