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This weekend I’m mostly listening to… Felix Da Housecat, Kittenz and Thee Glitz January 25, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Uncategorized.
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I first picked this up in 2001. I’d been very slightly intrigued by electroclash, the revoltingly pretentious electronic/dance variant that appeared around that time (often they only played in art galleries indeed (natch) ). I hadn’t realised when I found it that Felix Da Housecat was part of that sub-genre. Perhaps I should have. In any case seeing as he was it’s worth noting that his work was vastly superior to that of his peers.

One might attribute that to many reasons but foremost amongst them was probably the fact that – unlike the truly awful Fischerspooner, their only saving grace being that they had the good taste to cover Wire – he could write tunes. Dance tunes at that. Sure, dance tunes consisting of an European hauteur powered by Kraftwerk like synths and sequencers and a most un-European splash of west coast, Hollywood glamour. But recognisably tunes nonetheless.

Moreover he managed to rope in pretty good collaborators, including Miss Kitten and others who could deliver lines like the following as if they actually meant something:

Sweet seduction in a magazine,
endless pleasure in a limousine,
in the back shakes a tambourine,
Nicotine from a silver screen

Then there was the look of the package. FDH invited us into a world that was framed by faux-gossip magazine graphics on the CD sleeve. The illusion that he might just live in a more interesting world of fashion and dance and curious drugs was sustained by the same sort of aesthetic which had underpinned Roxy and others in their day. That – for many of us – this illusion was/is well-worn was/is beside the point. A clever trick is a clever trick, however many times it is played.

And with that was a sense of humour. FDH wasn’t taking this too seriously. But he was enjoying every minute of it. And why shouldn’t he?

Listening to it again after a break of a good half decade I have to admit it’s good. And the little filler instrumentals are fabulous, coming on with all the enthusiasm and faux-sophistication of Duran Duran’s first album – when they were top.

I got his last album and didn’t enjoy it as much. The music was great but the lyrical focus was still concentrated on fame…etc, etc. Still good, but not quite as great. So maybe the clever trick does play out eventually? Or maybe it’s necessary to find new ways to frame it…

Anyway, here are some tracks for your consideration.

Harlot [Extended Mix]

Silver Screen Shower Scene

Comments»

1. Starkadder - January 25, 2009

Interesting that a lot of good acts that might have fallen into the
electro-clash genre-Goldfrapp and Scissor Sisters-came too late to
save the genre’s reputation. I still have a soft spot for
the electro-clast album Tok Tok Versus Soffy O released.

I also love the re-mix Felix did for Dot Allison.

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2. WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2009

I’d completely agree Starkadder. On paper it seemed such a great idea, but in practice at that point in time it didn’t – at least to my ears – quite work out (and what you say about Scissor Sisters and Goldfrapp makes sense, and not just them by a long shot). I still have that pink plastic electroclash sampler which has some pretty good tracks on it.

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3. Starkadder - January 25, 2009

For a more interesting modern album that’s 80s-inspired, you could
try Ladyhawke’s eponymous debut album. I thought it was a very
good album, with echoes of Depeche Mode and ZTT-era Trevor Horn.

But this does raise the question: have modern pop & rock musicians
run out of new sounds to use? 😦

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4. WorldbyStorm - January 25, 2009

I seriously hope not.

Haven’t heard the Ladyhawke album, thanks for the tip…

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5. Starkadder - February 1, 2009

LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip also sound a little electro-clashy
to me.

As an aside, I was really disappointed when Channel 6 dropped
“Night Shift” after TV3 took them over. It was a good alt-rock program,
and Michelle Doherty was fairly easy on the eye. 😦

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6. This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Covenant « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - May 9, 2009

[…] (although I must give a free pass to Felix Da Housecat, whose Kitten and Thee Glitz album as noted here is a synthpop […]

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7. This Weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Zoot Woman « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - November 13, 2010

[…] time ago I referenced Felix Da Housecat in the This Weekend I’ll be… slot and in a way Zoot Woman are kindred spirits. Both were associated with the deeply flawed […]

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8. This Weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Zoot Woman « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - November 13, 2010

[…] by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to…. trackback Some time ago I referenced Felix Da Housecat in the This Weekend I’ll be… slot and in a way Zoot Woman are kindred spirits. Both were associated with the deeply flawed […]

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