Groove Armada Tags Jeru The Damaja, More For Next LP

Sonicnet Music News

Soulful singer Me’Shell N’degeocello and Brooklyn rapper Jeru The Damaja will provide vocals on Groove Armada’s next album, which the British dance duo describes as a “challenging listen.”

“We’re going for something a bit heavier and darker than the last album,” Groove programmer, trumpeter and bass guitarist Tom Findlay said. “We’ll still be using melodies and harmonies, but we want something that’s going to be more of a mind f*** than ‘Vertigo.’”

Groove Armada, which also includes Andy Cato on turntables, trombone, keyboards, and bass guitar, released “Vertigo,” its second album, in the U.K. last year, but it didn’t reach the United States until March. The record spawned the singles “I See You Baby,” which was remixed by Fatboy Slim, and “At The River.”

Groove Armada’s upcoming album, which has yet to be titled, is being recorded in various makeshift studios across the U.K. countryside.

“So far, we’ve
gone into Wales and recorded two weeks with our band, just jamming, basically,” Findlay said, referring to the group’s seven-piece touring band. “We talked through the ideas of the tracks, we played them some things and just picked up instruments. It will work as a nice starting point.”

Unlike “Vertigo,” Findlay said most of the new album will be recorded live and will include very few samples.

“We’re going to try to push the production side of it, make sure that’s brilliant,” he said. “We’re going to get anal about things like what kind of microphones we use and what kinds of compression we use. We just spent more money than we’ve ever spent on a mixing deck.”

Findlay did not reveal details of the collaborations, but Jeru The Damaja (born Kendrick Jeru Davis) said he recorded two tracks with the duo, “Urban Organic” and “Sunshine.”

“I wrote one in the studio and the other back in my hotel room and then we recorded them both in the same day,” Jeru
said. “They’re just Jeru The Damaja. Nobody can really change my sound. I just add my element to whatever you’re doing. What you do around me doesn’t really matter. I’m just an artist.”

Jeru said Groove Armada approached him about the collaborations, and although he had only heard the group once, he was eager to work with them.

“It’s like funk. It’s cool,” he said of Groove Armada’s eclectic sound. “If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have done it.”

Groove Armada will record the majority of the album in the fall, and the group plans to finish it by late December. “We’ll go off and listen to it in a different environment and then come back and make a few tweaks and changes,” Findlay said. “We’ll send it out to press in January, to be stripped apart and gutted.”

Findlay expects a release in March or April of next year.

“Last time, we released the album in the U.K. and it came out a year later in America,” he explained. “It put us in a really weird
time, because we were promoting a record that was over to us. It will be great to be back in sync. Actually, I probably shouldn’t use that phrase, ‘in sync’ — especially when I’m talking about collaborations.”

The duo will release the second installment of the “Back To Mine” chill-out mix-CD series on September 5, featuring tracks by Barry White, Al Green, and A Tribe Called Quest. The album recently scored a Top 20 debut in the U.K.