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Six By Six: Groove Armada

Tom Findlay takes us through his favourite records.

2 Bit Thugs

It's actually only one of Groove Armada in the 6x6 chair - Tom Findlay, to be precise. Andy was away rounding up the troops to hit the road for their new album 'Black Light'


Prince & The Revolution - Sometimes It Snows In April (Warner Bros, 1986)

"If you're feeling even a little bit maudlin, do not go near this record! It's Prince simply accompanied by piano and acoustic guitar, singing about a guy called Tracey. There's this chord change in the chorus that breaks my heart."

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On? (Tamla Motown, 1970)

"A real stone cold classic this. In some ways it's a bit too damn life-affirming to make you cry, but then you think what it's about with all these young men dying in the Vietnam war and you think of his tragic death (he was shot by his dad just in case you didn't know) and you're off again."

Al Green - Let's Stay Together (Hi Records, 1971)

"Nothing but tears of joy for this one. I've got many memories of this tune, but the last one is on our last tour having a bit of a group hug /dance sort of thing in a bar in New Zealand. Yeah, yeah, I know the idea of the group hug sounds bad but at the time I felt life just could not get any better. Definite tears of joy!"

Richie Rich - Salsa House (FFRR, 1989)

"Again these are warm tears tears of nostalgia. I was a student in Manchester and this really reminds me of going out to the Hacienda on a Saturday night. I had a great crew of people around me then I loved them all. Some of them live in LA, others in south London. I miss them all."

David Bowie - Heroes (RCA, 1977)

"Apparently Bowie wrote this record about his producer Tony Visconti and Tony's lover. I just think it's a beautiful thing to do, writing a tune for your friend? It makes me admire him even more than I did before, which is quite a lot to be honest. And then I get a bit weepy about it."

Sugardaddy - Love On The Attack (Tune Tribe Recordings 2006)

"Bit of a blatant plug as this is a track I did a couple of years ago with a mate of mine called Tim Hutton. Tim just sings it so brilliantly; we recorded the vocal at about four in the morning in my basement studio and there was a lot going on in both of our lives then and I think it comes through."


Basement Jaxx - Jump N' Shout (XL Recordings, 1999)

"The Remedy album as a whole was brilliant, it took my breath away. I thought Jump N' Shout captured what they were all about, most of all that Brixton vibe. We've played it a thousand times and never tire of it. It's dead simple but cool as fuck."

Major Lazer - Hold The Line (Mad Decent, 2009)

"It's Switch and Diplo so you know the quality you're getting here. They've incorporated that big Jamaican dancehall vibe but there's that hip-hop feel in there, too. It's got that Missy Elliot vibe where the production is really spare but every note and noise is totally on the money. There's a real genius to keeping it simple but keeping it large. I love it."

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (Epic, 1982)

"Well for starters, I'd be absolutely minted, but mainly I'd have written the best dance track the world has ever known. In the fact the whole Thriller album is just amazing. I'm not sure if it was the first album I ever bought, but it was definitely the first one I remember taking home and listening to for weeks and weeks. The subject matter is weird, it's about an obsessive fan and he reveals himself more than usual. A very special tune - and that's before we get to the bassline and Quincy!"

Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy (Virgin, 1991)

"It's pure elation but utterly heavy. It's one of those tracks that everyone remembers where they were when they first heard it. You talk the greatest ever moments in dance music, this has to be in the top three. Nuff said really."

Daft Punk - Da Funk (Virgin, 1996)

"There are about ten Daft Punk tracks I wish I'd written to be honest! I remember when this came out, with the nutty dog video. It just destroyed everything. Their production blows my mind every time. Actually I think I'm going to play this tomorrow night - this feature's inspired me!"

LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great (DFA, 2007)

"Enough superlatives have already been attached to James Murphy but he's a bit feckin' good isn't he? This one makes my speakers wobble! I'm really looking forward to their new album."


