Groove Armada have been at the forefront of electronic music for nearly two decades now. Currently signed to UK imprint Hypercolour, the London duo, comprised of Andy Cato and Tom Findlay, have released eight studio albums, thirteen compilation albums, and thirty-three singles, most notably 1999’s I See You Baby and 2001’s Superstylin. In 2010 the two decided to discontinue playing as a live ensemble to focus on their DJ performances. Ahead of Cato’s debut solo album Times and Places set for release this month, the duo have stepped up to the decks to deliver Melbourne Deepcast a polished mix comprised of their own exclusive productions from 2012 and 2013.
We caught up with Andy to get the scoop..
Where have we caught you and where have you been on tour most recently?
You’ve caught me outside a cafe in France. In the sunshine for the first time since….a long while. We’ve been off the road these last months for the first time since ’96. It all starts again next week in a warehouse in east London.
I know your solo album ‘Times & Places’ is due out on Apollo and R&S later this month, there’s a bit of a story about how that album was constructed right? What can you tell us about it?
It’s an album of tunes written on the road. Buses, planes, hotels, motels, basements, beaches. etc. It goes back a long way. There’s a track on there from the Castlemorton free party – a famous weekend in UK house history back in 1992. Most of the grooves, super 8 footage and photos from the road get lost along the way. Or stored on tapes and discs for machines that no longer exist.
So before it was all gone I wanted to get as much of the archive together as I could. Alongside the music are a couple of hundred photos and a little bit of surviving film that will all go up in an exhibition that kicks off April 25th. In the sleeve notes I wrote the full length story of the people, times and places.
Groove Armada as a live band hasn’t been together for some time now, when did that all finish up and what is the focus for Groove Armada at present?
The live band came to an end at Brixton Academy in october 2010. We’ve released a recording of that gig recently. It was a mental night and sounds it. The live band was pretty special. Since then, it’s DJ only, but often in a special booth we’ve put together giving us control over the whole experience – lights, lazers, synths and realtime visuals. In the studio we’ve just finished some tasty remixes of Arthur Bakers Rockers Revenge, and are putting the finishing touches to EPs for Hypercolour. The mix you have here is essentially a new GA album. It’s our own mix of the tunes and 12″s we put out in 2012/13.
As DJs it feels like you’ve always been known for upfront house tunes, are you usually mindful of keeping the party vibe that people know Groove Armada for, or have you managed to veer off on tangents or different directions on occasion?
GA have had more tangents than most. The live band was a full on electronic tinged rock n roll experience. To others we’re known as the chill out band. Throughout all that we’ve been DJing all over the world everywhere from the LA stadium to Moscow basements.
Since stopping the live band and creating the new style DJ booth, we took the decision to only play the parties where the House sound works. A lot of big stages have gone EDM, and that’s a game we don’t want to play. When it’s rolling these days, with the booth in full flow, it’s a rocking and pretty unique take on the original house sound.
What can you tell us about this mix, we’re told it features a lot of new music from you? What was the idea behind the mix?
Ah, got ahead of myself there. Yes it’s all our own stuff, some released on Hypercolour, some ourselves, some not at all. So it’s a GA album, mix style. These days we’re keen on the free party, free music, just putting stuff out there to spread the word and try get ourselves in touch with good, House loving party crews around the world.
When will you next be out in Australia and what else do you have coming up that you’re able to tell us about?
We’ll be back on the Space Terrace this summer, at various festivals, throwing some Ibiza beach parties, and playing a lot of new tunes that’ll start being promo’d soon. As for Australia, it’s been a long while. This is what it looked like from the stage last time so we should probably get back….