When talking about early electronic music, and the house scene specifically (in contrast with the Techno scene), four styles are always mentioned, and used interchangeably in many contexts (including compilations and dj sets):

  • House
  • Garage
  • UK Garage
  • Speed Garage

Seems that geographically, House's scene started in Chicago, Garage's scene started in New York, and UK Garage's scene started in the UK; but beyond that, what are the differences among these styles? Are there important rhythmic, melodic, harmonic, instrumentation, sound design, sample choice (etc) differences? How are they unique to their other "brother" styles?

2 Answers 2


Here I'll answer according to my experience and from various reference.


What you mean House is basically Classic House,Chicago House or Jackin House, It's kind of father of all four on the floor genre. The sound characteristics are thicker than garage or disco.

Chicago House gets its name from an actual Disco club called the Warehouse.

If you say Garage and House used interchangeably nowadays, It's true. Because both genres has the grey areas. Simply, don't look at genres as a fixed label. Try to look it as a gradient or heatmap as what towards what.


Garage is the true successor to Disco, without much deviation in form, content, or style. In my opinion, It characterized with groove and light Bassdrum.

The word Garage doesn't mean anything pertinent other than its name comes from the legendary Paradise Garage nightclub in New York City where DJ Larry Levan would play anything he damn well pleased. Garage music simply meant music that Larry played;

UK Garage

In UK scene, there's a broad kind of garage, including

  • 2 Step Garage
  • Speed Garage
  • Grime
  • And even Dubstep born from from this

Most people just name it UK garage, mostly referring to speed garage and 2step garage combined.

Speed Garage

Speed garage, A.K.A Bassline House, Bass House, House Garage, Is a derivative of UK garage. mostly focus on bass, yet preserve the groove.

Speed Garage differs from regular Garage in its affections for Jamaican culture and cliches. Not actual Jamaica, of course, but Jamaican transplants in England (this is a UK genre, after all).

Many of my references I get from This link. I think right now it's one of the most comprehensive EDM guide on the net.

Another one would be This genre map


So I'll elaborate a bit further since there's some out-of-date or incorrect info present.

UK Garage (UKG) consists of 2-Step, 2-Step Speed, 4-Step, & 4-Step Speed. 2 Step misses 2 kicks in favour of a broken beat. 4-Step sounds more like faster house with a swing beat and a heavier emphasis on the drums. UKG is 126-134bpm

Garage House is 4-Step Garage with less or no swing beat and uses Call & *Response. Garage House typically ranges from 126-140bpm.

Speed Garage has much heavier bass elements and starts at 135bpm, however Speed Garage is not Bass House or UK Bassline.

Bass House is heavy house music with a focus on bass over groove. House drums are designed to sound natural and realistic, usually being placed slightly off-beat to simulate the slight inconsistencies of a real drummer. Bass House phrases are almost always progressive, in that more elements (such as basslines, drums, leads etc.) are added as each phrase of the drop is played out. Bass House phrases are generally 16-24bars long.

UK Bassline is its own separate UK sub-genre that essentially combines house & garage elements, but focuses on repetitive, heavy, driving, basslines and consistent, drum-machine drums, giving it a much more industrial (or 'artificial') sound than house. Bassline's phrases are usually 32-64bars and tend to add less variety as they play out. Each drop in a bassline tune also tends to include an extended mix outro as UK Bassline Selectas tend to fast mix and not play both drops.

*The confusion between Bass House/UK Bassline & UKG comes from the original bassline sound which used Call & Response in its basslines. UK Garage has consistent, wubby (think OG Dubstep), driving basslines that don't use Call & Response (or comparatively very little). Modern UK Bassline is very different to the OG bassline sound but still heavily uses Call & Response. Compare Burt Cope - Subliminal (OG Bassline) with H3NRY - Mayday (VIP) (Modern Bassline) and you can instantly see how bassline has evolved into its own sub-genres.

All UK sub-genres fall under the umbrella term "UK Bass".

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