Felix Da Housecat: "What Does It Feel Like" Video
Chicago's disco visionary FELIX DA HOUSECAT is set to return to dominate dance floors and airways with his stunning third album VIRGO BLAKTRO & THE MOVIE DISCO. A master class in sugar-frosted vocal pop, soulful synth-funk and pulsing electronic disco, it is comfortably the most satisfying album this dance music icon has produced. Six years after he glammed up dance floors with Kittenz And Thee Glitz, 20 since he stepped into a studio to record his first underground hit at the age of 15, one of modern pop's great outsiders is about to embark on the next phase of his remarkable career.
Felix's last album, 2004's Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever, had its fair share of magical moments, but circumstances beyond his control meant he couldn't build on the runaway success of 2001's Kittenz And Thee Glitz. That album, its Miss Kittin-voiced lead single "Silver Screen (Shower Scene)" in particular, unwittingly sparked off electroclash and propelled Felix into the mainstream on the crest of a champagne wave. After a decade of underground acclaim and jetset DJing, Felix found himself in fashion, much to his amusement. "When Kittenz And Thee Glitz came out, I was living the glitz, I was wilding out, partying, you name it, man," recalls Felix. "I was kicking it with everybody in the industry, from L.A. to New York, I was out there, I was gone! But I burnt myself out from partying, man."
Hot on the heals of previous limited 7" single "The Get Go" New Young Pony Club (NYPC) return with Ice Cream, a sparsely minimal punk funk jerkout that sounds like a distaff version excursion on disco-era Rolling Stones fronted by the Slits' Ari Up and produced by David Byrne and Brian Eno. Partly inspired by LCD Soundsystem and a chance meeting of like-minded band members intent on establishing something potent, Andy and Tahita formed NYPC in 2005. A five-piece comprising of Tahita (vocals), Andy (guitar), Igor (bass) Lou (keyboards) and Sarah (drums), they provide the kind of tight and bass-heavy future discoid noise currently setting hairs on end up and down the country. Ice Cream, their first single on Modular, is already causing a stir online with fans creating myspace pages with lyrics taken from the provocative song. ?A lot of [the lyrics are] about the perceived idea of how women are supposed to be, and putting my twist on it.? Says Tahita. NYPC have quietly set their world alight with a swell blend of disco, pop and punk which they are currently distilling into a debut album for Modular. Undoubtedly, one of THE bands to watch for 2007.
"It's been a bit of a sore spot," laughs Juan Maclean, "sitting on this album and seeing this robot stuff pop up all over the place. I have serious robot credentials that go back years and years. Like, a decade! But Daft Punk beat me to the punch." He may be joking, but the man's right. If anyone's earned the right to call their debut album "Less Than Human" and imagine a love triangle consisting of a man, a woman and the man's gay robot friend (as in "Shining Skinned Friend"), it's Maclean. He was guitarist and synth player with acclaimed but obscure, gonzo electro-punk band Six Finger Satellite, who began formulating their blend of rigidly mechanised disco beats, oddly sumptuous synth melodies and razor-shredded guitar work in the early 90s. The brutish but groovy result suggested a cross between Devo, Kraftwerk and Big Black. Then, America was mired in grunge, the famous French robots were still in short pants and the "punk-funk revival" was in the unimaginable future. Six Finger Satellite were just too far ahead of their time and perished accordingly. With "Less Than Human" Maclean has created a precision-tuned rekindling of his love affair with everything from Kraftwerk to Juan Atkins and Derrick May, Funkadelic to Giorgio Moroder and Lipps Inc, DAF to Talking Heads and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. It's full of tics (sin drums, cow bells, Bootsy Collins bass lines, Moog Liberation motifs) borrowed from dance music history, but refuses to engage with retroism, nostalgia or any notion of "the classic." Opener "AD2003" tracks back to Kraftwerk via Orbital, buoyed up by bubbles of percolating glitch. "Give Me Every Little Thing" rewinds through Underworld and Talking Heads en route to Studio 54. "Tito's Way" contrasts acid-house synth squelches and rave whistles with clattering, tribal percussion. There's a constant, though. Even the LP's euphoric epic "Dance With Me," is poignantly subdued, touched by a melancholy that reflects Maclean's own world view. "It doesn't seem incongruous to me to have a lot of that stuff in there," he says of the album's sadness, "because I made a big effort to make an album, rather than a collection of tunes with just one good track that everybody knows. So I never really set out to say, "this is a song that will played for the dance floor," or whatever. "When I started on it, I don't think I had any pre-conceived notions at all, except that I knew I'd always be operating under the same aesthetic principles that I'd held in making music my whole life."
