By Groove Armada
At first glance of the cover, it's quite confusing to what the title of this album actually is, as 'GROOVE ARMADA - 10 YEAR STORY' stares you in the face, yet in the top left corner, 'From the Vaults 1997-2007' peers in discretely. The official website only confuses things more as it titles the album, 'GA10 - Ten Years of Groove Armada'! Never has one album had so many official titles.
Compared to their intricately simple yet massive, full-on studio production efforts on previous albums this seems like a bedroom mix you might do for fun on a rainy Sunday afternoon. There is nothing really that 'up-tempo' about the first CD and none of the 'remixes', as they call them, are actually that different from the originals. They've only scratched the surface of each track. It just seems as if they've listened over them, changed one or two effects, added some rather rushed synthesiser lines over the top and had an early night. They haven't even bothered remixing some of the tracks at all and the actual mixing between tracks is dreadfully short and dreary, which you really don't expect with such software as Ableton and other digital DJ tools available these days.
It is clear though that Groove Armada have released this album in order to touch the fussier of fans and newcomers as the tracks aren't, in the majority, their greatest hits and that's good as frequent radio plays will enable anyone to realise. As a fan, you will reminisce on the really old tunes and remind yourself of the new and it is a pleasurable experience, no doubt. As a newcomer you will experience some of the arguably, better tracks from their entire discography. However, it is only a collection of some originals and slightly tweaked versions of previous work and there's no unreleased material for that extra selling point.
Groove Armada's albums deliver fantastically well produced music with attention to detail to keep a simplicity that other dance music artists should marvel at but 'From the Vaults' or whatever it's supposed to be called is hard to get excited about. It seemingly promises to be Groove Armada's next big thing, when really it sounds like it was done between other projects, rushed and pushed to make the deadline. Luckily, their reputation precedes them.