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Groove Armada

Since releasing their seminal (and painfully limited) seven-inch, "At The River," on Tim 'Love' Lee's organic breaks imprint Tummy Touch, Groove Armada have been the darlings of the U.K.'s oh-so-fickle dance music press. This was back in '97, a year after the duo (Tom Findlay and Andy Cato) began promoting their successful "Captain Sensual at the Helm of the Groove Armada" club nights in a two-roomed London dive. Cato -- a six-foot eight-inch "doesn't suffer fools gladly" Yorshireman -- played house in one room. Findlay -- five-feet ten and proud -- rocked the turntables with an eclectic blend of soul, funk, and jazz in t'other.

The pair had met a few years earlier in Cambridge. Cato, an accomplished musician, won the coveted "Young Musician of the Year" award in '90 and '91 for his trombone and piano skills. He moved to London in '94, founded the Skinny Malinky label, and began producing as The Beat Foundation and Quattara. Meanwhile, Findlay, a self-confessed vinyl junkie has been biding his time as an enthusiastic bass and trumpet player. After meeting, the duo released a few moderately successful singles. Then in '97, they released their debut album, Northern Star, on Tummy Touch. Recorded in a rented North Yorkshire cottage, Northern Star propelled them into the media limelight and got them a deal with Pepper Records (a division of Jive). Their first release for Pepper, Vertigo, hit the top twenty in the U.K. charts and went on to achieve silver status. Incidentally, Pepper recently released a Vertigo remix package with retools from DJ Icey, DJ Dan & Terry Mullan, Attaboy, Tim 'Love' Lee, and Futureshock.

Better suited for a duvet than a dance floor, "M 2 Many" is taken from Groove Armada's second Tummy Touch single, and was re-released as part of the Tummy Touch compilation I Am Fearless Funky & Five alongside Tutto Matto, Cousin Grizzly, Organic Audio, and the lovely Tim Lee.