Everyone with even a passing interest in dance music has heard of Felix da Housecat: the man's a pioneer. In the three decades of his career as a turntable master, he's been at the forefront of second-wave Chicago house and set dancefloors alight across the world, and is now back in Beijing to show audiences just how a proper electro set is done. Nic 'Boflex' Shepherd caught up with Felix to talk dodgy vegetarianism, influences and how being in China is a bit like being one of the undead.
This isn't your first time to China, is it? What do you remember from your past experiences here?
When I came to China before it was very surreal, in a cool way. It’s wild, 'cause it's like you're a ghost. Y'know, I felt like I was a black ghost. But I can’t even remember when it was the last time I was here. I think it was like 2002. It must have been a good party if I blacked out and can’t remember it.
There have been a number of DJs and producers coming from the Footwork scene that have been through China in recent times. Seeing as Footwork is an offspring of Chicago House and you're a native of Chicago, has Footwork been influential in your life and/or musical work at all?
Not really, 'cause I was doing stuff before Footwork came around, and then I moved to England and was getting more influenced from the Techno and House culture over there. So, it hasn't influenced me, but I'm proud that it’s come from Chicago.
What's one of your current favorite tracks that we might hear in your DJ set on Friday night?
Man, I’m not saying this because it’s my track, and I’m not trying to promote it, but Moodyman did a remix for me and he doesn't remix nobody. It’s like the best remix I’ve heard in years. The track is Touch Your Body (video below; VPN required) and came out about a week ago.
While in China will you be taking any adventures into the world of Chinese cuisine?
Peking Duck! That’s my favorite; when they slice it up super thin and put it in those little pancakes. Y'know, my girl is a vegetarian, but I might have to cheat. She's got me on this plant based diet, and I’m flipping back and forth from vegan to vegetarian. But, y'know, when you’re a black man from the south side of Chicago, sometimes you've gotta cheat.
Even though fortune cookies are a Western invention and don’t exist in Chinese food culture, can you give us a fortune cookie style prediction for the gig on Friday night?
Your spiritual frequencies will be enlightened.
By Nic 'Boflex' Shepherd