UK garage history 101 from a pillar of the scene.
DJ Spoony is a walking encyclopaedia of UK garage history. Although he's a student of music in general—exhibit A: he won an episode of quiz show Mastermind choosing Ray Charles as his subject—Spoony had a front row seat as garage became a cultural phenomenon in the late '90s and early 2000s. Growing up in Hackney down the road from Shut Up And Dance and DJ Hype, he quickly found his legs as a DJ before garage reared its head in the second half of the '90s, leading to the formation of The Dreem Teem crew alongside Timmi Magic and Mikee B. Their label DJs For Life remains a prime document of the era, featuring all-time productions from the likes of Zed Bias and Phuturistix's Seven Wonders project.
English listeners will also know Spoony as a long-time BBC Radio 1 presenter but more recently he's become a driving force behind the Garage Classical concept, which is on the cusp of a new performance at the iconic Royal Albert Hall on October 24th. Whether you're new to UK garage or a seasoned expert, Spoony's perspective is as valuable as it is entertaining, offering insights on the rise, fall and enduring influence of this vital strain of UK dance music.
The RA Exchange is also available on Spotify.