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GA25

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Vibrant new single ‘Hold a Vibe’ features vocals from dancehall artist Red Rat, which a press release describes as a “groove-laden homage to dub and funk”. The cover artwork for Groove Armada’s ‘GA25’ (Picture: Fredde Lanka)

GA25 [Box Set] - 250508 - Diverse Vinyl

years on from their debut, Groove Armada have become one of the most influential and successful dance acts of the 21st century, a position they have maintained, proving to be an influential force in the UK and globally. Over two decades of prolific productions and tireless touring they’ve proved that it’s possible to daringly explore a multitude of sounds while achieving critical and commercial success. I started working at the beginning of the pandemic because I assumed music wasn’t going to be a concern for a while. Now I’m a counsellor three days a week at a London university. Since 2010, the pair have diversified, with Cato moving into farming and Findlay qualifying as a BABCP (British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies) therapist. To mark the 25th anniversary of the dance music duo’s debut single, ‘At the River’, Groove Armada will revisit their most iconic songs on GA25, which will be released 11 November via BMG. Read next

It’s been 25 years since the iconic Groove Armada released their debut single. ‘ At The River‘ was released as a single in 1997 on 7-inch vinyl via Tummy Touch, in a limited edition of just 500 copies. In a dance of breaks and downtempo, thus was born the unbelievable and world-renowned career of the British duo who are still a staple in their genre in the Uk and around the world. Now, in 2022, it’s time for Groove Armada to celebrate their brilliant career with the career-spanning 25th-anniversary box-set ‘GA25’, set to be released on November 11, via BMG. From huge outdoor performances to intimate parties, travelling the world, delivering their diverse dance floor-focused sound to raucous crowds on every continent, the duo have done it all. Despite their extensive list of achievements, there’s still plenty of motivation to have another huge party and go the extra mile to make GA25 one to remember, for fans new and old.

GA25 Limited 2LP/2CD Box Set | What Records GA25 Limited 2LP/2CD Box Set | What Records

Groove is the watchword and the special ingredient of this new single that marks Groove Armada’s first release since his 2020 ‘ Lover4Now’. Different, mysterious and creative, this is the vibe that holds this urban cut. ‘Hold A Vibe’ features the vocals of dancehall artist Red Rat, who lends the single an unbelievable swing. The single exudes a crazy, funk-filled percussion that infuses the atmosphere with energy. Fun and hypnotic, it captures the sonic identity of Groove Armada that, after 25 years, continue to amaze. Groove Armada have announced a career-spanning anniversary box set called GA25 and released lead single ‘Hold a Vibe’. When we played at Latitude Festival this summer, the average age was 19 or 20,” says Cato. “It’s fantastic that we’ve managed to stay relevant.” We ended up living in this place called the Manumission Motel, off a roundabout on the outskirts of Ibiza Town, where all the, er, ‘entertainers’ would live,” explains Findlay. Cato recounts tales of flying in a bi-plane “in full Biggles outfits” into a US aircraft hangar to DJ and being told to “look natural” while posing between two scantily clad, greased-up ladies doing the hoovering for a big American dance magazine (neither can remember which). And that’s before we get to Manumission in Ibiza, where Groove Armada would regularly DJ in the basement while live sex shows were happening upstairs.

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In an era when dance acts blended synths and DJing with striking visuals, Groove Armada focused on ensuring every element of their performance was as live as possible, curating immersive experiences and delivering unforgettable scenes at Glastonbury and a then-record-breaking five-night run at Brixton Academy in 2010. This April, Groove Armada completed what was billed as their final tour (supported by Norman Jay MBE, PBR Streetgang, Ewan McVicar and Ishmael Ensemble), and are off for a five-consecutive-night run in Australia this November. Except… didn’t they claim to quit touring 12 years ago? “Obviously, we’ve said this in 2010, when we brought the live band to a close before…” says Cato, labelling Groove Armada’s then 25-man live crew as “commercial idiocy”. Earlier this year, Groove Armada – musical duo Tom Findlay and Andy Cato – embarked on their final UK tour, opening at Glasgow’s Barrowlands before closing out with two nights at Brixton Academy, where they were joined byNorman Jay, PBR StreetgangandEwan McVicar. I know Luke Howard from Horse Meat Disco, who I bumped into the other night, is training as a psychodynamic therapist. Ed [Simons] from The Chemical Brothers is doing something similar. It just seems that if you’re in the industry, you need to find ways to manage your mental health.” Groove Armada’s Andy Cato (left) and Tom Findlay (right) (Picture: Press)



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