gullbuy music review



Thee Underground Made Me Do It


Clashbackk Recordings


Aphrohead CD coverFelix Da Housecat's second album as Aphrohead is his first major new release since his highly successful 'Kittenz & Thee Glitz' LP. True, the 'Rocketmann!' and 'Metropolis' discs came out last year, but both of them featured older material. 'Thee Underground Made Me Do It' is all new.

There is very little information on the sleeve of the record. There is no mention of any star power collaborations, such as his use of Miss Kittin on the 'Kittenz & Thee Glitz' LP. If you follow the link to Aphrohead's discography (at the top of this page) you will find that Felix da Housecat has released many many 12inch records under various names. This new Aphrohead album follows Felix's path as closely as ever, just at a higher profile due to his success in the last two years.

  1. The album starts off with the title track, The Underground Made Me Do It. It is a statement of intent, with Felix talking about how he makes his music while an electronic rhythm pulses below. He talks about recording without a big studio, and "using no filters, no samples," saying "we work this out of our cribs, no fancy studios, no million dollar budgets, no contracts, no concepts." The piece is a good intro to the record, but it is not a piece of the dynamite this album eventually holds.
  2. Kazoo is an instrumental that starts the sound that this record really has: that of italodisco. A current band from Italy which I think of when listening to this record is Tutto Matto.
  3. Liquid Kitty recalls a track on the 'Erotic Holiday' CD which DJ Me DJ You sold through their web site. It has a recording of a girl describing how she practices "exploring the ecstasy of touch." She graphically describes her practice techniques over Felix's music. Liquid Kitty seems like a novelty track that you won't want to listen to over again, especially with its explicit content.
  4. Body Stronger is vocal disco like Tutto Matto record. There are female vocals, though the beat is the main focus of the cut.
  5. Groove Train uses a train horn and the sound of a train running over railroad tracks. It is the first of my favorites from the record.
  6. Mornin' in Mexico is my favorite track. It is female vocal disco like Body Stronger, only the lyric is much more up front and sticks in your head. Whenever I listen to this song I think of the Fantastic Plastic Machine song Paragon2 from the 'Contact' record (a Japanese only remix of his 'Beautiful' LP that is well worth buying). Mornin' in Mexico is the acid test to determine if you will like this record. 'Thee Underground Made Me Do It' does not have the rock sensibility that made 'Kittenz & Thee Glitz' so easy for so many to digest. On this record, if the word 'disco' scares you, you probably won't find much to enjoy.
  7. I Know You're It has wah-wah guitar and an old school feel to it. Like Body Stronger, there is a female vocal, but it is only featured as an element of the music, not as a centerpoint. The beat takes THAT place, and makes this one of my fave cuts on the record.
  8. Love Your Enemy has an Afro-beat feel to it. It is an instrumental with a very strong rhythmic element.
  9. Days of Phuture '96 is an instrumental with a whopping 4/4 beat and a Giorgio Moroder derivative synth. I'm not crazy for the track.
  10. Enter Lite, Exit Nite is the first song since the opening track that Felix talks on (Felix never "sings"). He says "enter the the light" and a female voice says "exit night." The song uses a tribal beat, the dueling lyrics, and nifty production techniques to capture tension and your attention. It is a good track, and one of my faves.
  11. Cry Baby has a Funkadelic feel to it in the music, and an Afro-beat feel in the female vocal saying simply "na,na,na,na,na." This song is also one of my faves.
  12. Pianoman is an instrumental that uses electric piano. It is funky, but it is not that distinctive to me.
  13. The record closes out with Tri-Beka. The idea is the same as the Liquid Kitty track earlier in the record, but this time the sampled talking is lovable by anyone: MLK. A famous Martin Luther King Speech runs underneath Felix's music. The track works well with each element in balance of the other.

I like six of the thirteen tracks on 'Thee Underground Made Me Do It.' If you like party music and the current disco sounds appearing everywhere, this record is a solid buy for you.

---Carl, April 29, 2003