Armand Van Helden
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Sampleslaya: Enter The Meatmarket , 5/10
2 Future 4 U , 6/10
Killing Puritans , 6/10
Gandhi Khan , 5/10
Nympho (2005), 4/10
Ghettoblaster (2007), 5/10

Armand Van Helden became one of the stars of New York's house clubs with The Witch Doktor (1995), New York Express, Breaknight, Spark Da Meth, The Funk Phenomena. His early remixes will be collected on Nervous Tracts (Nervous).

Then Van Helden embraced hip hop with the instrumental album Enter The Meatmarket (Columbia, 1997), credited to Sampleslaya, an odd collection of old-fashioned and relatively simple beats, breaks and samples, and began integrating house and hip hop in a universal form of black instrumental dance music.

The trivial but very popular You Don't Know Me is the highlight of Van Helden's second album, 2 Future 4 U (Ffrr, 1999), that features such diverse and lively acts as Mother Earth and Boogie Monster.

Koochy (that steals the riff from Gary Numan's Cars) is the hit from Killing Puritans (Armed, 2000), a more brutal and more confrontational collection that boasts the rock virulence of Little Black Spiders (sampling the Scorpions' Bad Boys Running Wild), the wild and dirty disco-music of Full Moon and the elegantly savage Hybridz.

Gandhi Khan (Armed, 2001), on the other hand, is a disappointing follow-up whose main numbers (Why Can't Be Free Some Time, Doovoodoo, Chocolate Covered Cherry) are gross acts of prostitution of the house aesthetics, and whose few experiments (Heed The White Seed) are too timid to make a difference.

Nympho (Southern Fried, 2005) is an excellent example of why so many music critics think that dance music is dumb music. It is more predictable than a Fidel Castro speech.

Ghettoblaster (2007) is simply party music for brainless ravers (Touch Your Toes, I Want Your Soul, etc).

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