VIKTER DUPLAIX – (Vikter Duplaix Mixtape)
Vikter Duplaix is a club musician specializing in romantic house music. Say what Kalamu, how you put “romantic” and “house” together? Well, that’s why I’m featuring Vikter. The easiest way to describe his music is drum heavy with smooth melodies floating on top of hot rhythms.
What I like most about Duplaix’s music is the variety both in terms of themes but also in terms of arrangements and especially in terms of the rhythm bottoms. Most club music, especially house music, is a numbing, constant thudding four on the floor beat. Duplaix doesn’t just sample a catchy rhythm or two, he builds whole songs around afro-latin and traditional African rhythms.
Additionally, Vikter has a knack for an imaginative use of electronic instruments. I wish more electronic music was as lyrical as Vikter’s songs. It’s not that he uses synthesizers and drum machines like they were acoustic instruments. No, Duplaix’s music is not meant to sound like acoustic music but it’s the mix of electronics with acoustic beats and a smooth vocal on top that makes this music work so well.
Occasionally there is a trombone, a trumpet, a saxophone, or even an acoustic piano, but mostly you are listening to drums (both acoustic and electronic) supporting lyrical elements (electronic instruments and the human voice). This is an attractive musical mix.
I especially dig the shifting textures, not only from one selection to another, but indeed, often within one song there will be tempo shifts or harmonic changes not normally heard in dance music. Of course, it’s all in service of providing a lush bed for Vikter’s romantic crooning.
Sexy singing is this guy’s middle name. Sometimes, such as “Stimulate,” “In The Middle Of You” or “Make A Baby,” Vikter sings in a style with which we are overly-familiar but a number of Duplaix love paeans, e.g. “Manhood” and “Fade It” are clever variants on old themes.
Indeed, “Manhood” is the epitome of a ying/yang approach to romantic music. The insistent beat, the electronic rhythm accents, the harmonic modulations, Duplaix’s sexy chants flowing like ribbons in the wind, it all adds up to a masterpiece of this kind of dance music.
But as good as his love songs are, I am more impressed by Duplaix’s investigations of life themes such as “City Spirits,” “Lust For Life,” “Reality,” and “What We Want.” These songs impress me because the majority of dance music tends toward the mindless end of the message spectrum. Would that more artist follow Duplaix’s path. As James Brown made clear decades ago, you can put anything over a hip beat, so why not put some hip ideas in the mix? Rather than only rely on rhythm and sex, Duplaix is actually offering life lessons and encouragement to all of us to commit ourselves to creating a better and more beautiful world.
It is also common to include guest artists, especially rappers doing a verse or two. “Morning Fun” features Common but he sounds only partially interested. Philadelphia-based spoken word artist Wadud, on the other hand, kills his contributions. Wadud has a thick, heavy voice; a performer’s sensitivity to pacing; and a poet’s attention to word choice, especially on the closing selection “Messages.”
Even if you’re not in to club music, I encourage you to give a listen. Rhythm, sound, love, life, that’s the Vikter Duplaix approach. I think you’ll dig it. I know I do.
—Kalamu ya Salaam
Vikter Duplaix Mixtape Playlist
01 “Together” - DJ Kicks
Singles: Prelude To The Future
05 “Holy Sounds”
06 “Reality (MAW remix)” - Reality
07 “A Life Worth Living” - Bold And Beautiful
08 “Looking For Love”
09 “Tropical Girl”
11 “Electric Love” - Electric Love [Single]
Bold And Beautiful
12 “Stimulation feat. Ms. Saigon”
13 “In The Middle Of You”
14 “Late Night Rendezvous” - International Affairs
15 “Manhood” – Singles: Prelude To The Future
16 “Morning Sun feat. Common” - For Players Only
Bold And Beautiful
17 “Make A Baby”
18 “Fade It”
19 “I'll Do It For You” - Singles: Prelude To The Future
Bold And Beautiful
20 “For Life”
21 “Another Great Love Gone By"
22 “City Spirtis” - Singles: Prelude To The Future
23 “I See The Sun feat. Tye Tribbett & G.A.” - Bold And Beautiful
24 “Lust for Life”
25 “What We Want”
26 “Messages (Feat. Wadud)” - Singles: Prelude To The Future
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 at 7:59 am and is filed under Contemporary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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