When the Scissor Sisters called a hiatus last Fall, guitarist DEL MARQUIS wasted no time scratching that solo itch… but little did he know that “itch” would turn into a “tickle.” Surfacing fresh in January 2013, Del emerged with a wealth of new songs that he had recorded for his debut solo album Slow Nights (set for release Spring 2013) – so many, in fact, that he isolated a few into a new six-song mixtape called TICKLE. With close friend and Boys Choir of Harlem alumnus XAVIER sharing vocal duties, Del decided to release it as a FREE download on his website here: www.delmarquis.com/tickle.
“I had more songs than were needed or that worked for a record and quite a few that Xavier and I had done together,” explains Del about the impetus behind releasing the mixtape. “These songs were perverted and uptempo, in contrast to the more serious style I was working on [for the album].” One of the songs they recorded was an oft-forgotten Jermaine Jackson disco gem, “Let Me Tickle Your Fancy”, and instead of the frustrating process of licensing of the song, they opted to use this as an excuse to give the mixtape away for free. “I could see the headache on the horizon,” he continues. “Around this same time, the Weeknd was putting out some great mixtapes, as well as Daley, so I could see mixtape culture could be something embraced and not just by the hiphop community.”
With Xavier’s come-hither, velvety vocals and instrumentation by Prince’s New Power Generation, Del delivered a collection of funky romps and bump and grinds. “We recorded ‘Let Me Tickle Your Fancy’ more for as fun for ourselves than anything else,” says Xavier. “It didn’t fit in with the other stuff on Del’s upcoming record, so we decided to wrap a bunch of other songs around it and make a mixtape. There’s even a ‘lost version’ with Del on lead vocal he probably won’t tell you about,” he snickers. The accompanying NSFW video (which PAPER Magazine exclusively premiered here recently) is a raunch-fest of gay voyeurism and tongue-in-cheek hilarity. “The video is icing sprayed all over the cake of this song,” Del laughs. “It looks exactly how the song sounds. It reminds me of a cross between watching [NYC’s infamous amateur stripper program] The Robin Bird Show mixed with movies like Evil Dead and Saturday morning cartoons.”
The mixtape include the funky dance track “Say Ooh Damn” which Idolator describes, “At first, it sounds like a Scissor Sisters cut. And, duh — Del spent a decade playing with the band, so that’s only natural. But give it another spin, and suddenly everything falls into place upon finding out he recorded the groove with the New Power Generation.” (Idolator premiered the track here). Kick Kick Snare (which premiered the Prince Vince remix of “Let Me Tickle Your Fancy” here) called Tickle “an unexpected collection of high energy funk, sexy base lines and playful R&B. Each track will attach itself to your hips and force them to move like they had a mind of their very own.”
With a new album out this Spring, Del and Xavier are hoping this mixtape will be the perfect precursor to the new music he is gearing up to release. If anything, it serves as a great taster for what he has in store. “Finding lost gems is as important as finding great new releases,” he says about his mixtape. “It was recorded without taking it seriously, but sounded great in the end.”