The New Groovement

The New Groovement

 Victoria, British Columbia, CAN
BandR&BHip Hop

The New Groovement is high intensity funk machine that blends elements of R&B, soul, and hip hop to create a funk-i-fied feast for the ears. The bands sound is as unique as it is versatile with its punchy horns, sweet vocals, clever rhymes, and tight percussion. This is energetic, feel-good music that will get you out of your seat and onto the dance floor!

Band Press

Definitely put on an awesome live show that really packs a venue and gets things jumping. “The New Groovement” is something Grooovey! – Crush WB (Apr 16, 2013)

Song “It’s Alright” performed by the The New Groovement playing at Victoria BC Lucky Bar. Who are the “The New Groovement”? An eleven-piece R&B/Funk/Soul group. What names drew my attention were Reuven Sussman (drums) and percussionist Geoff Mason who are among the most respected and talented musicians in Victoria BC. Defiantly put on an awesome live show that really packs a venue and gets things jumping. “The New Groovement” is something Grooovey!

Absolutely invigorating to the ears, The New Groovement has their fans dancing every time and these guys are packing venues full of music lovers. – Frontline Press

You ever hear a hip-hop horn section? Probably. Trombone Shorty anyone?
But this ain't New Orleans, this is Vancouver Island, and the band is The New Groovement, with Danimal yelling, throwing down tight, hilarious rhymes, freestyling and generally being a...Danimal.
Quipping that he is the 11th member of this epic ensemble, I had the privilege not only to catch these guys at The Canoe Club, but got invited back to see them again for a showdown at Publik (And what a showdown that turned out to be).
Horn section entered the place from behind (um...) and encircled the crowd in this ribbon of bold sound before heading to the stage to throw down.
Absolutely invigorating to the ears, The New Groovement has their fans dancing every time and these guys are packing venues full of music lovers.
The only reason you'd come out to see New Groovement is if you had a huge love of hip hop and crazy rock-outs, dancing, appreciation for instrumental skill, or all of the above. Pretty amazing that New Groovement is able to fulfill all of those aspects, and how.
The New Groovement
hip hop meets horns in an epic performance

I had no idea what to expect when coming down to see New Groovement for the first time. Something about hip-hop, I'd heard.
But when I walked in there and saw an entire horn section and heard Danimal freestyling in this way that just gets you grinning and nodding your head, you know, my natural reaction was, "Whaaaa!" Again I had to recognize that even though Victoria is an esoteric Mason town full of junkies, pretend hippies and style-biters who think Rock n' Roll cliches make real music, more often then not you'll find yourself surprised instead of cynical at the amount of next-level artists who are hiding out in their overpriced apartments, jamming between their three day jobs.
Anyway. All tirades aside, New Groovement. What else can I say? Stop reading this shit and go see them live

Absolutely invigorating to the ears, The New Groovement has their fans dancing every time and these guys are packing venues full of music lovers. – Frontline Press

You ever hear a hip-hop horn section? Probably. Trombone Shorty anyone?
But this ain't New Orleans, this is Vancouver Island, and the band is The New Groovement, with Danimal yelling, throwing down tight, hilarious rhymes, freestyling and generally being a...Danimal.
Quipping that he is the 11th member of this epic ensemble, I had the privilege not only to catch these guys at The Canoe Club, but got invited back to see them again for a showdown at Publik (And what a showdown that turned out to be).
Horn section entered the place from behind (um...) and encircled the crowd in this ribbon of bold sound before heading to the stage to throw down.
Absolutely invigorating to the ears, The New Groovement has their fans dancing every time and these guys are packing venues full of music lovers.
The only reason you'd come out to see New Groovement is if you had a huge love of hip hop and crazy rock-outs, dancing, appreciation for instrumental skill, or all of the above. Pretty amazing that New Groovement is able to fulfill all of those aspects, and how.
The New Groovement
hip hop meets horns in an epic performance

