Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Felix Da Housecat, Virgo Blacktro & the Movie Disco

Felix Da Housecat is one of the premier DJ/producers in the current Chicago House scene.  My only previous experience with his music was 2001’s “Kittenz and Thee Glitz” which got a housecatlot of favorable press in the music mags.  It did nothing for me at the time and so I had low expectations for “Virgo, Blacktro & the Movie Disco”.  What a pleasant surprise; maybe I should go back and listen to “Kittenz . . ” again.

One of the strengths of the techno area of electronica is the variety of sounds created and used in the music.  On the other hand, one of the weaknesses is that the music made using these sounds is often fairly uninteresting.  The focus is usually on rhythm with little concern for melody and almost no recognition that harmony even exists.  Moreover the rhythms used tend toward thudding repetition and an obsession with bpm rather than groove.  In other words,  it’s rhythm focused music that isn’t dance music and isn’t about writing songs.

 “VB&tMD” makes dance music with the sounds and timbres of techno and one of my first thoughts on listening to it was “it’s about time!”  By and large the tracks on  “VB&tMD” are fairly laid back with solid grooves and songs with easy-on-the-ears vocals.  Felix references a variety of different musical styles from the funk of “It’s Your Move” to the Human League-ish “Night Trippers”.  Album closer “The Future Calls the Dawn” uses a vocoderized mantra-like vocal that oscillates back and forth between the stereo channels to produce a smooth, floating rhythm that carries you nicely out of the album.  “Tweak” is the most techno oriented tune on the CD and it’s an object lesson in how to make dance music by combining utterly simple rhythms, metres and riffs with glitch electronica. 

There are a couple of brief spoken interludes on  “VB&tMD” that, as is usually he case with this kind of thing, probably sounded really hip to the producer but generally sound pointless to the listener.  However, one of them ends with the line “Pretty girls don’t dance, they just pose to techno.”  Not if they’re listening to  “VB&tMD” they don’t.  In fact, this CD grooves so well that if posing is the best she can do while it’s playing, it probably indicates that posing is what she’s all about.

Advertisements

01/01/2008 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

1 Comment »

  1. […] gruckli wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt“Tweak” is the most techno oriented tune on the CD and it’s an object lesson in how to make dance music by combining utterly simple rhythms, metres and riffs with glitch electronica. There are a couple of brief spoken interludes on … […]

    Pingback by Review: Felix Da Housecat, Virgo Blacktro & the Movie Disco-free and legal music downloads | 01/02/2008 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: