Directions In Groove
Directions in Groove
|Also known as||DIG, dig|
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
Directions in Groove or DIG were an Australian acid jazz band which formed in 1991 by Alexander Hewetson on bass guitar, Terepai Richmond on drums and percussion, Rick Robertson on saxophone, Tim Rollinson on guitar and Scott Saunders on keyboards. Originally styled as dig they performed instrumental acid jazz before Saunders added vocals. They released three studio albums, Deeper (March 1994), Speakeasy (August 1995) and Curvystrasse (September 1998). At the APRA Music Awards of 1996 they won Most Performed Jazz Work for their track, "Futures". They disbanded in 1998 before reforming in 2008 for selected performances and again 2011 to release a fourth studio album, Clearlight (October 2011).
1991-1993: Formation and EP
Directions in Groove formed in 1991 in Sydney by Alexander Hewetson on bass guitar, Terepai Richmond on drums and percussion, Rick Robertson on saxophone, Tim Rollinson on guitar and Scott Saunders (ex-Deckchairs Overboard, Beatfish, also in Bellydance) on keyboards. Hewetson, Richmond and Robertson were, "all graduates of the New South Wales Conservatorium of Jazz." Styled as dig they initially performed instrumental acid jazz before Saunders added vocals. They became popular with a residency at Kinselas in Oxford St, Sydney.
The band toured nationally and in April 1993 released a five-track, self-titled extended play. This attracted Polygram records to sign the band. The Canberra Times' Linc Dubwise observed, "[the] acid jazz group, however, delights in the potential of jazz as accessible, entertaining, populist and, above all, danceable. The acid label is no more than a convenient identifier for the current generation of artists melding elements of jazz, fusion, funk, rap, soul and world music." They continued touring in the following year, Hewetson left to join rock, funk, disco group, Swoop; he was replaced on bass guitar by Sam Dixon.
1994-1998: Deeper, Speakeasy & Curvystrasse
DIG released their first studio album, Deeper, in March 1994. It peaked at No. 6 on the ARIA Albums Chart, and was certified gold by Australian Recording Industry Association for shipment of 35,000 units. Nicole Leedham of The Canberra Times observed, "It attracts both older jazz audiences and younger rock followers and keeps them both happy." The group changed their name to Directions in Groove, to avoid confusion with a Canadian group, dig, which was touring internationally. Deeper had its international release via Verve, and they undertook tours in Australia and Europe. In July 1994 they performed at Battersea Park, London for Britain's first B & S Ball. They also toured supporting other artists, Herbie Hancock and Bootsy Collins. At the ARIA Music Awards of 1995, they were nominated for two awards; Breakthrough Artist – Album and Breakthrough Artist – Single (for "The Favourite").
Directions in Groove released their second album, Speakeasy in August 1995, which was co-produced by the group with Jeremy Allom (Incognito, Björk, Massive Attack). It reached No. 8 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, compared their first two albums, "[this] was a more mature, confident and ultimately more durable album... It was a fine collection of sweet, funky jazz-grooves backed up impeccable musicianship." Christo of Tharunka magazine felt Dixon provides, "a big thick meaty bass line that pumps solidly through each track. This new bass sound coupled with the beautifully inventive drumming of Terapai Richmond allows the other musicians to fly high, confident in the rock solid rhythm section. The listener is at ease and floats with the band to places silky smooth and be-bop groovy." A limited release version of Speakeasy included a bonus disc of six live tracks recorded at the Basement, Sydney.
A third studio album, Curvystrasse was released in September 1998, and was co-produced by the group with Lex Wilson. The album peaked at number 35 on the ARIA Chart. The group disbanded shortly after.
2008-present: Reformation & Clearlight
The original members of the group reformed in the wake of playing to a packed crowd in June 2008. During 2011 Laura Stitt joined on lead vocals, they subsequently recorded their fourth studio album, Clearlight, which was released on 14 October 2011.
- Alexander Hewetson – bass guitar (1991–94, 2008)
- Terepai Richmond – drums, percussion (1991–98, 2008, 2011–13)
- Rick Robertson – saxophone (1991–98, 2008, 2011–13)
- Tim Rollinson – guitar (1991–98, 2008, 2011–13)
- Scott Saunders – keyboards, vocals (1991–98, 2008, 2011–13)
- Sam Dixon – bass guitar (1994–98)
- Laura Stitt – vocals (2011–13)
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|Live 1999 @ Milton Theatre & The Basement||
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Directions in Groove||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Re-Invent Yourself"||1992||-||Directions in Groove|
|"2 Way Dreamtime"||99|
- McFarlane, Ian (2017). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Directions in Groove (dig)'". The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. Jenkins, Jeff (Foreword) (2nd ed.). Gisborne, Vic: Third Stone Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-9953856-0-3.
- "Pouring an acid groove over elitist jazz ideals". The Canberra Times. Good Times. 67 (21, 156). 18 March 1993. p. 6. Retrieved 12 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- Peak positions for albums in Australia:
- All except noted: Hung, Steffen. "Discography DIG". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
- Top 100 peaks to December 2010: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
- "The Favourite": "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 22 May 1994". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 6 March 2016. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
- "2 Way Dreamtime": "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – 30 Oct 1994". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- Futures: "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 24 Sep 1995". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
- Leedham, Nicole (12 May 1994). "DIG-ging Their Scene". The Canberra Times. Good Times. 69 (21, 575). p. 25. Retrieved 12 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Brazen Britons brave a battering at B&S bash". The Canberra Times. 69 (21, 642). 18 July 1994. p. 2. Retrieved 13 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Sashimi". Tharunka. 41 (11). 12 September 1995. p. 17. Retrieved 13 September 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "1996 Winners – APRA Music Awards". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Archived from the original on 18 September 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
- "DIG". Australian Jazz Real Book. Retrieved 26 February 2020.