You know Armand Van Helden, right? The self-styled ‘bad boy’ of house, the man with a mountain-size ego, the six-pack framed poser with his joke of an Ali G-like pencil beard, the money-hunger remixer who famously cleared the dancefloor at Space, who really wants to make hip-hop, but can’t.
You know Armand Van Helden, right? The same Armand Van Helden that doesn’t own a flat, or a car, who chooses to walk around his adopted home of New York, rather than chug about in a chrome-plated SUV. The homeboy who was championing the raw, energetic, fun sound of hip-house long before it became a fashion accessory. The straight-talking, no-nonsense trainspotter who still spends hours thumbing through thrift stores in search of tunes to sample.
A b-boy at heart, Armand’s move toward house was geared by both an open admiration for Todd Terry’s aggressive cut-and-paste dynamics, and a passion for the late 80s hip-house of the Jungle Brothers, Tyree and Fast Eddie. “One of the good aspects of hip-house was that it was lyrical,” he says now. “It had a great impact on people. Those records are still memorable now.”
Armand’s latest album, ‘Ghettoblaster’, was released recently on Southern Fried Records, out in Australia through Liberator Music. It includes the dancefloor hit ‘Touch Your Toes’ featuring Fat Joe, and his brand new single ‘NYC Beat’, which is released July 7 and includes hot remixes from MSTRKRFT!
CLICK HERE TO BUY ARMAND’S ALBUM ‘GHETTOBLASTER’ ON ITUNES.