I had no idea what to expect when coming down to see New Groovement for the first time. Something about hip-hop, I'd heard.
But when I walked in there and saw an entire horn section and heard Danimal freestyling in this way that just gets you grinning and nodding your head, you know, my natural reaction was, "Whaaaa!" Again I had to recognize that even though Victoria is an esoteric Mason town full of junkies, pretend hippies and style-biters who think Rock n' Roll cliches make real music, more often then not you'll find yourself surprised instead of cynical at the amount of next-level artists who are hiding out in their overpriced apartments, jamming between their three day jobs.
Anyway. All tirades aside, New Groovement. What else can I say? Stop reading this shit and go see them live

Sunday afternoon [at Jazz Fest] the highlight was most definitely The New Groovement – Jenny Ambrose, Son de La Isla (Jun 25, 2013)

OK so it’s day 5 of Victoria Jazz Fest! I’ve been out every night since the launch party last Wednesday… My feet are sore from dancing and I’ve definitely been missing a few hours sleep… But I’m grinning ear to ear from the incredible music I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing! My Friday night kicked off with The Boom Booms at Sugar Nightclub followed by some salsa at the Victoria Event Centre [not an official part of the festival!]… Saturday afternoon at Centennial Square Cuban piano virtuoso Pablo Cardenas and his Latin Jazz Combo tore the roof off the main stage from 4pm – closing time! Pablo had a few surprise guests including a 10 year old student pianist who played a traditional Cuban number with the band featuring Israel Toto Berriel on vocals.

Saturday night was a big highlight of the festival at the Victoria Event Centre where the multi-faceted Argentinean pianist Gabriel Palatchi made his garden city debut with a stellar lineup of musicians including Miguelito Valdez, Israel Toto Berriel, Jose Sanchez and Michael Fraser on violin. [I have an entire post coming about this show - I'm just waiting for photos/video to arrive in my inbox!] We are delighted that we will be hosting an intimate ‘house concert’ evening with Gabriel Palatchi at The Makehouse on July 13th. Stay tuned for more details or contact me by email jenny@themakehouse.ca.

Sunday afternoon the highlight was most definitely The New Groovement down at the square followed by the incredible soul legend Lee Fields and The Expressions!!! I’m gonna leave my brother to elaborate on this show as he did the interview with Lee and hosted the night at Sugar Nightclub. I will either gain or lose your respect for the photos below… I can live with either!
1013023_10151455224341244_731105717_n

My inappropriate autograph by soul legend Lee Fields!

1010021_10151455106576244_1372007870_n

I event caught part of the Vieux Farka Touré show last night [yes again back at Sugar where I seem to have become a regular in a rather short space of time...]. Tonight… I think I’m gonna stay in! I’m hoping to check out Gypsophilia at Upstairs Cabaret and Thursday… well I’m undecided about that.

We are in for a very special treat on Friday night when Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet take the stage at Hermann’s Jazz Club. I am short of time today to write original content, so I’m including the low-down issued by the Victoria Jazz Society. Come out and give these guys a warm welcome to Vancouver Island!

Trumpet and flugelhorn virtuoso Gabriel Alegria is one of the most influential figures on the current jazz scene in Peru. His combination of passion and scholarship has resulted in a revolutionary blend of Afro-Peruvian music that forges a Latin link between the African-influenced music of coastal Peru and American jazz. Alegria and his band have won over a dozen awards for their four CDs and are touring in support of 2013’s Ciudad De Los Reyes. Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón percussion, Shirazette Tinnindrums, Yuri Juárez acoustic guitar, Laura Andrea Leguía saxophone and Ross Krater bass

Sunday afternoon [at Jazz Fest] the highlight was most definitely The New Groovement – Jenny Ambrose, Son de La Isla (Jun 25, 2013)

OK so it’s day 5 of Victoria Jazz Fest! I’ve been out every night since the launch party last Wednesday… My feet are sore from dancing and I’ve definitely been missing a few hours sleep… But I’m grinning ear to ear from the incredible music I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing! My Friday night kicked off with The Boom Booms at Sugar Nightclub followed by some salsa at the Victoria Event Centre [not an official part of the festival!]… Saturday afternoon at Centennial Square Cuban piano virtuoso Pablo Cardenas and his Latin Jazz Combo tore the roof off the main stage from 4pm – closing time! Pablo had a few surprise guests including a 10 year old student pianist who played a traditional Cuban number with the band featuring Israel Toto Berriel on vocals.

