The Underground Made Me Do It

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"You can't get no rawer than this." Felix da Housecat spends four minutes in a vocal introduction to his third Aphrohead full-length, but then backs it up with 13 solid examples of track-oriented, rarely embellished Chicago house. (As usual with Aphrohead LPs, many of these had been in the 12" racks for years.) Though much of the record has the disco throwback feel of his Detroit soul brother Moodymann, Felix does make allowances for fans of his success with Kittenz and Thee Glitz. The extended vocal sample on "Liquid Kitty" outdoes his own "Silver Screen (Shower Scene)" for explicit content, and "Kazoo" has an electroclash grind to it, with distorted guitar effects and a prominent rock beat. Elsewhere, Aphrohead spends much time in stark acid house territory ("Enter Lite, Exit Nite," "Days of the Phuture '96," "Tri-Beka"), gloriously remakes Babe Ruth's "The Mexican" into "Mornin' in Mexico," and indulges in a note-perfect Detroit track ("Pianoman"). Appropriately for an underground record, Thee Underground Made Me Do It works better for DJs and dancefloors than homebodies and headphones, but there's plenty of Felix's trademark production finesse to be found.

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