It takes a lot to get house legend and electroclash innovator Felix Da Housecat to come out for a DJ set. As an adored DJ and producer, he’s already been to all of the best parties; hell, he’s DJed for most of them.
“For me to be a DJ [and show up], it'd have to be a killer event- the only DJs that I think could get me out are probably Marco Carola, Honey Dijon, or Derrick Carter,” Felix says before mentioning fellow DJ-producer Damian Lazarus. According to Felix, Get Lost — Lazarus’ long-running and renowned Miami Music Week gathering – is one occasion he doesn’t need to be sold on.
“[Get Lost] has that late 80s, early 90s organic rave culture feel where you don't even know where it's going to be, and it's exciting. And once you know and then all your friends from all over the world show up, it becomes a rave that doesn't shut down and it goes for hours and is just a vibe,” Felix says, with passion noticeably picking up in his voice.
“With all of his friends and the people he knows, he was able to make it like a community organically. I think he's been successful with it because he puts the music and the people first. And you can see it in his passion when he plays, and that radiates on people.”
Felix will join Lazarus and many other artists at the 13th session of Get Lost this Saturday, March 24, at a yet-to-be-disclosed location. This will mark Felix’s third round behind the decks at Get Lost and is the latest in a lengthy series of developments in his and Lazarus’ relationship. Felix first met Lazarus when he and Phil Howells — “the two-headed monster, in a good way!” Felix quips — signed the Housecat to Howells’ City Rockers label in 2000.
“I knew Damian before he made the transition to grand wizard,” Felix says with a laugh. “He is that dude, you know. He has that organic vibe where he could take the whole scene and transcend it to something more than money or music.”
Although Felix has released music through Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels label – his 2015 LP under his Aphrohead moniker, Resurrection, comes to mind – Felix currently has his hands full with his own record label to manage. Founded just last year, the Founders of Filth label has kept Felix working at a prodigious pace, having already released five compilations with other artists as well as re-issuing selections from his extensive back catalogue. In Felix’s own words, his recent move to Montreal has been inspiring for him creatively.
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“My lady [Founders of Filth artist and creative partner Blakk Hazel] put me on with Tiga’s engineers and studios. It was sort of startin’ over, like a rebirth,” Felix says. “With Founders of Filth, I'm trying to bring that spirit back of that hands-on, organic vinyl feel. It's like a community, it's not based around a DJ or a producer; we're like a Wu-Tang in Montreal!”
Among his collaborators are Montreal artist Clarian, as well as the patron saint of house vocals himself, Jamie Principle. Felix’s simultaneous stewardship of new artists and mindfulness of the past is a fitting turn for the artist, having begun his extensive career as a protégé of acid house pioneer DJ Pierre in Chicago. For Felix it’s all about adapting, something he’s proved adept at time and again.
“I know how to adapt to make it work. The hustle stays the same; you just bring that hustle back from the dead, and you just put it into what you need now to be able to get that frequency and that vibration out to everyone.”
Rukus Showcase. With Eats Everything, Matador, Felix da Housecat, Patrice Baumel, and others. 11 p.m. Friday, March 23, at Heart, 50 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-912-3099; heartnightclub.com. Tickets cost $25 to $35 via tickets.heartnightclub.com.
Get Lost 2018. 5 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at a location to be announced. Tickets cost $75 to $200 via residentadvisor.net.