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There is a feature on FACT currently which begins with the writer posing the question; ‘Whatever happened to UK Funky?’ and goes on to lament the loss of UK dance music’s “rudeboy energy in favour of a sickly-sweet, synthed-out style which, depressingly, prospered and proliferated, and now dominates major clubs and the dance stages at festivals all over the world.” Granted funky hasn’t perhaps maintained the momentum that it’s early days seemed to promise but equally as the hype has died down there remain a number of producers on the underground who continue to do exciting things within the genre.
For me, LR Groove is one such talent who continues to showcase funky’s vitality. From debut release ‘The Key EP’ up to more recent stuff featured on his Soundcloud, his stripped back, riddim focused tunes are a welcome step away from a increasingly saturated market of pitched up R’n’B sampling house tracks.
I caught up with LR a few weeks ago, on the eve of a gig he was about to play for Wifey LDN initially to chat about the current state of funky - a question he’s not a fan of - and then to find out more about whats he’s got coming up over the next few months.
Okay so for those that may not have heard of you, can you give us a bit of background. What are you up to on the daily?
OK, a bit of background. My name is LR Groove and I’m a dj/producer from North London. My daily life consists of juggling a 9-5 around my family and my passion for music.
How did you get involved with DJ’ing and producing? You mentioned that you’ve been producing for about 4 or 5 years, were you DJ’ing before hand and then got into making tunes?
I started mixing in 1992 which was the era of hardcore and jungle music and things just took off from there really. Then I got into Garage music and got on to Passion FM and from there I found myself getting more interested in producing.
Lr Groove & Formula - Congo Bass (vip). by lrgroove
Are you making predominantly house/funky based stuff or have you done bits in other genres as well?
I keep it mainly house/funky but have a few different genres on the hard drive depending on my mood.
Whats your production set up look like?
Well, I’ve just moved house so half of it is still in boxes until I get round to building a studio in the garden. As far as equipment goes I’m quite comfortable in the sense of using my MAC or PC depending on how I’m feeling and what I’m working on at that time.
Any particular favourite bits you’ve got that you like using?
I love using my bongos, find it quite difficult to do a tune without them.
What kinda influences do you draw on when you are making tunes?
I love house, I love UK bass, I love drum & bass and anyone that knows me will know how much I love tribal so I guess its a fusion of everything.
Deep by lrgroove
Any favourite producers out there currently? Anyone we should be watching out for whose coming up through the ranks?
Razzlerman, Champion, Eastwood, Seany B, Hardhouse Banton just to name a few. As far as up and coming/who to watch out for, there is a producer called Hagan who has that deep tribal sound and also Chang Sam (younger brother of DJ Naughty) who is also one to watch.
Whats 2012 got in store - are there more releases coming up soon? I know you mentioned some stuff might be coming out on Formula?
Yeah, I have a tune with Miss Fire, a track called ‘Yours’ coming out this year and an E.P. coming soon called ‘Bass Kick E.P’. I also have a release on hold which should be out soon with DJ Formula which will be a 2 track UK bass release and there is a Tribal Brothers E.P. under construction which involves myself and Razzlerman. So 2012 is looking like a busy year seeing as I’m also about to step into Fatherhood for the first time.
You can pick a copy of ‘The Key EP’ here