Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee gives us an insight into the Lounge & Bar Grooves genre and how it’s been incorporated into the latest Mastermix range.
The Origins of ‘Bargrooves’
The term ‘Bargrooves’ has been commonly used for a number of years. It is a style favoured by DJs who produce mixes, remixes and compilations of soulful house & laidback dance tracks to create a sophisticated sound that fits the venues they are playing at.
Not only is the choice of artists and tracks important, but also selecting the right version of each song. Many dance tracks have numerous remixes and that allows a DJ to select the version that works best for them and the venue, and it is this attention to detail that defined the ‘Bargrooves’ brand.
The music associated with this theme became more varied with the introduction of other dance styles like nu house, Ibiza classics & chillout. Some DJs even add a touch of disco and pop into their sets. Like many themes, it does not take long for it to evolve as was the case with the ‘Bargrooves’ vibe.
The Progression of Lounge & Bar Grooves
Whilst the original ‘Bargrooves’ concept was based around dance music, there is nothing in the rules that says you can’t take a theme and create your own version of it. I have really enjoyed researching this style of music and have unearthed some forgotten classics, hidden gems and a whole range of tracks that I had not previously heard. By mixing up popular tracks with lesser-known hits you can create exciting sets for audiences of all types.
Artists including Spiller, Groove Armada, Daft Punk, Shapeshifters & Mousse T paved the way for other artists to follow and deliver an eclectic mix of styles & BPM ranges. Tracks from Soul ll Soul, Mantronix, Bobby Womack, Blondie, Kelis & Luther Vandross are good examples of how things moved in different directions musically.
Introducing Lounge & Bar Grooves to the Mastermix Range
Whenever I’m tracklisting a new mix or compilation, I take time to research the music very carefully. For the Lounge & Bar Grooves concept I took longer than usual, a couple of days longer! This was down to several factors but mainly because I was really enjoying the music. It was infectious… I genuinely could not get enough and would spend many hours researching and listening to song after song. That time and effort is reflected in both the tracklisting for the Grandmaster, that included the unenviable task of deciding on the final 30 tracks to use.
Grandmaster Warm Up 9: Lounge & Bar Grooves features 30 tracks in a stunning mix from Mastermix producer Gary Gee. The opening track is ‘Hangin’ On A String’ (Frankie Knuckles Remix) by Loose Ends. This lays the foundations for all that follows. The 1985 hit has a new lease of life thanks to legendary DJ & Producer, Frankie Knuckles, who injects just the right amount of production into the track. It’s this attention to the version of each track used that makes the mix a joy to the ear from start to finish.
Mastermix Ambassador and award-winning DJ, Alan Marshall, goes into more detail in his excellent review.
With the Grandmaster in the bag I turned my attention to the two accompanying Crates that feature 40 individual tracks… and there could have been many more!
Amongst my favourite Lounge & Bar Grooves are ‘I Love To Move In Here’ – Moby, ‘Love To Love You Baby (Tom Novy Remix)’ – Tom Tom Club, ‘La Ritournelle’ by Pete Tong & the Heritage Orchestra & ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (Pomo Remix) – Hall & Oates.
Each Crate offers an eclectic selection of tracks including ‘Mindless Boogie’ (Extended Version’ – Hot Chocolate, ‘Lifted (Linslee Remix)’ – Lighthouse Family, ‘Being Nobody’ – Richard X vs. Liberty X. They have been compiled to group the BPM ranges in a DJ friendly way allowing you to perform creative sets.
Lounge & Bar Grooves are perfect tracks to use for Bars, Clubs, Weddings and many other events where a cool vibe is required. These are brilliant scene-setting tracks and allow guests the chance to enjoy the ambient tunes before the main party kicks in.
I’ve had the pleasure of producing 100’s of mixes & collections and Lounge & Bar Grooves is right up there among my favourites.
Mastermix Label Manager
Buy all 3 albums for £25 with the code GROOVES
Lounge & Bar Grooves Track Examples
- Are ‘Friends’ Electric? – Groove Armada
- Love to Love You Baby – Tom Tom Club
- You Wish – Nightmares On Wax
- Dance Monkey (Sylow Remix) – Yann Muller
- Being Nobody – Richard X vs. Liberty X
- Rock With You – Quincy Jones feat. Brandi & Heavy D
- Josephine (French Edit) – Chris Rea
- Real Love – Driza Bone
- Summer Came My Way (Luxxury Club Mix) – Greg Wilson
- Good Times (Late Nite Tuff Guy Remix) – Ferry Ultra
- Last Night A DJ Saved My Life – Blacknuss
- I Can’t Go For That (Porno Remix) – Hall & Oates
- Slip Into Something More Comfortable (Shibumi Remix) – Kinobe
- Tom’s Diner – D.N.A. feat. Suzanne Vega
- Love On My Mind (After Hours Remix) – Freemasons
- Heartbreaker – Crazy P
- Jazzie’s Groove – Soul ll Soul
- Cloud 9 – Jamiroquai
- Imprint Of Pleasure – Tube & Berger
- Don’t Stop The Dance (Greg Wilson Remix) – Bryan Ferry