Armand Van Helden has curated a three-disc Masterpiece compilation giving a glimpse into the artist’s favorite tracks, inspirations and influences. Three unique mixes titled “The Loft – Boston,” “Yacht Rock Don’t Stop,” and “Freestyle Forever” complete the set which will be released in CD, digital and vinyl formats February 15, 2015 through Ministry of Sound.
The ‘Masterpiece’ series is a concept fronted by artists and DJs of the highest caliber. It’s an opportunity for these pioneering acts to curate a three disc musical journey that depicts their own influences and inspirations to share with their fans. With predecessors including Goldie, David Rodigan, Andrew Weatherall, Fabio and Grooverider and Gilles Peterson, the level of reputation and irrefutable standing of acts selected for ‘Masterpiece’ in the past is a given.
Armand Van Helden, Boston-born, Grammy Award-nominated DJ, producer and remixer, has spent 20 years honing a reputation as one of the most respected producers on the scene. With three official UK Number 1’s under his belt, he is a worthy choice to present the next installment of Ministry of Sound’s prized ‘Masterpiece’ series.
Points of inspiration from Van Helden’s past are found in each disc title as the tracks carry the listener through a progression of the artist’s life and career. On the first disc of the compilation, he revisits his residency days at Boston’s early house venue The Loft, where Armand truly cut his teeth as a DJ and helped to make it one of the most popular underground clubs in the city.
His second disc – entitled “Yacht Rock Don’t Stop” – is an homage to his parents’ record collection, as he explains: “When you’re in the ages of let’s say 6-10 years old, the music you’re exposed to will stay with you forever. In those particular years, my folks would constantly play their records at home but at nightclub volume: home stereos were big then. Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac and the Doobie Brothers were regulars.”
The lost era of freestyle is the focus of Armand’s third disc. A short-lived, soul-tinged genre that took in artists like Stevie B, Lisa Lisa and Shannon, Armand takes the opportunity on “Forever Freestyle” to shine a light on this underrated branch of dance music: one that is vital to his curated collection.
Published by FestPop Senior Music Editor Edward Heinrich Email comments to: [email protected]