November 22, 2007

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Felix Da Housecat, Virgo Blaktro
Nettwerk Records, Oct. 2
David Guetta, Pop Life
Ultra Records, (U.S.) Nov. 13
While brainstorming his third artist record, Felix Da Housecat was keen to distance himself from his own rep as Acclaimed Remixer of White People Tunes (he’s done Gwen Stefani, Britney, Madonna, ad nauseum) and work with black folks, toward a “roots thing, not a color thing.” To a great extent he’s accomplished that, but he’s got a Chemical Brothers/Daft Punk monkey on his back if going by “Radio,” which seems the most obvious direct-to-video hit, with its unorthodox but enchanting soft-sung hook, harpsichord sweep and, duh, song title. “Like Something for Porno” is his proffered lead single, easygoing ’70s disco buoyed by a Smoky Robinson falsetto and toned-down rave-crowd woo-woo-ing. Actually, make that a major emphasis on the toned-down part, since there’s a lot of familiar jacuzzi-chill ground covered here; entry track “Moviedisco” is a gloomed-down hit of ’80s vocoder that sounds like the first thing he wrote after “Walk With Me.” “Monkey Cage” is a minimal house groove that’ll probably soon be at the top of every respectable DJ crate.

French spin-meister David Guetta’s also at his third all-original full-length, but don’t expect subtlety from a guy whose DJ mixes are all titled “F*** Me I’m Famous” — his idea of a changeup in this sweaty heap of feather-boa-and-cop-outfit-disco is a Judas Priest-like guitar line (“Winner of the Game”). “Baby When the Light” is anxious old-school Detroit house with a power-drill bass line, “You’re Not Alone” acidic noise-stomp exploiting a bee-stung chick. Not everything about the ’70s was pure disco to Guetta, though; “Love is Gone” is like Little River Band with a MIDI accordion trying to throw together a Frankie Goes to Hollywood B-side. Felix Da Housecat: A- David Guetta: BEric W. Saeger