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Album Cover Armand van Helden - 2Future4U (ffrr)

"2 Future 4U" is a far cry from Armand's recent efforts as variously a tinny techno demi-god and a would-be B-Boy cashing in on Hip-Hop's sudden credibility last year. This time around Armand has slotted himself into the card index under Disco-House and, apart from the occasional experiments, notably with a woodsaw, this is what you get.

'U Don't Know Me''s hilarious disaffected teenager vocal is still probably being played in black painted bedrooms up and down the country and as a blueprint of Helden's formula its fairly accurate. The variables are the vocals, varying from the moody to the chilled via the self-consciously 'feelthy' 'Entra mi casa', which travels a familiar path to his earlier 'Transaxual XXX mix'. If nothing else, it showed that Armand has an eight-year-old's sense of humour and a Latino Pimp's idea of what a woman 'really wants'.

'Entra mi Casa' is an altogether coyer Carry On Language Teacher effort but with an arguably better ear for melody than its predecessor. Let downs, and there are many, are 'Psychic Bounty Killaz', which sounds its age, the equally tired conspiracy theory crap of 'Aliens', which even as a joke is worn thin. However Armand's approach of hammering a loop regardless of quality occasionally yields diamond disco moments and 'Flowerz' and 'U Don't Know Me' are bona fide examples of this, and its these tracks that prove, even if Van Helden's beats are bought in bulk, his melodies are very often couture.

by Robert Lowe.