The Groove Corporation (G.Corp) first appeared in the public eye as Electribe 101. Hailed by the N.M.E. as the forefront of the British house movement, at a time when house was experimental and only heard on pirate radio or in underground, mainly illegal clubs.They managed to achieve 3 top 40 singles and a top 20 album, but soon became disillusioned with the business, finding out that it was more about celebrity than music.They subsequently parted company with vocalist Billie Ray Martin and headed back to the studio for more musical experiments.The Groove Corporation were always given production credits on Electribe 101 records and on mixes done for, among others the house legend Kevin Saunderson.When Electribe 101 split they chose to work under this moniker. They formed their own label, the ‘Cake Label’ along with fellow Birmingham dubsters Rockers Hi Fi, and were credited with mixing the ground breaking Rockers Hi Fi track “Push Push”. A few EP’s were released including the legendary “Summer Of Dub” EP and the “Stoned” EP, a joint release with label partners Rockers Hi Fi then known as Original Rockers.They also contributed some tracks to compilations such as the Ambient Dub volumes on Beyond Records. On the strength of this they secured a deal with the then independent Network Records and a new album ‘Co-Operation’ was commissioned.
No one had any idea what the album would be; the idea was just to make music on their own and with guest vocalists. G.Corp would write music to inspire vocalists in the hope that they would come back with lyrics to inspire them. Co-operation shows the results of these collaborations, not just one direction but a mixture of hip-hop, dub, and deep house with various vocals from the likes of local rap crew Night Time Crew, beat poet 9T MC 90%Water, through to reggae legend Bim Sherman, all like minded people leaving their egos on the coat-hooks and making music.Just prior to the release of Co-Operation, Sony bought out Network Records and G.Corp found themselves once again in the grip of a major label. The first 10,000 LPs were pressed and sold, G.Corp were summoned to a meeting with the head of their label section, only to be told that because his boss did not feel involved they should kill this LP and record a new one with the said boss more involved in the process.The answer was a less than polite No and G.Corp headed back to their studio The Elephant House confining Co-Operation to rare groove status. A dub of Co-Operation was released on German label Echo Beach – this was to cement a style and also earn them a deluge of remix offers. As well as this G Corp were working on their second dub album ‘Dub Plates From The Elephant House Vol. 1’. The album, described by the press as “King Tubby meets The Chemical Brothers” was released on the visionary indie label Different Drummer. Remixes were also completed for Bob Marley, Bobby Womack, Sly and Robbie, Dillinger (the anthem Cocaine In My Brain), Ennio Morricone, Maxi Priest, Yabby U and Luciano. What a perfect situation the autonomy of their own studio, making the music they wanted to make with no interference from major labels and a collection of their heroes on the mixing desk to be reworked! A vital selection of these remixes have been put together on one album ‘Remixes From The Elephant House’ released on the ever cool Chicago based Guidance label. The Book in L.A. describes the album as follows: ‘in the increasingly popular format of the remix album, “Elephant House” deserves a space on the CD shelve next to its’ other proven peers Thievery Corporation, Kruder and Dorfmeister, and Jazzanova. As one of the currently most sought after remixing team, Groove Corporation, a duo out of Birmingham, flex their shred-cut-reconstruct muscle over classic tracks by Bob Marley, Dillinger, UB40, Luciano, Rae and Christian, Bobby Womack and Ennio Morricone to name only half the roster of talent on this cd. ‘Shamelessly mixing soul, funk, roots into unavoidable bass powered dance grooves where the beats dig deep but never overwhelm, the versatility of the original tracks creates great variety, and the remixes never feel like a “one size fits all” recipe. To the contrary, each piece finds itself re-vamped into a seemingly new timeless classic. (Source: Book LA – http://www.bookla.com)
Jan-2002: The G. Corp followed Dub plates 1 not surprisingly with “Dub Plates From ‘The Elephant House -Volume Two’ (released November 2002) for Different Drummer. The album spawned the classic “Liberation Dub “And was again hailed as a classic of its genre.You will also find G.Corp on tour as part of the Overproof Soundsystem, a sound system that evolved from a club night in Birmingham called “Overproof” run by G.Corp and the Different Drummer crew. The sound features live keyboards, percussion and the vocals of Jugla and Messenger Douglas, the selectors started by spinning anything from sixties and seventies roots and dub to modern dub and remixes.After spending so much time in the studio, for G.Corp the sound system is about all out partying- a way of letting rip and collecting fresh inspiration for the return to the studio. After some time on the road regular themes could be heard these themes developed into original songs, and G.Corp decided it was time to record an album for the sound system. The first album for the Overproof Soundsystem was called ‘Nothing to proove’ A Paris broadsheet described the album as the “Sergeant Peppers of Dub and reggae ” The album contained the single “Watch what you put inna” a track that has become an underground anthem across the globe for the sound system, expanding the crews touring circuit from Europe to the states, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and beyond.
When it came to recording “Dubplates from the Elephant volume 3” G.Corp felt the need to do some thing fresh. Something that would inspire the new album. They decided to hook up with a live reggae rhythm section now known as the Mighty Tree. This was to be Old school meets new school. King tubbys analogue recording techniques thrown into a modern dub arena by G.Corp. The Idea worked like a dream, being described by Germanys top reggae magazine Riddim as “the best dub album ever” is some accolade. Dub plates three also brought about an unexpected sideline. The crew have always been interested in food and cooking. Having spent most of their music life around reggae music they have got to taste some great Jamaican take away food. After a long quest looking for a Jamaican cookbook that described good basic Jamaican food rather than something full of mangos and Pineapples., a friend suggested they should put their own together. This was a perfect opportunity, after all what do you get with a great Jamaican rhythm section? You get some great Jamaican moms. So requests were sent out for the recipes required and along with those and the aid of Drummer Conrad Kelly (who himself is a great cook) many fun nights were had trying out the recipes and committing them to paper. Put all this in a CD sized book along side Ninety’s wonderful illustrations and you have ‘Dub Food volume 1’.
The cookbook was given away as a limited edition in a slipcase along with ‘Dubplates 3’. And has inspired a new section on the web site called “In the Kitchen”. Never been known to slack G.Corp are at the moment putting the finishing touches to the second Overproof Soundsystem album “Pull it up” . Two 12”s have been released, the cheeky reggae version of Kraftwerks ‘The Model’ and the Mighty ‘King step’ featuring Messenger Douglas. G.Corp have also been helping out with Messenger Douglas’s solo album by providing the mixing duties. A new label imprint has been created Called Elephant house recordings the first two releases see G.Corp team up with ‘Lee Perry’ and ‘Mykal Rose’ for two chunky slabs of Dub Step. The third release is the afore mentioned ‘Kingstep’. wich is proving to be a sound system secret weapon. After so long experimenting with their own style of dub G.Corp find Themselves quoted as influences for other musicians often and have been recently featured along side all of their heroes in a film (Dub Echoes) documenting the history of Dub Music. The story continues….
G. Corp are Roberto Cimarosti and Brian Nordhoff.