Barry White - Playing Your Game Baby (20th Century Records, 1977)

"You can get too caught up in the Walrus Of Love thing. I do love the sweaty silk hanky but put that aside as the man is a stone cold genius. I remember going to LA for the first time and going to this record store and seeing 20-odd copies of this. You couldn't get it in the UK! I took it back and sat in the jacuzzi listening to it thinking life couldn't get any better. He doesn't let the musicians do anything but hold a groove!"

Lionel Richie - Hello (Motown, 1983)

"Even I think this is a pretty awful record! But the video? It's the best I've ever seen! I once sang this to girl I fancied when I was about 11 and it totally worked, too! If you're going to write an awful ballad you might as well go all the way and write something as bad as this!"

Astrud Gilberto - The Girl From Ipanema (Polydor, 1966)

"What's nice about this is that she's just got the sexiest voice. She's Brazilian but she sings it in English and you've never heard English sound so good. If you can't score after playing this then you must have bad breath. I'm serious now."

Rene And Angela - Secret Rendezvous (Champion, 1985)

"This is more of an old classic soul thing, but soul that really rolls. I love that 80s soul production. It's a seduction record but one you can definitely groove to as well. "Time for lovers", says the tune - says it all really, doesn't it?"

Gang Starr - Lovesick (Chrysalis, 1991)

"I didn't want to get too soppy or sickly for this section so I've flipped the switch a bit. Guru has a great flow all over the album Step In The Arena and the lyrics are spot on, too. And let's face it, Premier's the guvnor when it comes to production. This one's for the ladeez!"

Roberta Flack - Killing Me Softly (Atlantic, 1973)

"I do like the Fugees version but this is the real deal. Roberta is an incredible musician: she should be rated up there with Janis Joplin. This has such a lovely folky feel to it. There's also something really Californian and 60s about this. If I made a video for it I'd be running through a field in soft focus."


Matt Star - Kuhle Fliege [Hugo Remix] (International Freakshow, 2008)

"Everything Hugo does has this proper bounce to it and he's developed a style and a sound which is unique. His treatment of the end is remarkable! Sripped back and funky: alongside Worthy he's my man of the year."

Steve Angello & Laidback Luke - Be (Mixmash, 2007)

"I remember when we first started playing this about 18 months ago, it was massive. I'm into the Swedish House Mafia thing and the production on the tunes is great. They do the main room house thing much better than most people and this one in particular just tears the roof off."

Tony Lionni - Found A Place (Ostgut Ton, 2009)

"My favourite house record this year. It harks back to a classic house era but it's got an original twist. He's been around for a long time and it's great to see him coming through with something like this. I remember hearing this for the first time in Berlin: it's simple but stupidly funky!"

DJ T - Dis (Get Physical, 2009)

"The album is totally on the money but this one stands out for me: the production is faultless. It's not too heavy, it does what it has to in the most perfect way! I love the Get Physical sound: it's not a sound I would make but I love the way they've brought the funk back to Berlin."

Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden - Bonkers (Dirtee Stank Recordings, 2009)

"I've got a lot of respect for Dizzee - he's proving that as a young black artist you don't have to just do urban stuff. He's having a ball with it, too. I saw him do this at Glastonbury and everything just exploded. Likewise for Van Helden, who keeps himself current all the time. A big tune whether you like it or loathe it."

Groove Armada - Superstylin' (Pepper Records, 2001)

"Got to give ourselves a little plug here! My life wouldn't be the same without this tune and it's closed every Groove Armada gig since we wrote it. We've done a few different versions to keep it fresh, it's got this extra bit at the end which twists things a bit. Yeah, I get tired of it sometimes, but I'm glad we wrote it for sure!"


Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You (Virgin, 1988)

"I just don't ever want to be too far away from this record, you never know when you might want to drop it. I remember playing it in Melbourne at this gig that just had everything go wrong: we almost missed it, I left my CDs on the plane, just a nightmare basically. Anyway, I played this and it sent so many shivers up my skin! Girls can sing along, so boys should never be afraid to drop this!"

