New York: A Mix Odyssey – Armand Van Helden

Label: Southern Fried Records

A little fun. That’s what self-styled bad boy, Armand Van Helden promised, and that’s what he delivered. Yep, just as you were thinking your obsession with New York City was on the decline, club music has reclaimed the city that never sleeps and wrenched it squarely from the hands of garage rock just as Casablancas was settling down to a well earned forty-winks. But in this city, you do anything but rest. And this little bristling mix of music spanning nearly four decades stays charged throughout, from the chugging electro swirl of Blondie’s ‘Call Me’ to the static scrambling of Yes’ ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart’. But true to the culture-clash spirit of the album, there’s much more going on besides.

For Van helden’s first UK mix release, the man famous for killer basslines, his razor beats and his monster love of bagels rankles everything from Klonhertz’s ‘Three Girl Rhumba’, Yazoo’s ‘Don’t Go’ to Ram Jam’s seminal jams kick-out, ‘Black Betty’. And in between all this, he still manages to craft a couple of neat club tricks himself; the camp and flirtatious ‘Hear My Name’ and the effortlessly more jaxxed than the Jax and steamy ‘My My My’.

You might be a little alarmed by the inclusion of ‘The Romantic’s ‘Talking In Your Sleep’ and Aloud’s ‘Rocky XII’, but you’ll be equally surprised to learn that these are the standout points of the mix. And as this album is all about tolerance in a city that speaks 180 languages, and is, as Van Helden explains, the number one melting pot of the planet, you simply have to just go with the flow.

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Release: Armand Van Helden - New York: A Mix Odyssey
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Released: 16 March 2004