Mixes, Music

Givin’ You the Business

A decade ago in Pittsburgh, Pipecock and I got really tired of the rave scene, which was, you know, like, a really big deal at the time, right? Tom had heard about this fellow named MJ Cole, and played me “Sincere” one night at our crib. I have to admit, I wasn’t immediately enamored, but the soulful 2-step sound grew on me quickly, and I soon found myself at Modern Music in Baltimore buying a gang of UK Garage records. We then started making regular orders from the UK shops that had all the white labels we could never get our hands on in the US. We decided to call ourselves “The Business”, a sideways nod to one of the founding Oi! bands and a reference to the fact that we thought the music scene at the time needed to take itself a little more seriously. We formed the Steel City Soul Cartel with Jordana “Lady J” LeSesne (formerly aka 1.8.7., one of the first jungle producers in the US) who was also gigging 2-step back then, and started a residency at downtown club Level. Here’s a flyer from one of our nights from a DECADE AGO…

This mix, which has been getting a lot of attention in the Twitterverse lately, was our first tag-team effort. We’d eventually go on to get a dope timeslot on internet radio station Strike FM, and we played crazy gigs over the course of 2001-2002. I’ll post some more of the mixes over the next couple weeks. You can find a tracklist behind the cut.

We’re actually looking to get the Business moving again, if anyone in the US is interested in having a set of the sickest 2-step circa the turn of the century, we got that shit. Hit us up!

01. MJ Cole – Crazy Love – Talkin’ Loud
02. Dj Ride and TLM vs. LM – Embrace Me – Concept Music
03. SE16 f. Missy Brown – What U Gonna Do? (Dub) – Messy
04. Will Dobson – Talkin’ Dirty (Remix) – Area 51
05. De La Soul/Chaka Khan – All Good? (Mj Cole Rmx) – Tommy Boy
06. Mad Skillz Vol 1 – Big Up – Mad Skillz
07. DJ Dee Kline – I Don’t Smoke – Eastwest
08. Lavonz f. Shè and Mr. D – Mash Up Da Venue – Locked On
09. DJ Kalibre & Hustler f. MC Lynski & Lady – Bassline Select (Main Mix) – Riding High
10. Grand Theft Audio – Hey Deejay – Grand Theft Audio
11. Kandi – Don’t Think I’m Not (2-Step Mix) – White
12. Shanks & Bigfoot – Sweet Like Chocolate (Fly ‘N High Mix) – CB
13. Texas – In Demand (Sunship Remix) – White
14. United Grooves Collective f. Shelly – Glad You Came To Me (Wideboys Nasty Mix) – Public Demand
15. HMP & Julius f Amanda Jordan – Promises (Zed Bias & Sovereign Mix) – Debutante
16. Pink – You Make Me Sick (Dub Conspiracy Remix) – Laface
17. Mad Skillz Vol 1 – Happiness – Mad Skillz
18. Mash Up Crew – Forever (Full Vocal Mix) – White
19. Roachford – From Now On (Sunship 12″ Vocal Mix) – Columbia


  1. Platinum Ray says:

    I was listening to this mix a few weeks ago and it brought back memories from when I lived in London around 2002 and the kids called this sound ‘UK garage’ or sometimes just ‘garage’. I worked in a commercial record store there and this was the big sound that they were into at the time. it was interesting to me as I got into house in the mid 90s and had a good number of NYC garage records, you know the kind of shuffling house beats with gospel influenced vocals, MAW kind of stuff. anyway, I used to ask the kids if they had ever heard of the Paradise Garage or Larry Levan in the assumption that this could be the root of the genre title. not one of them ever heard about it. so I started to question my own assumption that these styles were connected and I never really found out if they were.

  2. pipecock says:

    well, the foundations of UK garage were in that music. in fact, as far as i know, the interest in the UK in that goes back to when it was big in the US. there were kind of little mutations that set the music made by those cats in the UK off, the first being “speed garage” of course, and then 2-step. through that, the influence of Todd Edwards especially remained pretty heavy. the problem with the mutated forms was that they were often done by younger kids who might have known the history and whatnot, but the music appealed to even younger kids who really didn’t know what was up. but it was all still in there IMO!

  3. jitterbug says:

    a lot of the UK garage scene grew out of dj’s over here playing the dubs of US garage records pitched waaay up – really emphasising the skippy drums. stuff like MAW, smack records, humphries dubs, mood II swing, todd edwards, blaze etc etc , all pitched up to +6 or so… you can really hear these influences in people like tuff jam’s productions

    interestingly, i almost never hear anyone talk about garage in the US sense any more, people will say ‘vocal house’ or ‘soulful house’ to describe that vocally/gospel type sound; whereas the word ‘garage’ seems to be used almost exclusively in reference to the UK variety nowadays.

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