Armand Van Helden

Killing Puritans

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Killing Puritans is another guest-heavy, genre-bending full-length to file alongside Armand Van Helden's last full LP, 1998's 2 Future 4 U. Harking back to the glory days of late-'80s acid house, it's heavy on dark club jams that work around a simplistic sample with diva theatrics and rapper freestyles. As such, most of these tracks work much better on the dancefloor than the living room. On the breakout single, "Little Black Spiders," Van Helden spends eight minutes running through different filters on a metal riff (from the Scorpions' "Bad Boys Running Wild") while his guest vocalist Fiona Marr repeats the title. Van Helden increases listeners' attention spans during the rest of the album though, hitting peaks with the rolling disco charm of "Full Moon" (featuring an excellent performance by Common) and the electro-scratch nightmare "Koochy," which matches a near-pornographic cell-phone vocal with a scratch-heavy treatment of the main riff from "Cars" by Gary Numan. "Hybridz" has another prominent sample -- the bass and rhythm track from the acid house anthem "No Way Out" by Armando -- while Van Helden's alien alias, the Mongoloids, scats over the top. Though it lacks a massive club hit the likes of "U Don't Know Me," Killing Puritans remains an enjoyable look at several different flavors of the domestic dance scene.

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