DECK EXCURSIONS Groove Armada
Glasgow: Ouch!, The Temple, Sun 30 Apr.
The quietly eclectic combination of house, hip hop. funk and soul that defines the OuchI club nights might also serve as a summation of the various activities of Tom Findlay and Andy Cato, better known as Groove Armada. In fact, the name the pair record and DJ under was initially coined for a club night that kickstarted the duo's move into production. 'The club was fairly successful, but we kept losing all the money we were making.’ says Findlay. ‘So we started to make a few 12ins, mainly to drum up a bit of interest in the club night. Then the reaction was so good that the production side of things took over.‘
This easy transition was thanks to Groove Armada's canny ability to create tracks equally suited to the dancefloor and the living room, fusing the key elements of dance production with an appreciation of the genres that launched house music in the ﬁrst place. 'The plan is to get that kind of fusion right,’ explains Findlay. ‘For our next album,
we've been recording with a load of musicians, and we're currently sifting through all of that. The idea is to get something a bit more homogenous than the sound you get when sampling other people. That said, the danger with just playing live and recording straight to tape is that it can get a bit noodly, a bit too jazz. We want to avoid that and keep it sequenced, groovy and looped.‘
This ethos is carried over into Groove Armada’s excursions behind the decks, as their contribution to
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Groove Armada mix up behind the decks
the All Back To Mine mix series demonstrated, with a willingness to incorporate the occasional oddity alongside more typical house fare. 'We like to reflect the kind of stuff we do as a band when we DJ,’ explains Findlay. 'That means it’s all a bit of a mixture: the deep house music is the backbone, but we like to add a few bootlegs we've done ourselves, a bit of breakbeat, some funk, some hip hop.‘ (Jack Mottram)
u Groove Armada ’5 The Remixes is out now on Jive Records.
PROPER HOUSE CLUB Ultragroove Edinburgh: La Belle Angele, Fri 28 Apr.
In a city renowned for its clubbing diversity, old fashioned house nights are surprisingly thin on Edinburgh's nicely cobbled ground. There's a plethora of banging house nights, as well as the deep, the upfront and the glam varieties, but plain old proper house? There you have a bit of a
as TIIE um 27 Apr—II May 2000
‘It‘s just good house music’ at Ultragroove
To the rescue come local old-timers Colin Cook and Gareth Sommerville with Ultragroove, the monthly do at La Belle Angele. Kickstarted last October when the pair became fed up with what was then on offer - ’There wasn’t an avenue to hear the 015 we wanted or to even play the records we wanted,’ says Gareth — the club has found a niche among music lovers looking for a night of good music.
‘We’ve both reached that stage where we don't need to say "I play New York house” or "I play garage” or whatever,‘ says Gareth, ’we just have faith in what we're playing. When you've been DJing for as long as we have, you don’t need to label it as much. It’s just good house music.’
Club goers who aren’t just out of nappies might recall Truth, the underground house night that the pair also ran back in 1993. 'lt was a precursor to Yip Yap years ago,’ says Colin. ’Nights in Edinburgh then were either much harder, or very garagey. We just played the music that we wanted to hear.’ It would seem then that Ultragroove is a case of history having to repeat itself.
’lt‘s a terrible cliche but a lot of love’s been lost with too many promoters just in it for the money,’ says Gareth. ’lt’s not just how many people you have through the door, that’s not how you measure a club's success.’ But with Ultragroove moving to a Saturday night slot in June, a night that they believe suits the club much more, chances are that they’ll enjoy the bonus of a skyrocketing door count. (Simone Baird)
News beyond the dancefloor
THE FIREHORSE FOUNDATIONS organisation have shifted up a gear with a move to a new base beneath the Zero recording studios in Pollokshields. The plan is to turn the booking agency and promotion group into a fully fledged label, with opportunities for acts currently on the roster to cut demo tracks in the studio upstairs. To celebrate, anyone working with Firehorse can claim cheap rate studio time throughout April and May. Aspiring artists and DJs should contact Louise via e-mail at louiseOfirehorse-agency.com. ALTHOUGH DETAILS ARE surprisingly thin on the ground at the mo’, we can tell you that GI has opened its doors for business in the venue formerly known as Tin Pan Alley (Mitchell Lane, Glasgow). On the rota is sometime Saturday nighter Fusebox, a breaks and beats affair, while starting Friday 19 May will be Syntax with tech house and state of the art projections and lighting.
ALSO LOOKING FOR demos are the promoters behind Vamp, new club at La Belle Angele opening Thursday 22 Jun. Alongside the big name guests and residents - Anne Savage, Alan Joy and Mark Price to join ressies Simon Foy and Donna Love - will be a lucky bedroom jock. To win the slot, send a 60 minute tape to: ‘01 Competition', c/o La Belle Angele, 11 Hasties Close. Edinburgh EM 110 by Sunday 14 May. THE QUALITY VENUE drought in Edinburgh might be over come the end of the year. Roddy Fisher recently purchased the old Scotsman warehouse on Market Street, and work has already commenced to turn the shell into a club and live music venue with a separate bar. Although it won’t be ready until the end of the year, estimates about capacity are well worth noting: the club should hold up to 1000 while the bar up to 400, and we wager that there will be a number of clubs wanting to jump ship when it opens. A ’credible club rota’ is promised. IN ADDITION, THE Vaults has now closed for a total refurbishment and will also reopen towards the end of the year.
AFTER COSMETIC REDECORA‘HON and refurbishment, what was once The Catwalk in Edinburgh is now Poprokit and will reopen on Thursday 25 May, as long as the furniture arrives on time. Keep your blagging hat on as the no doubt fabulous launch will be invite only. My brother knows the cleaner, honest . . .
Bedroom jocks: win the chance to spin with Anne Savage