In the 15 years since its formation, Groove Armada has remained an amorphous project that has managed to produce a vast number of hit records, which garnered mass appeal through appearances on Balearic chill out compilations to TV adverts for supermarket chains. It’s difficult to liken any two singles Tom Findlay and Andy Cato have released during their lengthy career, and when you look at the variety of vocalists they have collaborated with (Neneh Cherry, Jeru the Damaja and Will Young to name but a few) you start to understand why. But their latest string of releases on Hypercolour has seen them opt for a club-orientated 4x4 sound, joining an ilk of producers at the forefront front of UK house, including Maya Jane Coles, Mosca and Huxley. Pulse’s Ray Murphy spoke to the duo about old drum machines, the strains of hosting Ibiza parties, and the possibility of taking Lovebox abroad.
Your last two releases have signalled a new direction for the group, towards dancefloor-led house. What has driven this change? It's pretty reflective of what we’ve been playing DJ wise these last 18 months. So it made sense to have a bit of a go at it ourselves. After spending years on that major label cycle of album, promo, and tour […] it’s nice just to put some tunes together in our studios and have them out three weeks later. No drama!
This year, you’ve put out a number of records (including your latest EP ‘Pull up’) on Hypercolour – a reasonably modest underground label that doesn’t have a history of releasing large acts such as yourselves. How did this come about and why is the right home for your new music? We’ve known the guys who run the label for a while and I think they’re releasing music by some of the cream of British producers right now – Mosca, Huxley, Maxxi Soundsystem, Tom Demac and then some, so it feels good to be part of that.
Your new release sees a remix by West Norwood Cassette Library. What made you pick him for the task and what other underground UK producers do you hope to work with in the coming years? That was the label’s idea, but I love what he’s done with it. I’d love to do something with Eats Everything at some point ‘cos he’s absolutely all over it right now.
What changes can fans expect to see in your latest live set up? Honestly, I haven’t thought about it too much. When we do our ‘we love’ residency, we have a great kinetic/laser/lighting thing going on already. I guess it’d be great to work some of the classic drums machines into what we’re doing at some point – do some acid live.
What future plans do you have for Lovebox and what challeges have you faced as it has grown? Well the big thing for us would be to try some events away from the current site. Hackney will always be its home, I hope, but in the future I think we could take the spirit of the event outside the UK.
You’ve hosted a number of ‘Rockers Revenge’ beach parties in Ibiza this summer and just performed at Space’s closing party. How did it feel to play your last show for a while? Relief tinged with a bit of sadness really. I’m sure we’ll be back, it’s just this sense that we’ve been doing this on a roll now for something like 15 years, and its ace but [it will be] nice to have a little breather; I’d love to make some music as GA and a bit of solo stuff.