Hey I'm Tripleset, I produce a style of music called UKG or UK Garage - which is a sub-genre of house music popularized in Britain that's starting to gain attention among American dance music listeners. It's off-kilter, skippy hi-hat grooves, faster tempos (typically 130-140 bpm) and the variety of styles within the Garage realm makes it distinct from more mainstream types of house such as tech house.
As of Summer 2022, UKG is still underground in the US… but it’s showing strong signs of growth and expansion. The explosion of DnB in America over the pandemic has given rise to American listeners exploring other types of UK dance music. This has led to demand for new UKG artists such as Conducta, Drinks On Me, and salute to find their first major bookings in the USA in 2022. Though these names might not resonate with Americans yet... they've been well-established names in the UK music scene since the late 2010s, and it seems like pretty soon they'll be household names in the US.
The recent resurgence of UK Garage music across the pond - dubbed “NUKG” by Conducta’s influential label Kiwi Rekords, is unsurprising for those familiar with the history of the genre. Originating in New York in the early 90s, Garage House (aka Garage and NY House) is one of the prototypes of house music that developed in and around New York City. Around the same time in the UK, house music was having its moment in legendary clubs such as the Hacienda in Manchester. DJs in the UK were hungry for more house records imported from Chicago, Detroit and New York - many of them being garage records produced by American artists such as Mark Kinchen and Todd Edwards. The widespread popularity of garage in the UK led to British artists experimenting with garage sounds and inventing their own darker and faster take on the genre.
By the late 90s and into the early 2000s, UK Garage reached the mainstream of British music - a period of time in London characterized by economic prosperity, flashy clothes and hedonistic nightlife. In many ways, the recent NUKG craze that's swept Britain since the end of the pandemic lockdown mirrors the first wave of UKG. After almost 2 years of no live music, nightclubs or raves, people are more desperate than ever to go for a fun, euphoric night out. For me personally, I spent most of the lockdown listening to pretty ambient stuff as well as a lot of grimy Drum and Bass - but once I started going out and DJing again in the summer of 2021, I found myself (and the crowds I was performing for) craving faster, shufflier music. Pretty soon, I was exclusively producing and playing out NUKG tracks and actually making a name for myself doing it.
With well-established NUKG artists like Conducta, salute, Drinks On Me and Hans Glader already mainstream in the UK and starting to gain footing in America, it seems like only a matter of time until we start to see UKG artists getting booked for major festivals and venues in the United States. Watch out for NUKG artists getting even more shine in the USA in 2023 and beyond...