Saturday night was a big highlight of the festival at the Victoria Event Centre where the multi-faceted Argentinean pianist Gabriel Palatchi made his garden city debut with a stellar lineup of musicians including Miguelito Valdez, Israel Toto Berriel, Jose Sanchez and Michael Fraser on violin. [I have an entire post coming about this show - I'm just waiting for photos/video to arrive in my inbox!] We are delighted that we will be hosting an intimate ‘house concert’ evening with Gabriel Palatchi at The Makehouse on July 13th. Stay tuned for more details or contact me by email jenny@themakehouse.ca.

Sunday afternoon the highlight was most definitely The New Groovement down at the square followed by the incredible soul legend Lee Fields and The Expressions!!! I’m gonna leave my brother to elaborate on this show as he did the interview with Lee and hosted the night at Sugar Nightclub. I will either gain or lose your respect for the photos below… I can live with either!
1013023_10151455224341244_731105717_n

My inappropriate autograph by soul legend Lee Fields!

1010021_10151455106576244_1372007870_n

I event caught part of the Vieux Farka Touré show last night [yes again back at Sugar where I seem to have become a regular in a rather short space of time...]. Tonight… I think I’m gonna stay in! I’m hoping to check out Gypsophilia at Upstairs Cabaret and Thursday… well I’m undecided about that.

We are in for a very special treat on Friday night when Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet take the stage at Hermann’s Jazz Club. I am short of time today to write original content, so I’m including the low-down issued by the Victoria Jazz Society. Come out and give these guys a warm welcome to Vancouver Island!

Trumpet and flugelhorn virtuoso Gabriel Alegria is one of the most influential figures on the current jazz scene in Peru. His combination of passion and scholarship has resulted in a revolutionary blend of Afro-Peruvian music that forges a Latin link between the African-influenced music of coastal Peru and American jazz. Alegria and his band have won over a dozen awards for their four CDs and are touring in support of 2013’s Ciudad De Los Reyes. Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón percussion, Shirazette Tinnindrums, Yuri Juárez acoustic guitar, Laura Andrea Leguía saxophone and Ross Krater bass

Having seen the New Groovement three times since the Victoria Ska Festival, I can confirm their high levels of both awesomeness and fun – Rags, Rags Music (Oct 01, 2013)

Garden City Grooves reminds me of everything I love about music.

Watching a music festival spring forth from the nothingness is a beautiful thing. It’s an even more beautiful thing when the festival exists to serve under-serviced genres like funk and afro-beat. This past weekend brought the first annual Garden City Grooves here in Victoria, a festival dedicated to music that make people want to dance their faces off…and let me tell you, good people, it was really a beautiful thing.

The brainchild of Nathan ‘musicofmymind’ Ambrose (Who does one of the most powerful radio shows around, check it here) and Reuven Sussman (Powerful drummer and member of party-animal band the New Groovement), Garden City Grooves rounded up some of the most exciting local funkiness, as well as importing a few from Vancouver and even one brother, the masterful Gabriel Palatchi, from Argentina.

The festival scene has seemingly become dominated by the quest for big names. I’m guilty of it sometimes myself – looking at the first few names on a list and forgetting about it once I don’t see anyone recognizable jumping off at the page at me. But the immense talent and passion on display at Garden City Grooves overshadowed the slightly mysterious marquee.

The weekend kicked off at Publik, an establishment I hadn’t been inside of in many years. The sound was great, the bands seemed genuinely excited and the crowd was ready to get down. By the end of the opening set by Victoria’s the New Souls, the crowd had filled up the dance floor, getting their collective grooves on. (This process was expedited by staff from Publik pulling people out to the middle. Another reason it’s good to have handsome, beautiful staff.) Gabriel Palatchi took the stage next with his deep Latin rhythms and put on a masterful display of musical prowess. Flanked by a piece-work rhythm section, Palatchi had smiles plastered across the face of everyone in the room and kept the asses of those same people moving non-stop.