X-Press-2 - Smoke Machine [James Talk Mix] (Skint, 2007)

"I love James Talk's productions. He's getting to the heart of the matter and his tunes sound massive. It's a classic house sound! I love big simple things and this is a great example: it delivers plain and simple. I think I've been playing this for over 18 months now and I'm still not tired of it!"

Cirez D - Stockholm Marathon (Mouseville, 2008)

"Eric Prydz eh? You just can't take it away from him: he knows how to put together a monster of a tune! Plus he keeps it on the side of cool, especially with the Cirez D stuff. This just works: it's super-cool and works very well with an acapella of Superstylin' on the top I must say!"

Doman & Gooding ft Dru & Lincoln - Runnin' [Mark Knight & Funkagenda Remix] (Positiva, 2009)

"I've got a lot of respect for the Toolroom crew. Their tunes always sound large and this one has a hell of a hook. This has got me out of jail more times than I can remember."

Precious System - The Voice From Planet Love [Dixon Chic-A-Go Edit] (Running Back, 2009)

"This hasn't been in my box too long but I'm getting a conservatory done for it so it'll have plenty of space! It's going to be around for a long time I promise you. I just love the Innervisions sound especially this, it's got that classic acid house sound but with a contemporary feel. It's a little roller too."

Luomo - Tessio [Ramon Tapia Mix] (Great Stuff, 2009)

"I loved this tune the first time round, then this Ramon fellow comes along and takes it all bumpy Berlin and minimal and I love it even more. It starts off nice and sweet then in comes the twist - it gives everyone that big lift on the dancefloor."


Prince - 1999 (Warner Bros, 1982)

"It's not my favourite Prince tune but I totally remember sitting on a beanbag with a few of my mates when the video came on and that was that! He was one of the first black artists of that calibre who I really began to sit up and pay attention to."

The Police - So Lonely (A&M Records, 1978)

"My folks were into jazz but The Police were something we could all agree on in the car. I wasn't aware of reggae until their influences twigged on me. Out of any Police song, this is one I'd actually come back to - it can still kinda sound current."

The Rotary Connection - I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun (Cadet Concept Records, 1971)

"I was getting into making music when the acid jazz thing was about. Of all classic tunes that the likes of Gilles P were digging out, this one really made an impression. Masters Of Work did a brilliant cover of it, too. This really influenced my tastes: after this I got into a lot of psychedelic funk."

Toots & The Maytals - 54-46 That's My Number (Pyramid, 1968)

"I found a 7-inch of this in a cottage I was staying in when I was about nine. I thought it was some sort of buried treasure and it would make my fortune. It didn't but it's a tune! Toots has played at Lovebox a couple of times now and he's just an amazing live act. I love that slightly ska-ish reggae sound he's got."

Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone (Chrysalis 1978)

"Another one who played and destroyed Lovebox. The place went off when she did this. I had a proper crush on her as a kid! Did I meet her? No, I kept my distance! Anyway she blew me away. In a way I sort of dug the disco stuff more - Rapture, Heart Of Glass - but I remember pogoing on my bed to this one big time!"

The Smiths - This Charming Man (Rough Trade, 1983)

"I was into indie for a while but looking back I always liked the stuff you could dance to like The Smiths and The Cure. This Charming Man is like a proper dance track: it's great for weddings and bar mitzvahs and let's face it, Johnny Marr is a genius."





Tags: Groove Armada, Prince, Marvin Gaye, The Smiths, Steve Angello, Laidback Luke, LCD Soundsystem, David Bowie, Blondie, Tom Findlay, Lovebox, Al Green, Richie Rich, Major Lazer, Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Massive Attack, Daft Punk, Stardust, Barry White, Lionel Richie, Astrud Gilberto, Rene And Angela, Gang Starr, Roberta Flack, DJ T, Dizzee Rascal, Armand Van Helden,