armand remix sneaker pimps

Throughout the mid-1990s, Armand Van Helden labored away at realizing some monastic vision of House Music and Drum & Bass united together. Four songs might be said to have come out of his esoteric studies, each becoming progressively weirder and, I think, better: CJ Bolland’s “Sugar is Sweeter” (Armand’s Drum & Bass Mix), “Aint Armand,” Tori Amos’ “Professional Widow” of course and, maybe the apotheosis of his experiments, Armand’s “Dark Garage” remix of Sneaker Pimps’ 1996 single “Spin Spin Sugar.”

Without meaning to throw shade, this is the exact sound of 1996 as I lived it: a little druggy, a little sloppy, a little mixed up with a bunch of vaguely countercultural concepts bleeding into one another in a way they never would again. It’s said to have started Speed Garage and dragged Jungle and Drum’N’Bass ravers into the UK Garage scene, and its beatless breakdown was so ubiquitous that it probably influenced everything, intentionally or not, like nitrogen in topsoil.