Gabriel Palatchi and his hit-man bass player, spot-reading the shit out of some funky music. Photo by me.

Gabriel Palatchi and his hit-man bass player, spot-reading the shit out of some funky music. Photo by me.

Honestly, I’d love to say I stayed through the night for both the New Groovement and Truth Soundsystem’s ‘For Dancers Only’ set, but it was Friday night, the last of a long work week and I was exhausted. Having seen the New Groovement three times since the Victoria Ska Festival, I can confirm their high levels of both awesomeness and fun, but sadly, after about 25 minutes of their set, I was forced to go home and get my rest. I can only imagine Truth Soundsystem was as much fun as the last time I saw them, a short month ago.

Wandering into Lucky Bar the next night (Saturday, September 28) was kind of like walking back into time for me. It’s a place I used to go all the time for music and haven’t been in years – this was a sort of homecoming. I walked in to the awesome tribal beats of Masala, a gigantic drum collective who was in a semi-circle at the front of the dance floor. (I doubt they could have all fit on the small stage.) Let me tell you friends, Masala was awesome. Tremendously communal vibes and deep pulsing rhythms had my rump shaking like crazy.

The rest of the night at Lucky continued down the same path and turned out to be something really special. Victoria soul masters the Chantrelles took the stage for their final performance. I knew going in that this would be the group’s (tragically) last show and was interested to see if such an announcement would be made on stage. It went from “They’re going to be taking a little hiatus after this,” to, “We’re going to be gone a long time.” And while some members of the band seemed to be waiting for the set to be done, the group sounded fantastic and had the crowd in Lucky jumping and bouncing to what has to be some of the best soul music to ever step out of Victoria.

Vancouver’s afro-beat kings Miami Device came out after to close the show. I had a great time watching them, but I know very little about the genre apart from the obligatory Fela Kuti knowledge, so I won’t comment on their abilities, except to say that I had a great time watching them and danced with what one might call reckless abandon.

The moment that crystallized everything for me was seeing Ambrose and Sussman introduce Miami Device. The joy that was radiating from the stage was more than palpable and it was entirely clear that this whole event was nothing more than a couple of friends with a shared love of music creating a place to watch that music together. It fills the festival up with a sense of love and really, it highlights the reason I love music so much. It’s a sense of community, of friendship and respect, a connection to something more than ourselves. Music, in its purest form, represents the best parts of us as people and - like its close ally and one of my absolute favourites, th

... one of the best bands of its kind ever to come out of Vancouver Island or the lower mainland – Jon K, BC Blog Info (Apr 13, 2013)

The New Groovement at Lucky Bar: It's Alright, one of the best bands of its kind ever to come out of Vancouver Island or the lower mainland. The New Groovement has the best rhythm section you could find as well as delightful vocals and horn section. You really must give them a shot....oh and the live show is amazing! Darren Ho a main contributor towards the BC Blog site captured some great footage of them here! The New Groovement performs 'It's Alright' live in concert at Lucky Bar in Victoria, BC on Saturday, March 23, 2013

... one of the best bands of its kind ever to come out of Vancouver Island or the lower mainland – Jon K, BC Blog Info (Apr 13, 2013)

The New Groovement at Lucky Bar: It's Alright, one of the best bands of its kind ever to come out of Vancouver Island or the lower mainland. The New Groovement has the best rhythm section you could find as well as delightful vocals and horn section. You really must give them a shot....oh and the live show is amazing! Darren Ho a main contributor towards the BC Blog site captured some great footage of them here! The New Groovement performs 'It's Alright' live in concert at Lucky Bar in Victoria, BC on Saturday, March 23, 2013

The New Groovement - Review of The Orange Album – BC Musician Magazine

A year ago when I spoke to The New Groovement drummer Reuven Sussman he was filling me in on how his Victoria based funk band was gigging to raise money to record this their debut album.

