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Philly’s soul hipsters are the Delta Force of the urban-music nation: They’re quietly omnipresent as they secure funky coalitions and build better grooves where the local material isn’t so sturdy. Jay-Z knows: When the New York stud needed a backup band for his Unplugged appearance, he choose the Roots as his personal battle group. And though Philly’s many artists don’t have to deal with as much invading Eurotrash as some of their East Coast counterparts, the City of Brotherly Love’s talent pool is war-hardened—mainly by its fans, who sometimes take on the abrasive tenacity of the town’s infamous sports lovers. In this atmosphere, producer-spinner-singer-songwriter Vikter Duplaix has been reared as a Special Ops beatmaster: Duplaix’s forte is finding the rhythmic potential in otherwise pedestrian house and neo-soul tracks. And his latest disc—recorded for !K7 Records’ DJ Kicks series—proves that a little contrast can go a long way toward making the stuff interesting beyond the world of expensive cocktails and belly-baring dresses. Credit Duplaix’s musical upbringing for his talent. He broke into the biz with DJ Jazzy Jeff and soul legend Kenny Gamble, before moving in the same circles as Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo, Jamiroquai, and Common. There apparently have been some rhythmic pointers from Roots drummer ?uestlove, too—as even the frothiest of house cuts on Duplaix’s DJ Kicks have forceful undercurrents of snares and exotic percussion. The disc’s message comes quicker than you can say “Fela Anikulapo Kuti”: Bass is passe. Philly’s alpha teams bring the drums. The beating begins at 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, at Club 5, 1214-B 18th St. NW. $10. (202) 331-7123. (Joe Warminsky)