Armand Van Helden

Armand Van Helden
Release date
01 January 1970
Armand Van Helden
01 January 1970 |

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Until he began branching out in 1996 with a barrage of album productions and remix classics (several of which
were heard by more people than the originals), Armand Van Helden was one of the best-kept secrets in house
music, he became one of the top names in dance music altogether. As one in the steady progression of top in-house
producersduring the early ’90s, Van Helden joined such names as Todd Terry, Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez,
Masters at Work and George Morel to record scores of club hits. By the late ’90s, a clutch of crucial remixes and
several albums made Van Helden’s name as one of the most popular producers around. His fame continued well
into the 21st century, thanks to successful collaborations with Dizzee Rascal, Steve Aoki and especially A-Track,
with whom he formed the chart-topping duo Duck Sauce in 2009.

Van Helden owned a residency at Boston’s Loft, and soon made it into one of the most popular nightclubs in the
city. After playing one of his production demos for the dance A&R guru Gladys Pizarro in 1992, Van Helden
released his proper debut single “Stay on My Mind”.

Later that year, Van Helden released “Move It to the Left”. Though a moderate club hit, the single was eclipsed by
another offering, 1994’s “Witch Doktor.” It became a dancefloor hit around the world and introduced him to a
larger club audience. Although he had remixed Deee-Lite, Jimmy Somerville, New Order, Deep Forest, and
Faithless a reworked version of Tori Amos’ “Professional Widow” hit the clubs with the same impact as his
“Witchdoktor” single. During 1996-1997, Van Helden became the name for forward-thinking pop and dance artists
to recruit for remix duty from the Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson and Puff Daddy to Sneak Pimps, C.J. Bolland and
Daft Punk. His own-name singles productions continued unabated, with hits like “Cha Cha” and “The Funk
Phenomena,” plus the release of his first album, Old School Junkies. Following a 1997 Greatest Hits retrospective,
Van Helden returned to his old-school rap roots with the party breakbeat album, Sampleslayer…Enter the Meatmarket. The 2 Future 4 U album followed in 1998, spawning a U.K. number one single in “U Don’t Know Me”
(featuring Duane Harden) as well as the Top 20 follow-up “Flowerz.”

In mid-2000, Van Helden returned with Killing Puritans, which contained the hit “Koochy,” built around a sample of
Gary Numan’s iconic “Cars.” Gandhi Khan followed in 2001, and New York: A Mix Odyssey appeared in 2004,
containing hit collaborations with Splanding Rockwell (“Hear My Name”) and Tara McDonald (“My My My”). Both
of these songs also appeared on Van Helden’s 2005 studio album Nympho, and “My My My” became a chart hit
once again when it was re-released and remixed in 2006. Van Helden’s Ghettoblaster album, influenced by
freestyle and other ’80s dance sounds, appeared in 2007. Retrospective You Don’t Know Me: The Best of Armand
Van Helden and New York: A Mix Odyssey, Pt. 2 both appeared in 2008.

In 2009, Van Helden collaborated with British rapper Dizzee Rascal for a fidget-house song called “Bonkers.” The
song hit number one in the U.K., and was a decent-sized hit elsewhere. Later in the year, he teamed up with
Canadian DJ A-Trak under the name Duck Sauce, producing a track called “aNYway.” It hit the charts in a few
countries, but it was a moderate success compared to next year’s “Barbra Streisand.” Built around an infectious
Boney M. sample, the song hit number one in several countries, partially thanks to the viral popularity of its music
video, which featured cameos by Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, André 3000 and numerous other famous
musicians. A few other Duck Sauce singles followed during the next few years, leading up to full-length Quack,
which finally arrived in 2014.

Van Helden continued to be an in-demand remixer, with stars such as Sam Smith, Madonna and Disclosure among
his clients. In 2015, he released a three-CD mix titled Masterpiece, including one disc of early house tracks, one
disc dedicated to yacht rock, and another consisting of ’80s freestyle. Van Helden’s recording career was given
another retrospective in.


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