The plan was that the band would play gigs for a few months, take their earnings and record three tracks, and then repeat this process until they were able to record enough songs for a full length release.

Last night on my radio show when I was interviewing the band’s emcee, Danimal House (also of Illvis Freshly), he updated me on how the group changed course slightly in 2015 and decided to implement a crowd funding imitative to complete the production, because “recording an 11 piece band ain’t cheap.”

The NG crew was looking for an investment of $5000, but the fans blew their minds by coughing up $8000 plus, and I have to say that was money well spent.

Good on the fans because these guys have made excellent use of that love money.

They’ve taken those funds and cooked up a big greasy pot of brassed up goodness. Boasting a smoking four piece horn section and three percussionists, The New Groovement packs a wicked heavyweight punch.

Tejas Collison swallows up the listener in a thick layer of molten bass while guitarist Ben Scotney rides the groove with his tasty southern fried licks and funky chicken scratch. As a unit The New Groovement sound like they have been touring together for decades. The compositions are bold and mature and pay homage to the funk canon, while at the same time laying down a good foot in the here and now.

Part of the credit for that now sound is the presence of emcee Danimal House, who is a truly gifted preacher of the verse. Known for his husky rapid fire deliveries with the irreverent hip hop squad Illvis Freshly, House has a more languid flow when he’s droppin’ knowledge over the NG sound, adding another fresh layer to the band’s chunky vibe.

For me, the star of the whole show is lead vocalist Theresa Pasaluko whose commanding voice floats over the waves of bass and brass like a velvet tsunami. Possessing a dynamic range and true soul power Pasaluko effortlessly pours out her vocalizations over the thundering force of The New Groovement rhythm storm.

But I can’t sign off without paying my respects to another heavy hitter on The New Groovement team. Over the years I have come to continually sing the praises of Joby Baker, an award winning Canadian producer who I feel is one of the best in the business.

Baker is a sonic wizard who possesses a golden ear and a magic touch. I would confess that Baker has to be my favourite producer working on the scene today. He has the skills to elevate a great performance into a truly sensuous auditory experience. It is Baker who is responsible the stunning clarity of the instrumentation and three dimensional wall of bass that drives the entire enterprise.

In collaboration with their gifted producer, The New Groovement offer up an infectious investigation into the world of funk. The Orange Album is a love letter to the band’s generous fans that stands up along side any of the amazing bands that are part of the current global funk resurgence that has been electrifying the music scene for the past several years.

With this stunning debut, The New Groovement definitely mean business, and their business is the funk.

Moovin' The Groove: An Interview With Reuven Sussman of The New Groovement – Feedback Magazine

You have a band with eleven members. We are not talking about five central members with a bunch of rotating guest musicians. No, this is a band with eleven full-time, permanent members. A logistical nightmare? Don’t even get Reuven Sussman started.

“It’s a huge challenge,” admits Sussman, who is the drummer, but also the founder of the band. “We are fortunate because all eleven are awesome people. They are all dedicated, and really excited to be playing the music. It makes it a lot easier. Everyone is helpful; they all pitch in and do different aspects of organizing. The hardest thing is just getting eleven people on the same page, schedule-wise.”

The behemoth we are talking about is The New Groovement, a Victoria funk/R&B/hip-hop band that features the following: one female lead singer, two sax players, two brass players, a guitarist, a bass player, three percussionists, and a rapper. That’s a heck of a lot of people to try and get into one room.

“Rarely do we get everyone to a practice at any one time,” says Sussman. “So it’s been a rule that the last practice before a show everyone must attend. Even shorthanded, we still have more people at a practice than most bands. So, yeah, it’s a challenge for sure. But, there are payoffs too. It’s very rewarding to celebrate and enjoy successes with ten other people. Also, when you go out on the road you have a whole party of people that are awesome to hang out with. That’s what keeps us all going.”

Hang on. They take this circus on the road? That’s eleven musicians and all their instruments and gear. And don’t forget, we live on an island.

