Vikter Duplaix is a phenomenon. Between futuristic visions of sound and a sense for musical traditions the producer, singer and DJ from Philadelphia is bridging gaps like no other. Duplaix musically blends an optimism for the future with the wisdom of the past. He mixes this altogether into any kind of groove music, handling his heavy task relaxed, laid back – the easy way. No doubt, the future belongs to Vikter Duplaix.
Today, before we step any further let’s take a short look back: At age 18 Vikter Duplaix started his career as a producer at the studio of DJ Jazzy Jeff – shortly after that he leaves to pursue his own path. With his diverse talents he collaborates with Erykah Badu, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Eric Ben√©t, Lauryn Hill, Jazzanova and many others, mixing, producing and writing songs. Kenny Gamble who, as one part of the production team Gamble/Huff, shaped the original Philly Sound with bands like the Intruders or the Delfonics, takes him on board at his hit-factory soon after. But Duplaix can’t rest, he has to move on. That’s how he advances to the peak of the New Philly Sound Movement, in the best of company – Jill Scott, Ursula Rucker and The Roots.
With his 12" "Messages", the multi talented creative stepped out of the small print of the liner notes. Originally, he produced the song to test new studio equipment but the tune soon caught attention and became an international club hit. With follow ups such as "Manhood" and "Sensuality", he consequently established himself as a solo artist. His matchless skills combining soul, house, jazz, electronica into a seamless new thing (whether in the studio or as a club DJ) saw him contribute to the highly acclaimed DJ Kicks series. In 2002, Vikter Duplaix’s debut "International Affairs" hit the streets, presenting a musical love affair that included changing partners such as hip hop, nu soul or funky Latin grooves.
But that was yesterday, and it’s only a prelude to a bright morning: With his new collection "Singles – Prelude to the Future", Vikter Duplaix presents obscure b-sides, remixes and rarities that represent an unique sound. Vikter Duplaix strolls between luscious pop, hot r’n’b, elegant chill out sounds and a never ending groove. His heart beats a Breakbeat rhythm: nested, syncopated, complex but with the simplicity of the afro American tradition, which Duplaix, as a percussionist has inhaled deeply.
The sound of Vikter Duplaix is of flesh and blood. "Sensuality" is the magic word: While his rhythmic patterns are abstract, there is no cyborg dancing here as is fashionable amongst the standardised industrially produced r’n’b. When Duplaix is booting his Mac, things get physical.
But Duplaix is not only a smart seducer who opens up hearts with his soft timbre, as the song "Messages" illustrates. Recorded with the spoken word artist Wadud, it’s a philosophical pleading for non verbal communication through music as it would be understood outside the known universe. When the fine spun fabric of melodies gets woven together by polyryhthmic percussion patterns in a track like "Galaxy" one thing is clear: "Let us fly away!" on board "The message of love". It’s in the pulsing beats of "That Night", the reduced, yet uprising strings of "I’ll do it for you" or the greatly instrumented keys figure of "City Spirits".
When the future sounds like Vikter Duplaix, there’s a reason to dance into the tomorrow. Whether in the club or on the sofa: "There’s so much to explore."