old school photos of house music legend, armand van helden

Head to Ibiza via underground NY clubs of the 90s as the producer and DJ shares his archive of memories.

by Frankie Dunn
09 March 2017, 9:40pm

My My My, isn't this a treat? To celebrate his tasty new single with Australian producer Komes, Fried Chicken, Armand Van Helden has invited us on a tour through his personal photo archive. Starting out in Holland where he grew up, the selection takes us right through the 80s and into the 90s when the house icon began producing for Strictly Rhythm and went on to make some of the most recognisable dance records in the world (You Don't Know MeI Want Your Soul) as well as remixing the likes of New Order, Faithless, Janet Jackson and Daft Punk. Last year he put out 12 tracker Extra Dimensional on Southern Fried, and this year he'll be playing festivals including Parklife. With a commentary from the man himself, let's head back to 85 where this throwback begins.

"My pops and I on a ferris wheel at an amusement park in Holland in 1985. Celtics and Cape Cod T shirts, a lot of Beantown repping in this shot. I miss that blonde tail."

"This was taken in my apartment in Kenmore Square, Boston in 1989. I used to put that Sansui speaker facing out of my apartment onto the street, blasting Tyree Cooper's Acid Crash and others like Roger Sanchez, Luv Dancin. Those were the days!"

"Ancient Aliens. Not sure where this is, could be San Juan, Puerto Rico. During my Witchdoktor days in 1994." 

"My son Armany and I at my home studio, NYC 1994. This was my first apartment in NYC and it over looked the roof of Madison Square Garden, you can sort of see it in the window. Its the largest building with a round shape in NYC and from my room it looked like I lived next to a UFO! My son got that focus early. Love him dearly, so proud."

"Blonds have more fun! Junior Sanchez and I at Sound Factory Bar circa 1995. Incredible times, Little Louie Vega was the resident DJ and he broke so many records there, many off acetate, straight out of the studio. It was an industry party and I probably met every hero I had in house music. Those that went every Wednesday like myself know how magical a time that was. Junior Sanchez and I had that same Mecca shirt, blond hair and Arnet shades and we would both wear them at the same time like some kind of gang when we went out to the clubs. Hilarious."

"Seemingly shocked by something. Probably my first royalty check."

"Kids today don't know about that lollipop headphone swag! Back then, the average set time was 3 to 4 hours and I'm still sore on that side! Actually, I think I might be DJing with a broken headphone."

"Ibiza again! This one is from a grandiose club called KU, which at the time, boasted it was the biggest club in the world. The party was called Cream and it was the first UK promotion in Ibiza, it literally brought the whole of the UK to Ibiza. I look like I'm dropping a hip hop set, Fubu and Echo, they weren't ready!"

"Whorehouse converted into orgy hotel, Ibiza's Manumission Hotel circa 1997. I'm rocking those plastic Cybertek cargo pants. I had them in every colour and my manager started calling me 'plastic pants'... at least the WU Wear jersey is decent. I can't believe I'm drinking that elephant piss, Miller Golden Draft... craft beer hadn't been invented yet. Ali G stole my steez."


Text Frankie Dunn

house music
armand van halen