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Tom Bunning photographer


Twelve years into their career, Andy Cato and Tom Findlay show no signs of sitting pretty on their already huge successes. With three million records sold worldwide, a Grammy nomination for their seminal track Superstylin’ and now on their sixth studio album (Black Light, due for release late February), the British powerhouse that is Groove Armada storms on. GA have completely reinvented their sound for Black Light in a way that can’t help but win over a new audience and gain respect from new ears. They’ve stepped away from the funk-driven beats of Superstylin’ and laid-back grooves of At the River and moved over to a darker side.

Working on the album for the past 14 months, Andy and Tom’s strong work ethic never wavered: they could be found spending up to 19 hours a day hunched over mixing desks, instruments and computers, either in Tom’s north London studio or at Andy’s farmhouse home—complete with converted cow shed as studio—in south-west France, fondly nicknamed ‘Chateau Cato’ by UK DJ Pete Tong.

The band can’t hide their excitement about this new record, even with the sleep deprivation and mental exhaustion that comes with living on a tour bus for days on end. On their recent tour of the UK and beyond—including a sell-out stop at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam—this very well-oiled and seemingly tireless machine gave every last fan in each venue an hour of complete euphoria. Lasers cut through the cheers of the audience and the bass from Andy’s newly acquired guitar pounded their chests with the pulse of the show.

It cannot be denied that Black Light is an exceptional turning point in Groove Armada’s career and should gain them added recognition and a healthy boost to their fan base. They are well aware that Black Light is a record that will challenge their rock-solid followers, but as Tom Findlay says, “That’s the whole point, you have to keep things interesting. I don’t want to become the Cliff Richard of dance.”

, 18 January 2010