Review: A new mix from perennial party faves Soul Clap is always a cause for celebration, but there's something extra-special about this particular exercise in dancefloor nostalgia. Nice 'N' Ripe Allstars sees them revisit the bulging back catalogue of Grant Nelson's Nice 'N' Ripe label, an imprint that has tracked the rise, fall and subsequent rebirth of UK garage since its' birth in 1993. Soul Clap's mix - an action-packed 30-track affair featuring some of their own edits and remixes of classic cuts - does a great job in showcasing the best the label has to offer, flitting between early US garage style jams, loose soulful house, sturdy two-step, bass-heavy speed garage and the kind of long-lost jams which should be bitten by today's retro-minded house producers. In doing so, it offers an impeccable history lesson.
Review: Given the current fashion for both UK funky - itself a reinvention of classic speed garage - and new house records inspired by old US garage, it seems a fitting moment to revisit a long-forgotten early British garage 12" from 1994. Partly produced by Grant Nelson and released on his Nice 'N' Ripe label 18 years ago, Dub Essentials Part 1 is something of a time capsule - an early example of US garage being given a distinctly UK twist. While some tracks are typical of USG at the time - see "Feelings Mutual" and the formidably skippy drum track "Gone Tracks" - others feature the deep, wobbling basslines and vocal edits that would later become a UKG trademark (most notably "Deeper" and "Scatter").