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Groove Armada’s new era: “We’re happy being house DJs now”

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The band has had such a creative 15 years, you must be happy to take a break.    

The band has been going for about 20 years now, we’ve been on a bit of a treadmill, so I’m really enjoying the space and opportunity to do other things, and be a bit less musically obsessed. 20 years is a long time in show business. When you’re in that cycle, of writing an album, rehearsing it and then taking it on the road, you never have a chance to appreciate what’s around you, and what other people are doing. I’ve been able to rediscover a love of music, really. Quite broad, and not necessarily just house music. But that’s been a nice thing, to worry a little less about yourself, just sit back and listen, and remember why you love music in the first place. You don’t get the chance to do that when you’re obsessed with your own stuff.

Looking back on the body of work you’ve done as Groove Armada, you’ve had some really great albums, but what’s even more impressive is although you’ve come from a house music background, they’ve all been so diverse. Your last album Black Light was such a creative U-turn.

I’m really proud of that record, it was the one that was hardest to make in a lot of ways. We put in a lot of physical and emotional effort to get to that point, but we were proud of it. There’s been a lot of diversity on all of our records. But I’m kind of enjoying the way that house music is making me focus a little. Some of those early albums, as much as I love them, they are fairly mad, they do jump from one place to another. So I’m enjoying being a little more locked down. 

Sometimes, it was like you were trying to write anything but straightforward house music, it was like you were running away from it.

I don’t think that was necessarily a conscious thing. We were just discovering a lot of new things in music, and we couldn’t quite settle on a style we loved. So we just went with our moods a little, and that sort of varied from day to day. Now that we’re living in different countries and working separately, the music ends up sounding a little more homogenous than when we were working together. For some reason that I don’t quite understand!

Andy Cato had his solo album Times and Places come out this year, which ended up being a very, very good album.

He’s always had a love of that Balearic sound, and it’s a really lovely piece of music, it’s got a real sense of a flow to it. I think it’s something that he’s just had up his sleeve; I’ve heard a million different versions of those songs over the years, so it’s great to hear it all pulled together in a collection like that. He’s one of those kind of people that when he gets on a roll, he can’t quite ever stop working, so that’s a product of all those years touring.    

You can catch Groove Armada behind the decks alongside Ralph Lawson and Simon Baker this weekend Saturday October 5th at Shoreditch’s Factory 7 for LWE Presents Danse Club: Sweat Factory 

Tickets are available below

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