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Groove Armada survived longer than most in the downbeat scene because they were able to move beyond the usual sample-plus-beats formula that so quickly lost its currency by the end of the '90s. Andy Cato and Tom Findlay could create tracks with or without samples, and their production skills put them in close company with the best in the business (Air, DJ Shadow). (They even used a Jay-Z beat better than, and previous to, its commercial-rap appearance — on The Black Album's "What More Can I Say" — and hired Jeru the Damaja to give it a better feature.) As before, the duo trawls British clubland of the past 20 years with surprisingly great results, spanning grime features like "Get Down" (an excellent single) and housey, digitalistic productions on a pair of Candi Staton features that are worthy of Massive Attack themselves. Prince gets extra props, with the funk extravaganza "The Girls Say" (featuring the great Rhymefest) and a refreshing look at mid-'80s neo-psych with the single "Song 4 Mutya (Out of Control)." Critics could (and would) say that there's little here that tells you what Groove Armada sound like (aside from their influences), but the productions are perfect, the hooks are miles-wide, and most of the vocal features turn out well.
Formed: London, England
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s
Top Albums and Songs by Groove Armada
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