“The biggest difficulty is not how many rides we need or how to pay for gas and ferries and so on. The biggest difficulty is coordinating eleven individuals’ schedules. We do what we can. When we do [tour] it’s a special treat for us and for our fans. It works best when we have ‘anchors’ in certain spots. For example, we’ve been to Revelstoke a couple of times. It’s a fantastic city for a band like ours. So one day they’ll say they’ll pay us this much to play there. That allows us to get over to the Mainland, and then we can tour a few cities.”

One thing about getting away from the larger centres, such as Victoria and Vancouver, is that there is some resistance to the hip-hop element in the band’s repertoire. Local organizers often warn Sussman, that the ‘rap’ element will not go down so well in their communities.

“We always tell them not to worry about it. We show up, we play and everybody loves it. They don’t even realize they were listening to hip-hop. First and foremost, we are a fun band that plays dancing music. We are not a rap group. It’s a funk band, with a rapper.”

Adding a rapper to some of their songs is something that sets TNG apart from most bands in Victoria. It is not unusual, however, in Sussman’s hometown of Toronto, where he says dozens of bands incorporate hip-hop as an element in their overall sound.

“When I moved here I wanted to start the kind of band that I always loved listening to back in Toronto. But also, the musicians I’ve met in Victoria have heavily influenced what the band sounds like. I can’t say that I dictate exactly what the band is going to sound like. It’s a communal effort and everyone brings their own influences. Most of the band members have been brought up here on Vancouver Island, and that comes through in the music. It’s not a pure groove-based funk band like I grew up with. We play touchy songs that are fun to listen to, and that comes through as a West Coast sound.”

How does that work, exactly? With an eleven-member group, with eleven distinct ideas, how does one go about bringing it together and composing music? Although there are some songs that are brought to the group by individual members, Sussman tells us that most of the music is created through a “ground up, organic process.”

“When you play in larger groups you learn how to jam. It’s a real art form. It’s not about when to play, it’s about when to listen. We make it work because we’ve learned when not to play.”

But every band has its trials. For one thing, there is never a time that all eleven members of TNG agree on something 100%. And yet they all stick with it.

“The people in this band have a real desire to make it work. Frankly, there is too little money split too many ways, and so the reason we all do it is because we love the music. We love to get people dancing. We really live for those times when the audience responds to us and we get to play with them.”

Sussman laughs. “So, yeah, we’re having as much fun as it looks like we’re having.”

The New Groovement Lays Down the Funk Tax – BC Musician

The New Groovement lays down the funk tax by Dave O Rama

by BC Musician Magazine • January 14, 2015 • Album Reviews, Articles, BC Musicians, Current Issue, Front Page, Reviews • Comments (0) • 1381

It has become apparent to me that BC has definitely been getting funkier over the years. Most likely a byproduct of the evolving electronic music and hip hop scenes that seeped through the cracks between the folkies and the indie rockers over the past couple of decades resulting in an advancing funk infection out here on the coast.

It’s starting to get a bit stanky here in beautiful British Columbia with bands like The Funk Hunters and The Pacific Sound Collective, Afrobeat groups like Miami Device, soul groups like The Ponderosas and The Boom Booms, ghetto funk DJs like Timothy Wisdom and singers like Erica Dee, just to drop a few names.

This airborne funk virus appears to have even started showing up in the provincial capital with Philips Brewery drenching their Backyard Weekender this past summer with a healthy dose of funk, soul, hip hop and reggae while the folks at Garden City Grooves threw the first funk party of the fall back in September 2014 with a second edition featuring original Ohio Player Dutch Robinson and many new local funk and soul groups including The Kara Kata Afrobeat Group, The Leg Up Program, Downtown Mischief and eleven piece funk juggernaut The New Groovement.

“Making people move is a primal thing that I think everyone can get into and I feel that gets lost today in this age of indie rock and sugary pop tunes,” says Groovin’ Reuven Sussman co-producer of Garden City Grooves and drummer for The New Groovement. “We just want to take it back to what music is all about,” Sussman cheerfully exclaims on the phone from Victoria where I catch him during a break while recording the band’s debut album at Baker Studios.

