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Armand Van Helden – New York: A Mix Odyssey Two

Title: New York: A Mix Odyssey Two
Mixed By: Armand Van Helden
Label: Southern Fried
Genre: House
Price: £9.99
Buy Online: Click Here
Release Date: 13th October 2008

Track Samples: N/A
Track Listings: Click Here
Details: Following up last year’s lauded artist album, ‘Ghettoblaster’, dance-floor legend Armand Van Helden returns to the decks with the second instalment of his ‘New York: A Mix Odyssey’ series. Wearing his influences on his sleeve, the mix goes straight to the heart of the hugely influential Hip-House scene, gathering the hottest floor-jams of the heady mid-to-late 80s, taking it right up to the present with three blistering exclusive tracks from the man himself that see Armand coming full circle and paying tribute to the music he truly loves, that was so instrumental at the start of his journey to becoming one of the world’s most respected DJs and producers.

Opening up the second instalment of ‘New York: A Mix Odyssey’ with Chill Rob G’s original ‘The Power’, Armand’s trek through the cream of Hip-House takes in countless classics including Straffe’s bona fide party anthem ‘Set It Off’, Kwame’s ‘Ownlee U’ and King Bee’s Herbie Hancock sampling ‘Back By Dope Demand’ a track that is sure to get some pulses racing. Laying the foundations for what was to become the Acid scene, Nitro Deluxe blends the essence of Chicago House, Techno and Electro on the sublime ‘This Brutal House’ before Sugar Bear elevate ‘Once In A Life Time’s iconic bassline to peerless levels with their landmark release, ‘Don’t Scandalize Mine’. Hip-Hop’s original female pioneer Roxane Shante drops some slick lyrical moves with ‘Go On Girl’, the relentless bass of Erik B & Rakim’s ‘Juice (Know The Ledge)’, the Gangsteress of Rap’ Antionette’s ‘Who’s The Boss’, Doug Lazy’s timeless ‘Let It Roll’ (produced by Raze’s Vaughan Mason) and Freestyle’s unmistakable keyboard riff and vocodered vocal on ‘Don’t Stop The Rock’ all keep the mix powering along as Armand’s swift mixing and tight cutting adds extra bite to proceedings.

The chanteuses come out in full effect with Queen Latifah riding DJ Mark The 45 King’s beats on ‘Come Into My House’ as her British protégé Monie Love rocks ‘Grandma’s Party’ and the piano groove’s of Debbie Malone’s iconic ‘Rescue Me’ still sounding as vital ever. A brace of Hip-House’s leading lights crash into the mix with Jungle Brother’s seminal ‘I’ll House You’ and Fast Eddie’s 303 rinse ‘Acid Thunder’, which heralded a new era in dance music, slipping seamlessly into the scatter gun lyrics and crushing beats of ‘Illin ‘n’ Fillin’ the first of the three brand new exclusive tracks from Armand. Toni Scott’s ‘That’s How I’m Living’ which was the soundtrack of pirate radio in 1989 makes way for Armand’s own classic ‘Touch Your Toes’ that in turn leads into the infamous flow of Kool Rock Steady with Tyree Cooper, the producer, awesome super-dooper-trooper on the dance-floor wrecking ‘Turn Up The Bass’, which became a cornerstone of the scene. The beats keep on jacking with the Idiotproof mix of Armand’s own ‘A Track Called Jack’ and Maurice’s stone cold classic ‘This Is Acid’, whilst Fast Eddie makes another appearance this time with ‘Yo Yo Get Funky’. The second exclusive and the album’s lead track ‘Shake That Ass’ sees Armand dropping a huge riff over rolling beats to truly explosive effect as he flips back a quarter of a century to Debbie Deb’s 1983 debut ‘When I Hear Music’. Entering the final straight Armand ups the pace on his own ‘This Ain’t Hollywood’ with Will Lemay’s slick delivery segueing into Frank Ski’s relentless ‘There’s A Whore In The House’ leaving it to a pair of gilt edged Armand Van Helden floor shattering joints to close proceedings firstly with ‘Playmate’ and then the final exclusive of the album ‘Ski Hard’ featuring Christian Rich bringing ‘New York: A Mix Odyssey Two’ to a bumping finish.

Showcasing the tracks that are the essence of his musical make-up, ‘New York: A Mix Odyssey Two’, is a captivating document laying bare Armand Van Helden’s true passions.
Rating: 7 / 10 – Silver Award
Review written by: Oli Pavitt
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