Groovilicious Deep: The House Years
Groovilicious released its entire catalogue via Digital Distribution for the first time on September 9, 2016. The catalogue’s uplifting 1990’s House anthems are featured on Groovilicious Deep: The House Years via SoundCloud, and instantly transport the listener back to a late ‘90’s House club.
Groovilicious, founded in 1995 by Michael McDavid, began as an offshoot distribution by New York House label Strictly Rhythm. McDavid, who came from the West Coast, brought an A&R vision of signing releases with a bit harder House sound and to expand from New York’s nucleus. Early releases included California’s Sweet Drop and Chicago’s Ralphi Rosario (Rosabel). But McDavid was quickly enmeshed in the thriving New York club scene, led by (DJ) Junior Vasquez (Factory, Tunnel and Arena/Twilo). “Vasquez had risen to prominence with his residency as sole DJ at the Sound Factory, a cavernous space in a seedy warehouse district on the western fringes side of the Chelsea neighbourhood in midtown Manhattan. During the early ’90s Vasquez forged a harder, tribal-edged sound as he moved away from the more soulful and melodic styles of House that had previously dominated New York.” Vasquez gave Groovilicious its breakthrough release with the controversial “If Madonna Calls,” a track sampling an answering machine message by artist Madonna, a regular at Sound Factory. Madonna was unimpressed and tried “in vain to block its release.” No such luck. The track rose to #2 on Billboard’s Dance chart and a top 30 spot in the UK Pop chart.
Groovilicious’ sound encompassed “Guido scene” club tracks that appealed to the suburbanites (Razor N Guido’s “Do It Again,” Hani’s “Baby Wants To Ride” and Johnny Vicious’ “Ecstasy”), tracks hailed by the booming New York gay/tranny scene (Clockwork’s “If You Believe,” Shine’s “Bitch,” and Magic Dog’s “Mirror Mirror”), and licensed-in, more commercial European releases (Brainbug, Darude and Vengaboys). Groovilicious would eventually rise to become a “serious competitor” to Strictly Rhythm, winning the award for Best Independent Label at the Miami International Dance Music Awards from 1998 to 2001. Its catalogue includes producers and remixers Arthur Baker, Brutal Bill Marquez, Peter Rauhofer, Chris Staropoli (a.k.a. That Kid Chris), and Jason Nevins.
Groovilicious Deep: The House Years opens with Whiplash presents New York Slick’s “Over Me” B side Londonary Mix from 1996, Jason Hernandez’ tribal house anthem, before moving into a selection of late 1990’s tracks such as the infectious Paul Main Project’s 1998 release “I Need Love” featuring vocals by Renée — a banging gay House club favourite. Cevin Fisher’s “Do You Wanna Fly?” edit and Kazhaam & DJ Pierre’s “Kazhaam (DJ Pierre presents Kazhaam) [Weak Hostile Mix]” edit captures the early House sound followed by Angel Moraes’ darker “To The Rhythm (The Hot n’ Spicy Mix)” (1996). One Groovy Cocoanut’s “Restless Cocaonuts” edit captures the tribal House sound of the catalogue followed by the Latin-inspired House anthems, Rosabel’s “Soul Chu Cha (X-Raded Club Mix)” edit, El Matador’s “La Luna (main mix).” The collection closes with Matthaus’ tribal-infused cut “Mouth Music” edit and the house anthem, DJ Disciple’s “Caught Up (feat. Mia Cox) [DJ Disciple Vocal Mix]” edit.
Groovilicious Deep: The House Years is a walk down memory lane, recalling various club nights from the tri-state area and beyond. Be prepared for flashes of confetti-drenched drag queens in epic nightclubs to sneakers tearing up on underground dance floors into the wee hours of the morning.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: VARIOUS ARTISTS – GROOVILICIOUS DEEP: THE HOUSE YEARS