BBH: Groove Committee, I Want You To Know

[Nu Groove Records]

Buy Vinyl

Nu Groove, perhaps the most famous name in New York house after Strictly Rhythm, is an infamously difficult label to assess. Frank and Karen Mendez had originally started the imprint in 1988 as an outlet for Rheji and Ronald Burrell, former R&B producers (and twin brothers) who had recently parted ways with a major label. But by the time they pressed their last slab in 1992, the label had released over 100 records in seemingly as many club music subgenres. While the Burrells’ early singles remain fresh (especially Rheji’s, in this reviewer’s humble opinion), and the label provided a crucial early home to the likes of Frankie Bones, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez pre-Masters At Work, and Victor Simonelli (see below), not all of the mélange holds up so well. Despite Nu Groove’s status as a completist’s worst nightmare, its pervasive underground-ness — disco soul emanating from brittle, staunchly low-tech sounds; a reputation built on a minimum image — manages to tie this behemoth of a catalog together. And as Underground Quality sends similar backroom ripples through the house music universe from the Tri-State Area once more, Nu Groove 12″s will undoubtedly wiggle their way out of dusty used bins at a somewhat faster rate.

It’s those pre-1990 tracks — Metro’s “Angel Of Mercy,” Bobby Konders’ “Nervous Acid,” practically everything on New York House’n Authority’s Dyckman House EP, to name a few — that will remain absolutely essential to New York house and Nu Groove’s legacy. But Groove Committee’s “I Want You To Know” from 1991 makes for something of a late-season win for the label. A trip over to Discogs, where commentators have made light of Simonelli’s source material and effectively fleshed out out that “edited by” credit on the label. It’s somewhat fitting, then, that “I Want You To Know” recently wandered back into dance music’s consciousness uncredited: Pangaea recently blasted the track’s ecstatic, shout-along refrain (what DJ in his right mind would ever play the included instrumental mix?) with echo and slipped it into “Sunset Yellow” from his essential Hessle Audio doublepack. Like all the best stuff Nu Groove released, “I Want You To Know” takes flutters of disco and strips away every bit of sonic excess; LCD Soundsystem would do similar things with a hot piano riff and vocal sass a decade or so on. This track doesn’t sound like a million bucks, but I can’t imagine a much better moment to shake off your sweat on the grimiest dance floor in town. “Let’s Groove It” on the B-side has its upbeat charms, but it probably won’t pull you away from the A. Simonelli’s Don Ray-sampling “Rain On Me,” however, just might. It contains dark percussion eerily reminiscent of Levon Vincent, but ultra-smooth synths let a few welcome rays of sunshine waft in. Nu Groove brought so much to the table that practically anyone who performs a survey, as I recently did, will come out with their his or her own favorite; this Groove Committee 12″ just happens to be mine.

tom/pipecock  on March 24, 2010 at 2:20 PM

i love this tune, and i love Nu Groove in general. despite being hit or miss due to the huge number of releases, they still define that 80s deep shit along with Trax for me.

Blaktony  on March 25, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Man, that takes a old dude back; NuGroove & all the Burrells’ productions were the shit.

PARASOLE!  on March 26, 2010 at 9:47 PM

nu groove nuff said!!!

jordan  on March 28, 2010 at 12:32 AM

just got a mint copy of this 12 a couple months ago, great garage and house tracks!

testuser25  on November 28, 2011 at 11:28 PM

this track has just been released on traxsource
it includes the Simonelli Orig mix
and a previously unreleased
Larry Levan mix.
check it out here
it also reads, ‘Groove Committee Album coming soon’
I can’t wait to get it !

testuser25  on April 10, 2012 at 2:07 PM

I just picked up the Groove Committee album
on Traxsource here
15 Tracks !! Totally Awesome !!

Rheji Burrell  on September 1, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Thanks everyone for the kind words… believe me when I say, we are amazed that what we were doing then still means something now. We were just kids being honest about our tastes and abilities (and inabilities) regarding our music. And when you’re not bound by style and genre… the result is pure and potent = powerful.<<<< corny but true.

Again Thanks for dancing


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