It’s an electronic journey through time with Groove Armada’s Andy Cato.
Apollo Records, 2013
6.4 / 10
A flamboyant and popular music video from the ‘80s once proclaimed, “Groove is in the heart.” Reading into that simple statement suggests that our ability to groove is determined by our love for the very thing working as the catalyst to the groove. So a song or dancey beat. Back when my parents were in their teens, they had disco. And in my generation, we had house, techno, electro, trance…okay, you get the idea. Whatever silly name (although meaningful) that you want to place on dance music, its purpose is to get our adrenaline going, feet moving, and possibly swaying back and forth with glow sticks in our hands. Is this any different than busting a move under a dangling oversized shiny ball? I say no. Andy Cato of the British dance outfit Groove Armada has taken his music a variety of places over the years, baiting audiences into releasing free will of their arms, feet and hips. For his solo album, Times & Places, he doesn’t necessarily give us a new album but one spanning his career over the past 20 years.
Considering that the album’s first track is taken from 1993, the immediate reaction is that Cato’s music holds up extremely well. Unlike indie electronic music’s recent drift into serene, ambient territory, Cato’s music is energetic and alive. This isn’t meant for experiencing as a sleepy gateway drug, it puts the mind and body to a test. Just what is that test? To see if you can keep yourself from bouncing along. I don’t think many listeners will be able to stop themselves either. Even when Cato takes a moody detour like on the excellent “8-Track Jam at Mark’s”, where he blends some blues and gospel into his electronic repertoire, the wah-wah guitar and stellar piano keep the track groove worthy.
Recorded on the road during Cato’s heaving touring (pre-Groove Armada to the present), the album’s tracks are battle tested whether they were introduced at UK squat raves or warehouse parties or crowds in front of 100,000 people. Now compiled in a tight little package, Times & Places is fully apropos for parties, get togethers, or tedious day-to-day work. I threw this thing on in the office and lost control of my fingers — shit got DONE! Join Andy Cato on his journey through Times & Places.
Purchase: Andy Cato – Times & Places