Kittenz and Thee Glitz

Kittenz and Thee Glitz

by Felix da Housecat
     
 

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It seemed like only a full-on '80s concept album by a top Chicago house DJ could shake the Basement Jaxx and Outkast from club spinners' hit lists in 2001, so that's just what Felix Stallings did. The disc that walked off with dance bible Muzik magazine's Album of the Year is an ingratiating mix of raw

Overview

It seemed like only a full-on '80s concept album by a top Chicago house DJ could shake the Basement Jaxx and Outkast from club spinners' hit lists in 2001, so that's just what Felix Stallings did. The disc that walked off with dance bible Muzik magazine's Album of the Year is an ingratiating mix of raw house and Reagan-era sonics, something along the lines of a John Hughes soundtrack as interpreted by Green Velvet. That's the explicit formula behind the club hit "Silver Screen Shower Scene," which wraps a pile-driving rhythm track in percolating synthesizers and a deadpan Euro rap from Swiss vocalist Miss Kittin. But other tracks find da Housecat more subtle in his evocations of Thee '80s Glitz. "What Does It Feel Like," also featuring Miss Kittin, marries a bouncy bass line out of the E.S.G. book with some 2-step beats, and the evocative "Pray for a Star" captures the chill of Hi-NRG balladry, thanks to the soulful croon of Harrison Crump over a tinny rhythm box and analog synths. The Arthur Baker vibe continues on "Sequel2Sub," where handclaps and echo-y house piano paint a harrowing scene that could be straight out of Less than Zero. Orchestrated in Chicago and Geneva by Swiss locals and da Housecat's regulars, Kittenz and Thee Glitz trades in the eclectic approach of house's most lauded fusioneers for the elegance of a single concept, flawlessly executed. Without succumbing to any of the Swiss cheese around him, Felix da Housecat carves a whole new block of house territory.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Kittenz and thee Glitz is the second concept album from Felix da Housecat, the intrepid Chicago house producer behind 1999's excellent I Know Elektrikboy (released as Maddkatt Courtship). For this one Felix moved from dance culture to sex culture, recruiting a bevy of detached, vaguely European-sounding female vocals (including starlet Miss Kittin) and producing a dozen songs on self-explanatory themes, like the 90210-dropping "Madame Hollywood." Though it doesn't have the astonishing musical range of I Know Elektrikboy, Kittenz and the Glitz is just as fun, from the mindless sing-alongs, one-finger synthesizer melodies, and '80s electro disco sheen of "Happy Hour," "Glitz Rock," and "Silver Screen (Shower Scene)" (though the last sounds more reminiscent of the Cars than Cerrone). For "Control Freaq," a promising production soundclash with Junior Sanchez proves frustratingly short, and the handful of short vignettes also impede the flow. Da Housecat can't be stopped, though; Kittenz and thee Glitz is an amusing ride through a similarly addled mind as glimpsed by hip-hop auteurs like the Automator and Prince Paul.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/22/2002
Label:
Emperor Norton
UPC:
0607217704723
catalogNumber:
7047

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