MR V with BARRIO LAB, TIO LUIS, ALVARO C, JOE RIZLA and more at Revival (783 College), Friday (June 1). www.quadrasonic.com Rating: NNNNN
If Mr V (aka Victor Font) keeps up his current pace, he'll end up having worked every job available in underground dance music.
After starting out doing the lights at clubs, he hooked up with Louie Vega, who made him an intern and then his and Masters at Work partner Kenny Dope's assistant.
Travelling the world with them and seeing the impact of house beyond New York City convinced Font to pursue DJing. As the story often goes, DJing leads to production and production to starting a label. As well, Font's become one of the few MCs in house music, although he claims the inspiration was born more out of circumstance than design.
"Basically, it came from just hosting parties, man, and getting used to being on the mic," a groggy Font recalls from a UK hotel room. "When it came to recording, we couldn't afford singers, so I took on the vocals. Great way to save money."
It didn't all happen by chance, though. Font is quite aware of the divergent paths house music and hiphop have taken. The last time there was so much rapping on a house beat was back in the late 80s when the hiphouse fad surged and died.
"I was a huge fan of that stuff. That's basically where I got the basis to do what I do. I always wanted to bring it back and always thought that was the best way to communicate with the next generation that's into hiphop now."
His brand new full-length album, Welcome Home, collects his inspired alternate-reality hiphouse singles with a bunch of unreleased material, much of which ventures into straight-up hiphop.
His label, Sole Channel, back up and running again after getting tied up with distributor issues, is slated to release three discs spanning a variety of takes on urban music over the next month.
Though Font can be a fairly eclectic DJ, he doesn't mind taking the crowd where they want to go when the situation seems to demand it. Of course, reading the minds of a mass of partiers isn't the simplest task. (Insert crack about brain-dead dance music fanatics.)
"When I first start a vibe, I'll play different styles of records and look at the crowd to see which grips them more. I tend to stick to that until it's time for me to branch out and play whatever I feel. If you give them what they want first, you can do whatever you want after."