It was surely a matter of time before Leicester natives, darlings of the UKG revival Y U QT graced Time Is Now with a release. Cooper and Darryl Reid have been repping the Midlands’ oft-forgotten 2-step and bassline scene since being picked up by Riz La Teef’s South London Press in 2019; since dropping two EPs on Warehouse Rave and getting picked up for a remix by Conducta’s award-winning Kiwi Rekords. For Time Is Now, the duo have put together five tracks of dynamic, cheeky garage that takes influence from the full breadth of the genre.
Studded with bangers, the EP kicks off surprisingly gently with ‘Be Real’. Some spaced out keys float over the 2-step rhythm before hitting a sidewinding bassline and the pace picks up in ‘Keep On Lovin’ Me’ – a classic speed garage sound you can’t help but move to. Cooper and Reed show their ruder side on the frenetic, brass infused ‘Look Good’ and the deeper, Niche-style wobbling bassline on ‘Chopper’. The record closes with ‘Hardly Keep it Inside’; icy synth and contorted trancey diva vocals make this track feel somehow larger than the others – you could imagine it going off in a cavernous club on a mountainous soundsystem, a swirling bassy number that sucks you in. This headsy release makes your feet want to move in the way only garage can, bringing out some of the best that the UK sound has to offer.