Andy Cato, former half of british duo Groove Armada, is breaking out on his own with an extensive new album Times & Places, with material that spans decades. Providing a chronological map of his musical puberty, the 18-track album traces his DJ career from his start in the UK’s squat rave scene of the early 90s to his epic gigs hitting audiences of 100,000. Pieced and sewed together from eight tracks and patchy recordings, this Oxford man has proven the tact and skill of both musical competency and technical producing, while maintaing the ethereal vibe the title so aptly suggests. A digital tapestry of his semi-prodigal background, colorful and joyful this journey is one that feels epic in proportion, the coming of age of one DJ on the pixel road to self-actualization in the age of the synthesizer and soul. The accompanying scrapbook adds an extra boost of good old photographic nostalgia, mixed sweetly with hand scrawled notes and dog tagged tickets stubs — t’s homey homage to Cato’s life journey is a sweet addition to the candy flavored syncopation’s of all eighteen delicate tracks. Perfectly suited, the songs act as markers and do their job to teleport our jaded ears to someone else’s stained glass memories.
Three Words to Describe Andy Cato’s Times & Places: Clandestine – Nostalgic – Roomy
This Album Would Go Well With: A 24 hour rendezvous at the outdated Malibu beach house of your favorite ex-lover.
“Lake of Stars” – It’s smooth bellied guitar and sauntering bass makes me think of dusty motels and soft top caddies. Love-making soul resonates in each vibration of vocal layovers. Dripping with the kind of classy sex appeal I thought was lost to modern music long ago, this track is being directly transferred to my ever lengthening “booty call” mix.
“Palmero by Night” – 80’s montage ready, this three-minute 38-second spiral of hip rocking goodness abounds with reasons to love it. The dancey and easy to recite vocal loop is a good place to start, catchy, dazed and dreamy its the kind of song that stays trapped in between your ears well after the MDMA has worn off (listen to it below).
“8 Tracks Jam at Marks” – Different and beautiful — a sleepy, mellow, drive home track smack dab in the middle of this autobiographical album. It’s piano bar and blue ridge mountains all at once, the opening rambling of ivories is soothing, a lullaby of sorts that truly delights my soul.
Words: Jasmine Hickle
Artist: Andy Cato
Album: Times & Places
Label: Apollo / R and S Records
Release Date: May 14, 2013