Groove Armada returns after 10 years underground
The critically acclaimed electronic dance duo Groove Armada returns to the world of big beat-funk with the announcement of the band’s first studio album in 10 years, Edge of the Horizon. Having said goodbye to live tours back in 2010, British artists Tom Findlay and Andy Cato reunite to relive their funky past, creating an 11-track LP heavily inspired by the soundtrack of their old tour bus. Replicating a fusion of blends from the ’80s and ’90s, Edge of the Horizon represents an upbeat, collaborative mix of disco, house and old-school party breakbeats irresistible for listeners to get in the groove.
Famously known for originating some of biggest hits of ’90s dance, including “I See You Baby” on Vertigo in 1999 and the Grammy-nominated hit single “Superstylin’,” the duo reveals their newest old school-inspired hit as the first track on the album. “Get Out on the Dancefloor,” featuring Empire of the Sun vocalist Nick Littlemore, combines electronic funk with classic rock, highlighting an emphasis on the nostalgia for ’90s club culture. Between the refrained cymbals and the corky rock of Nick Littlemore’s vocals, this song really takes listener’s out of their seat and onto a 20th-century dance floor. Experimenting with cross-rhythms and syncopation, Edge of the Horizon sees Littlemore featuring again on track three “Tripwire,” but to people’s surprise, his vocals on this track reveal a much more modern edge; presenting people with a strong lyrical hook, this song is hands down the most catchy and alternative track on the album.
Following this track comes “Don’t Give Up,” a perfect song to throw on to start off the morning. One of the softer tracks on the album, it consists of techno pulses and soft vocals with simple yet strong lyrical value. While tracks like “Edge of the Horizon” (feat. She Keeps Bees) and “We’re Free” (feat. Roseau) also combine soft vocals with rhythmic drum beats, Roseau’s voice in “We’re Free” stands out; her vocals create a sensational R&B vibe as a deeper layer to the beat as she sings, “We are stars burning bright/ We are peaks, we reach the sky, you are water giving life.”
For any Daft Punk fans and listeners of the song “Fragments of Time,” they’ll be excited to find Todd Edwards on track seven, “Lover 4 Now,” a classic ’80s groove track. When speaking about this song, Groove Armada explained the specific moment in which it was made: “Ibiza. Poolside at Pikes, that time of evening when day becomes night and anything seems possible.” Listeners get a combination of this transfer from mid-day to night as they listen to “Talk Talk” (feat. James Alexander Bright), which has a classic downtempo house beat mixed with light techno and a combination of deep and high overlapping vocals.
The last track is highly significant to the album as it represents the duo’s overall creative theme of ’80s and ’90s nostalgia, reflecting the true origin of dance music following the band’s success. Groove Armada dive deep beyond the general genre of dance music, further reflecting the evolution of electronic dance music since the two began their musical career. “Dance Our Hurt Away” (feat. Paris Brightledge) represents the concept of how individuals used dance as a coping mechanism in the ’90s, as people listen to Brightledge sing, “Dance the pain away.”
Stepping down from the spotlight back in ’10, Cato and Findlay thought they would never make another album under Groove Armada again, but once a musician, always a musician; it took just one special weekend of getting the band back together for their inspiration to stir. The theme for the album came into place, as the two wanted to relive their rock-star memories and hint at the idea that they aren’t getting any younger.
Taking the joy and sadness from the idea that this could potentially be their last record, the artists put in their all to the creation of this album.“During those studio days, the rest of the world shuts down. There’s an intensity, anyone looking in might say madness, that kicks in when we’re totally lost amongst the instruments, synths, and records day and night,” Cato recalled. “But that shared, unspoken feeling that comes when we both know we’ve got it right cuts through as clear as ever.” The intensity from the artists in the studio shines through, as Edge of the Horizon overall represents a modern take on the groovy, fun nostalgia people all miss from the disco age.