Groove Armada are an electronic music duo comprising Andy Cato and Tom Findlay from England. They are now primarily based in London, and continue to produce and record music as well as hosting semi-regular club nights in London and an annual London festival under the Lovebox banner.
The group has collaborated with a diverse array of artists including Neneh Cherry, DJ Gram’Ma Funk, Sophie Barker, Nappy Roots, Fudge Dog, Sunshine Anderson, Mutya Buena, Jeru The Damaja and Richie Havens. Tom Findlay has described working with Prince as his dream collaboration, although there are no plans for such at the moment.
Groove Armada is probably best known to the music listening public for producing music that have featured in numerous media including advertising campaigns, movies and computer games.
Groove Armada first formed in the mid-1990s after they had been introduced by Cato’s girlfriend and soon started their own club, also called Groove Armada, after a ’70s discothèque.
By 1997 they had released a few singles including 4 Tune Cookie and the song that first brought them minor fame, “At the River”, which sampled “Old Cape Cod” by Patti Page, (which was featured in the film Die Hard 2). The song has gone on to be one of Groove Armada’s most well-known tracks and has since been found on numerous chill out compilations.
Their first album Northern Star was released in 1998 on Tummy Touch Records, and was followed by their second album Vertigo in 1999, which had a more mainstream and more ‘polished’ sound, thus making the British chart’s upper 20 and being certified silver in the UK. It also included “At the River” which was re-released as a full-fledged single. An album of remixed tracks from Vertigo entitled The Remixes followed in 2000, along with their contribution to the Back To Mine series.
Their next studio album Goodbye Country: Hello Nightclub was released in 2001, and as its title suggests marked a move away from chill out to more upbeat music – as demonstrated by the Grammy nominated single “Superstylin’”. Another mix album followed, this time for the Another Late Night series and in 2002, less than a year after Goodbye Country, Hello Nightclub, Groove Armada produced Lovebox, which included a variety of genres and was noticeably sassy and brought a new type of funk to Groove Armada.2 Some tracks had a rock element to them such as “Madder”, while others were closer to their traditional house, such as the title track “Lovebox”, and “Remember”, which has vocals made up entirely of samples of Sandy Denny’s singing for Fairport Convention. An additional ‘bonus’ track was later released on their website entitled ‘Fairport’.
A Greatest Hits album appeared in 2004, the last of their releases with Pepper Records, before their latest studio album Soundboy Rock, was released in 2007. The album, marked a notable departure from the multi-genre influenced previous album, featuring tracks such as “Get Down”, “Groove Extracts” which follow the current UK trend of electric hard-house with rock elements and “Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)” featuring the vocals of ex-Sugababes singer Mutya Buena, hailed by online music guide PopJustice as one of the best songs of 2007.
Following the successful Soundboy Rock singles, an updated best-of set titled Greatest Hits was released in October 2007. This was accompanied by a GA10: 10 Year Story, a 2CD rarities collection released in November 2007 to celebrate their tenth anniversary as a band. The band have talked in-depth about the compilation of the 2 cds, and cited it as an “emotional experience”, selecting their personal favourite songs and mixes from their history.
Groove Armada’s also released a collaboration with The Japanese Popstars through Strictly Rhythm via Beatport in April 2008.
In 2008 Groove Armada engaged in a deal with Bacardi to distribute their new 4 track EP using an innovative filesharing platform called B-Live Share. Inviting your friends earned free downloads and the platform went viral, spreading out across blogs and social media all over the web.
Tom Findlay recently confirmed the existence of a pending new album. While on the Bacardi Express tour in Australia, Findlay said it will be called "Black Light and it is going to be the darker side of Groove Armada, which is finally coming out after 12 years.”4. The first single to be released from the album was “Warsaw.” The second single was “I Won’t Kneel,” which features Groove Armada’s new vocalist, SaintSaviour. The album is set to be released on 23 February 2010.