Garage music (US garage)

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For other genres of music with similar titles, see UK garage and garage rock.

Garage music or garage house is a subgenre of electronic music that developed contemporaneously with house music[1] yet is classified by some sources in the modern day as being a subgenre of house music as an irreversible overlap between these two began in the late 1980s. It was developed in the Paradise Garage nightclub in New York City and club Zanzibar in New Jersey, USA, during the early-to-mid 1980s.[2] It technically predates the creation of Chicagoan house music and it is stated by some sources to be relatively closer to disco than other electronic dance styles.[3] However Garage has eventually been grouped as a variant of the broader term 'house'. DJs playing this genre include Tony Humphries, Larry Levan and Junior Vasquez.[4][5]

Garage music is often confused with speed garage or UK garage, but although influenced by garage music, these are different genres.


Dance music of the 1980s made use of electronic instruments such as synthesizers, sequencers and drum machines. These instruments are an essential part of garage music.[6] The direction of garage music was primarily influenced by the New York-based discothèque Paradise Garage where the influential DJ Larry Levan played records.[4]

According to Blues & Soul, garage music started with the early records of Visual, i.e. "The Music Got Me" in 1983 and the material of The Peech Boys.[7]


In comparison to other forms of house music, garage has more polished attributes, including gospel-influenced piano riffs and female vocals.[8]

The genre was popular in the 1980s in the U.S. and 1990s in the United Kingdom. Popularity of the genre in the UK gave birth to a derivative genre, the UK garage.[8]


Prominent labels[edit]


  1. ^ Saunders, Jesse (Nov 1, 2007). House Music: The Real Story. SandlerComm. p. 118. ISBN 9781604740011. "However, New York did not truly develop a recognized House music scene of its own until 1988 with the success of DJ Todd Terry—not until then did they understand what House music truly was all about. They did, though, have Garage. 
  2. ^ Simpson, Paul (2003). The rough guide to cult pop. U.S.: Rough Guides, 2003. p. 42. ISBN 1843532298. 
  3. ^ ""Garage" --Allmusic". 
  4. ^ a b Sylvan, Robin (2002). Traces of the spirit: the religious dimensions of popular music. U.S.: NYU Press. p. 120. ISBN 0814798098. 
  5. ^ ": Garage at Allmusic". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  6. ^ Ann Dupuis, Anne De Bruin (2003). Entrepreneurship: new perspectives in a global age. U.S.: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2003. p. 79. ISBN 0754631982. 
  7. ^ "untitled". Blues & soul: Issues 526-537 (Napfield Ltd., the University of Virginia '(originally)'). 1988. [...] term as garage music now started about five years ago with the first Boyd Jarvis records and the group Visual who did the songs "Somehow, Someway" and "The Music Got Me" 
  8. ^ a b Verderosa, Tony (2002). The techno primer: the essential reference for loop-based music styles. U.S.: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2002. p. 36. ISBN 0634017888.