Andy Cato and Tom Findlay, better known as the duo Groove Armada, just recently launched the first instalment of their Little Black Book series album under the UK Label Moda Black. Being considered as one of the veterans in the dance music scene was very evident in this album as they were able to stick to the sound they are more known for – steady, synth-laden house music backed up by groovy basslines that kind of reminds you of a Night at the Roxbury. Despite the proliferation of many other dance music artists in the biz, they have clearly set themselves apart by having this distinct 90s rave/disco-inspired and (thank God for this) bass drop-free sound, which eventually produces nothing but top quality house music that’s very easy on anyone’s musical palate.
The 80-minute musical journey offered by the first disc includes 7 new tracks and other Groove Armada’s original music and remixes from the past years. Clear standout tracks were Push, Soho Disco, Alright, and Rescue Me. What I like most about this album would be the clean and smooth transitions in between songs. I’m a sucker for this kind of thing as it highly encourages non-stop dancing from the listener’s part. It was very obvious that the tracks were well-made and thought of, with the first half mostly having that chill dance/discotheque vibe, purposefully done to build up to the album climax. Post-Alright, you will notice that the tracks are mostly bass-heavy, intertwining in soulful vocal samples, which is the success formula of the Groove Armada dance equation.
Check out bit.ly/GALittleBlackBook to download a new Groove Armada track ‘Get On The Floor (Fabric Edit)’, or you can also go to their Facebook page and website for more news about the dance duo.
It’s safe to say that RÜFÜS’ tropical house hits perfectly suited the Indonesian weather last Saturday when they played at We the Fest 2015. But unlike all the other electronic music bands nowadays, they are actually able to set themselves apart from the crowd by making their songs aurally and lyrically pleasant. They are able to perfect that blend of romance, desolation, and even travel in their songs, enhancing it further by putting in their signature minimal yet infectious rhythms and beats. I’m pretty sure they have the best song-writing you will hear in today’s contemporary electronic music scene.
The guys opened their set with Modest Life, which I believe was the perfect song choice to get the crowd all pumped up. What I liked most about it was Jon (synths) and James (drums) actually played the beats alternately, which was not obvious if you’ve just listened to their record.
Of course, Sundream was the crowd favourite. Hearing the song played live was actually a better experience compared to the first time I heard the song. Tyrone himself told everyone that it was about late nights and fondue (aka sex), which was actually pretty obvious as its light, floaty synths and solid bass lines were very orgasmic.
They played many other hits like Tonight and Imaginary Air, which as expected, did not disappoint the crowd.
RÜFÜS closed their set with Desert Night. Most of their live videos uploaded on YouTube were of this song, and I was already anticipating the 7-minute version of it. The low-key synths and soft, almost-whispered vocals were able to give off the tropical house vibe they were aiming for. It made you feel like you were watching them play in a beach, circled around a bonfire while sipping a cold bottle of beer. As they hit the 5-minute mark of the song, the whole crowd already resembled a pulsating nightclub packed with sweaty people singing and dancing along to their electro-pop beats. To further pump up the crowd, Tyrone (vocals) did not even hesitate to smash his keyboards right in front crazy crowd.
Obviously, I was very impressed with the band’s performance as they were able to keep their authentic electro-vibe by playing as a full band. For me, they were one of the standouts of the festival. Their live footages online did not even do justice to how they actually are in real life. Each individual song was played impeccably, and their use of lights at critical moment truly brought more life to the set. They threw one damn good party, and I would not hesitate catching them live again.