Words: James Keith

UK garage, grime, bassline, UK funky, deep house... Richard “Sticky” Forbes has had a hand in it all. The anthem he created with Ms. Dynamite, “Booo!”, is a stone cold classic, widely considered to be one of the genre’s definitive tracks. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Over the years, he’s crafted riddims for a whole slew of icons—General Levy, Kele Le Roc, More Fire Crew, Donae’O, Stush, Tubby T, Natalie Storm—a lot of which appeared on his 2010 blockbuster album Turn Me On, a set we could have quite easily written a whole feature on all by itself.

The next part of Sticky’s career that warrants a mention is his incredibly fruitful partnership with another titan of UKG, Scott Garcia (the production genius behind another colossal UKG anthem, “It’s A London Thing”). Despite working together for a decade or two, Sticky and Garcia only launched the Foundation project in 2013, but its impact on the rave scene has been huge. It’s not strictly UKG either, as Garcia explained to Fabric when the partnership launched, “the idea is to cover the spectrum of and pay homage to the ‘rave’ sound.” A purely DJ project, the pair’s expansive repertoire includes house music, bassline, deep house, and basically anything with a lot of low end.

As you’d expect from a giant of UKG with so many years in the game, Sticky’s remixing credits are lengthy and prestigious. He has, over many, many years, reimagined hits from the likes of Erykah Badu, Aaliyah, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Hot Chip and the Sugababes. Like fellow garage architect Wookie, Sticky’s strategy seems to have always been to balance big-hitters with underground gems. It was that ongoing passion for the underground that’s really helped cement Sticky’s legacy, not just in UKG, but also what came after.

As UKG plundered the charts in the early 2000s, a second strain of the sound was going in the opposite direction. Alongside a few others like Wookie, Zed Bias and Garcia, Sticky was central to UK garage’s dominance as well as paving the way for the darker garage sound that would eventually give way to grime.

Here are 20 reasons to love Sticky.

Posted on February 05, 2019