Review of Late Night Tales Album by Groove Armada

Groove Armada
Late Night Tales
Album Review

Groove Armada Late Night Tales Album

Andy Cato and Tom Findlay may not have the image or credibility of Sasha or Paul Oakenfold, but through an astute licensing strategy - most notably with Citroen and Marks and Spencer - they have invaded our consciousness like few other DJ's-turned-artists. Think Groove Armada, think Black Forest Gateau.

Let me also get this off my chest; I'm really not sure about this whole "Late Night" concept. Supposedly based on everybody piling back on the night bus to a sundry friends flat for a trawl through the darkest recesses of their musical ephemera, whilst occaisionally the results have been brilliant (Royksopp's disco-kitsch effort for Back To Mine) or just weird beyond explanation (The Orb's contributon to the same series) too frequently they're excercises in celebrating DJ couture or obscurist self indulgence.
Not a problem here though, with high street names past and present Roxy Music, The Human League, The Cure and even Will Young (Thankfully rendered down into an almost vocal free apparition) all being dusted off to varying degrees of effectiveness. There's just the requisite dash of cred saving Whodat? in the shape of Kitty Grant and forgotten gallic glitterball maestro Max Berlin, but the real gems here are almost guilty pleasures; the lucious deep house swish meets pebbles-on-tin gruffness on Chris Rea's Josephine, a satin treatment of Midlake's Roscoe and a rare twenty first century outing for Ace's 10CC cameo How Long.

All is not well however. Firstly, there's an instrumental cover of Gary Numan's Are Friends Electric which makes the original sound like Bohemian Rhapsody. Secondly, whilst no-one wants to listen to three hours of Klaus Nomi, Cato and Findlay don't take you anywhere. More often than not each selection nestles comfortably in it's context, with barely a key change or missed cross fade. Nothing jars. Which brings me back to my point. On any given Friday night, given an intake of several rum ba ba's, half a crate of WKD and a kebab, no-one back at theirs would sound this perfect.

Andy Peterson

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