A few short years back Sussman had been playing in a handful of local bands like Get Up To Get Down and then in 2012 he decided he wanted to form a big ass funk collective so he dropped an invite to all the fine players he knew encouraging them get together and work it out.

Turns out the interest in the community was incredibly enthusiastic. “I wish I could say that I specifically hand picked all these people and they all wanted to be in the band. But what really happened is I thought, well we need some redundancy. There’s no way that with an eleven piece that everyone is going to show up for every performance. So, we’ve got four horn players, two percussionists, two vocalists — but the most amazing thing happened. Everyone felt the vibe and appreciated it and now all of us show up for all the gigs all the time.”

Sussman is proud that The New Groovement is “a real eleven piece band. All of us have been there since the very beginning.” In fact, the band’s drummer and manager sounds really proud and excited about a lot of things. His enthusiasm, even over the phone, is evident. He expresses pride in acknowledging that in the aftermath of the New Groovement’s funky birth two even larger funk formations have occurred in Victoria with Downtown Mischief and The Leg-Up Program. He also suspects that their inclusion of a hip hop element into the band’s sound has influenced other local acts to investigate this potent hybrid as well. “I think the mix of live funk and hip hop is something we pioneered here in Victoria.”

In addition to the absolutely stunning soul fire vocals of lead singer Theresa Pasaluko they also successfully employ the rhyme stylings of emsee Danimal House who is also a member of Victoria hip hop group Illvis Freshly. “We have Leg-Up Program, Downtown Mischief and ourselves incorporating hip hop into our sound. I think it makes sense and that Victoria is ready for it,” Sussman exclaims.

In addition to Danimal House The New Groovement have also invited a number of rappers up during their gigs to lay down some freestyle. Local hip hop artists have taken to the stage with the band and participated in a type of freestyle improv session where members of the audience shout out the subject matter that the MCs are then required to rhyme about. The crowds at their shows love it and this too fills Sussman with pride. “I love hip hop. I organized this band and I’m very proud to say that we have a rapper in the group. That we have that element.”

Now that The New Groovement membership has proven its devotion to the goddess of funk they’ve come up with a short term approach to putting out a high quality debut recording. First, they find the right producer for the job and then they record the album in installments. Save enough money to record three tracks at a time. Release the first three, recorded last year, as a teaser on Bandcamp. Record the next three just before the holiday season and then another three in the spring, setting their sights on a CD release date just before the arrival of summer.

After making some rough homemade demos last year Sussman and the gang ventured out in search for their producer and ended up forming a partnership with one of my favourite local sonic wizards, Joby Baker (Alex Cuba, Cowboy Junkies, Mae Moore). Sussman expresses what I have already come to know about Baker’s work. “This man really has the magic touch. He’s like a song doctor. Everything we bring to him gets tweaked and it always goes from good to amazing.”

I agree with Sussman’s analysis as everything I have ever heard that has passed through the hands of Baker is in the upper echelons of sonic quality possessing a sumptuous dynamic that is very rare. No wonder his productions have won many prestigious accolades including JUNO and Grammy Awards. Sussman can’t sing Baker’s praises enough. “He heard something in us, even from our shoddy demo recordings we played him, and I’m really excited and honored to be recording with a guy who has won a Grammy.”

Between this current session at Baker Studios, and the final stage of recordings with Baker again in the spring, The New Groovement will be releasing a music video in advance of their debut CD and after a super positive and productive day of recording Groovn’ Reuven Sussman is nothing but optimistic. “Originally we all came together just to have fun. And that’s exactly what’s happening here. Baker is just a pleasure to work with. I think you’re going to be blown away with what we’re recording today.”

If the first three tracks are any indication then I’d say Sussman’s right on the money. But don’t take my word for it. You can run the first three tracks through your funk meter by laying down your funk tax at thenewgroovement.bandcamp.com.