They play DISCO. But not so much mixing it with (Post) Punk and New Wave like so many other bands right now. WhoMadeWho use lot more influences: from Surfrock to Folk to 70ies Funk. And sometimes it feels like the guys heard a dose of Italodisco and Cosmic tapes before recording. One of the interesting things about WhoMadeWho is the fact that all the three members have totally different backgrounds. Tomas Barfod the drummer is known as one of Skandinavia's best electronic DJ's and has published acclaimed records on Get Physical, Kitsune and Gomma under his moniker TOMBOY. Jeppe Kjellberg , guitar player, used to live in NYC where he was established in the local Avantgarde Jazz scene. He even recorded an album with former Lounge Lizzard guitar player DAVIS TRONZO. And Tomas Hoeffding (the bass player) is also member of Danish garage rock band Garbo.. The band released only three singles in the last year - but these 12inches caused a good buzz and heavy rotations with DJ's all over the place. Especially the single SPACE FOR RENT (and The Rapture's remix of it) is currently getting a huge response (Leftfield single of the issue in DJ mag), and their cover version of Benny Benassi's Satisfaction is still a hit in many clubs. The album?s second single OUT THE DOOR was remixed by French producers IN FLAGRANTI and SUPERDISCOUNT and has been getting good exposure in clubs worldwide. Pete Tongfeatured it in his Radio One Essential charts and 2 MANY DJ?s featured a few WhoMadeWho Songs in their latest Radio One mix. MTV in France and Italy and MTV in UK put the video on rotation. The 2 MANY DJ'S/ SOULWAX guys are such huge fans of WhoMadeWho that they invited the band to do their live support on their big UK tour in autumn 2005. Same with MYLO who invited the band to support them on their tours. UK Press quotes: "Brilliant!"(NME) "...focused and brilliant." (iD sept 2005) "while the record is super fun, the band is even better live!" (Dazed & Confused) "Should coax even the shyest of floors back from the death!"(DJ mag) NME about WHOMADEWHO's Remix of MUNK's Kick out the chairs!:One of our favorite dance tracks of the year!
The Infamous DragChrist makes an appearnace in this Gaz Reynolds pop video, which features guest vocals by Disco Diva Viola Wills.
For its fifth release, Blackalicious has created a record of such sonic depth and breadth and lyrical ambition that it can proudly stand alongside the work of Bay Area funk fathers Sly Stone and Shuggie Otis, or hip-hop classics like Outkast's Aquemini, The Roots' Things Fall Apart and Gang Starr's Daily Operation. But The Craft is not nostalgia for some "golden era" that never existed, it represents state-of-the-art hip-hop with an expansive worldview. From its opening, the sublimely orchestrated Stereolab-esque suite of "World of Vibrations", The Craft moves from peak to peak-including the Prince-ly rush of "Powers", a sinuous funk summit with George Clinton on "Lotus Flower", and the seductive meta-futurist soul of "Automatique," which features special guest vocals from Floetry. The Craft reveals one of global hip-hop's best-loved crews achieving another artistic breakthrough. "It's my favorite of all of our albums," says the Gift of Gab. "I think that it's our best album."
Kudu tap into Siouxsie circa 82, dark Chicago house circa 86, deep 70s funk, and, consciously or not, UK jungle tekno circa 91. They are real deal, and their music is so primal that they could just as validly be classed a rock act as a jazz or dance act. On stage Kudu are dark and raw and desperate, but their pop potential has always been apparent to anyone with ears for song craft and eyes for charisma. Bar Star, the first single from the upcoming full-length from Nublu Records entitled Death of the Party, confirms this perception. In addition to the aforesaid ingredients, Kudu on record have a sense of fun lifted from Deee-Lite, ESG, church in rural Georgia and parades in New Orleans. Kudu plans to tour extensively surrounding the release of the record, and they have already received press from the likes of XLR8R, URB, Pitchfork, and the acclaimed music writer Simon Reynolds. Remixes of Bar Star are as diverse as Kudu?s influences. In Flagranti, the head of Codek Records, turns Bar Star into a disco track that echoes Prince and the Time?perfect for a Miami Dancefloor. Freddie Mas, of Tigersushi fame, twists the track into an AC/DC-like cock-rock funk anthem. This is the twelve inch of the year from the band of the year.
"Alice" was directed by Andreas Nilsson (The Knife, Jose Gonzalez) and features MCs Aynzil and the 419 Squad on vocals. Last Night will hit stores April 1st and signals a return to Moby’s dance floor roots, casting genre purism to the wind in favor of a jubilant eclecticism that references electronic, hip-hop (both old and new), euro disco, downtempo, and ambience. In addition to Aynzil and the 419 Squad the album also features Grandmaster Caz of Cold Crush Brothers on “I Love To Move In Here.”
Lead single “Road To Recovery" is a dizzying array of stomping disco beats, spiralling synths and effervescent guitars,a sonic mission through laser-soaked corridors and rainbow-lit roller derbies. It’s the perfect intro to Midnight Juggernauts’ debut album, a trekking montage that occupies the dark spaces between M83, Moroder, Air, ELO and John Carpenter– shooting stars, black holes, thumping disco beats, glimpses of the edge of the universe.