Various Artists

Ministry of Sound: DJ EZ - The Essential Garage Collection 2009

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Comprised primarily of U.K. garage classics from the mid- to late '90s, The Essential Garage Collection is a triple-disc mix album by DJ EZ on the Ministry of Sound label. Generally considered the most popular garage DJ in the United Kingdom, DJ EZ rose to fame around the turn of the century with a long-running Friday night radio show on Kiss 100 and the ever-popular series of Pure Garage mix albums on Warner Music. Other than the different labels, there's not much difference between The Essential Garage Collection and the Pure Garage series, in particular the quadruple-disc retrospective mix Pure Garage Rewind: Back to the Old Skool (2007). Moreover, there isn't much difference between The Essential Garage Collection and Ministry of Sound's recent series of Garage Classics albums mixed by the Wideboys. If you're a fan of either the Pure Garage or Garage Classics series, you'll probably enjoy this release as well. The first two discs of The Essential Garage Collection are comprised of U.K. garage classics from the mid- to late '90s. In general, the first disc is oriented toward what was then known as speed garage, kicking off with Armand Van Helden's trailblazing remix of CJ Bolland's "Sugar Is Sweeter." Other groundbreaking classics on the first disc include Double 99's "RIP Groove," Big Bird's "Flav," and the "Live Garage" version of Roy Davis, Jr. and Peven Everett's "Gabriel." The second disc is oriented toward the vocal pop style of two-step that was popular during the late '90s. Highlights include remixes of Shola Ama's "Imagine," Craig David's "7 Days," and Colour Girl's "Joyrider." In contrast to the first two discs, the third is comprised of contemporary productions by Agent X, MJ Cole, and Sunship, among others. Highlights include the disc-opening Agent X remixes of Kid Cudi's "Day 'n' Night" and H "Two" O's "What's It Gonna Be."