Recorded at Copeland's old practice space in South Williamsburg, Black Bubblegum contains songs with more conventional sounds and songwriting than any of his previous releases. While there are similarities with Copeland's earlier work in the drum patterns, major scales and vocals, Black Bubblegum moves away from his trademark psychedelic dub towards strange and fantastical pop; imagine Arthur Russell going into the studio with the Ramones. Wanting to take a more "hands-on" approach to these recordings, Copeland exchanged sample-driven tech and hardware for keyboards, guitars and effect pedals, creating a new sound that is oddly easy to digest despite its rejection of melody in favour of discord and dissonance. Eric Copeland has been sound clashing at full volume for over twenty years, first carving out a named for himself as one third of the legendary NY-via-Providence band Black Dice. A wildly prolific solo artist, Copeland has played shit houses, party palaces and seemingly everything in between all over the world. A long time Brooklyn, resident, Eric recently relocated to where the L Train does not run - Palma de Mallorca, Spain. While maintaining a relatively humble and low key presence in a highly competitive musical world, he has releases a prolific amount of music every year through indie labels such as L.I.E.S., Escho (Iceage), PPM (No Age), Paw Tracks (Animal Collective) and DFA.
Factory Floor return in 2016 with 25 25, their second album and the follow up to their acclaimed 2013 self-titled debut. With their music stripped to a mesmerizing dance of percussion, fragmented voice and melody, it captures the next vital stage in the evolution of one of the UK’s most restless and exploratory groups. The dazzlingly sharp, dubbed-out acid disco of ‘Meet Me At The End’ opens 25 25 in a surge of raw momentum. Both Factory Floor’s sparsest and most overtly club-centered track to date, it sets the tone for the rest of the album. Written and recorded by Gabriel Gurnsey and Nik Colk Void in late 2015 and early 2016, it’s the product of the last three years of intensive musical activity — nonstop live performances, artistic collaborations, writing new music and reconfiguring the limits of their sound. Inspired by playing a growing number of late night club shows, the pair’s music gradually evolved into the sound captured on their second album and in their current live incarnation: a stark, ultra-minimalist and eerily soulful dancefloor pulse, yet one that still bears Factory Floor’s unmistakable hallmarks of hypnotic repetition and jagged, punkish intensity. That their second album is as distinct from its predecessor as their debut was from their earliest singles is unsurprising — a desire to explore, to push their own boundaries, is hardwired into Factory Floor at DNA level. Emerging in 2009 the group gained a reputation for their stunning live shows, which pummeled audiences with waves of electro-shocked rhythm. From the death-rattle of early single ‘A Wooden Box’ through their debut’s convulsive singles ‘Two Different Ways’ and ‘Fall Back’ and into 25 25’s skeletal ‘Wave’ and ‘Dial Me In’, their music has continued to forge links between industrial, post-punk and the UK’s post-acid house dance lineages. The close friendships and collaborations they’ve established along the way attest to those connections, among them Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti of Throbbing Gristle/Chris & Cosey, Perc, Optimo, New Order and Simon Fisher Turner. Mixed with razor precision by David Wrench (FKA Twigs, Caribou), the results are all the more forceful for that newfound space. ‘Relay’ is a spooked vocal house anthem, with Void’s voice processed into a thrillingly metallic chant. ‘Wave’ and ‘Slow Listen’ are deadly, perpetual motion machine dance tracks infused with the frontier spirit of Sheffield bleep and industrial techno. And the title track itself sums up the duo in 2016; its jarring repetitions and disorienting melodic motifs are somehow classic Factory Floor, yet shot into sparse, strangely moving new spaces. “You get into your own world and use your own vision,” says Void of the process of writing 25 25. “This really is probably the most ‘me’ record that I’ve ever done.”
The new EP Crime Cutz is the first new original Holy Ghost! music since the NYC-based duo of Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel released their sophomore album 2013’s Dynamics. As with most of their catalog, “Crime Cutz” benefits from Holy Ghost!’s insistence on tactile instrumentation with live drums recorded over the track to accelerate its tempo. The duo are quite methodical in their output—shimmering bursts of disco, synth-pop, and lingering grooves—but that doesn’t mean Holy Ghost! is not prodigious. Over nearly a decade, they have gone from being DFA’s rising sons to triple threats: indefatigable DJs, producers remixing new life into the work of Cut Copy and Katy Perry alike, and inventive musicians who’ve released countless original singles. They’re again adding to their thinking-man’s dance repertoire with the vibrant Crime Cutz EP out on DFA Records.
We found the parts to this long-out-of-print LCD Soundsystem 7"! You may know these two guitar jams from the bonus disc of their 2005 Self-Titled LP.
Sold Out - $14.99
After a handful of name making dance-punk singles on DFA Records, producer and label co-founder James Murphy issued the eponymous full-length debut under the LCD Soundsystem banner in 2005. Three of those ubiquitous preceeding singles - "Movement," "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" and "Disco Infiltrator" - also appear on the album while the track "Tribulations" was released as it's lead single. The record’s credits have Murphy on most sounds with future frequent collaborators Tim Goldsworthy (MoWax), Eric Broucek, Tyler Pope, Nancy Whang, Patrick Mahoney and Mandy Coon also making contributions. All songs were written by Murphy, with the exception of “Yeah” and “Beat Connection” written by Murphy and Goldsworthy and “Tired” by Murphy and Mahoney. Showing that he was more than just a singles/remix machine, LCD Soundsystem's well received debut received critical accolades across the board and was nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album.
Of the many arresting moments that fill LCD Soundsystem's This Is Happening, perhaps the most unexpected comes less than halfway through album opener "Dance Yrself Clean." The seemingly unassuming, low-key rumble of a song morphs from its mumbled beginnings into an outsized flash of synth ballast and wailing vocals. The sudden shift is like the flicking on of a light, the perfect example of frontman-songwriter-mastermind James Murphy's effortless balance of restraint and release, organic rock and electro pop, and muted cool and vibrant emotion. This study in contrasts pervades LCD Soundsystem's third, and possibly final, release--an album where Murphy refracts images of heartbreak and longing through the scattered light of a disco ball. The cautious observations and honest reveals that follow are literally and figuratively quieter moments than that initial blare. On "All I Want," against a wall of whirling guitar, Murphy recognizes a relationship that can't be saved, and instead asks for "your pity" and "your bitter tears." "Get Along" shuffles over pulsing keys and bubbling percussion as Murphy tries to bridge physical and emotional distance, singing, "You might forget, forget the sound of a voice / Still, you shouldn't forget the things we laughed about." Conversely, the sparsely decorated, sauntering "Somebody's Calling Me" is almost hopeful in comparison: "Somebody's calling me" Murphy half whispers, "to be my girl." There are stretches of lyrical levity here, too. "You Wanted a Hit," which sits atop shiny synths, a driving bass-line and layers of handclaps, laments record label demands on what turns out to be one of the album's hookiest tracks. "Pow Pow" veers toward past "talkies" like "Losing My Edge," and features keyboardist Nancy Whang shouting in unison with Murphy. With This Is Happening, Murphy has created a work of both nuanced introspection and distanced observation. DFA is proud to offer the vinyl version of this much lauded release, which also includes contributions from drummer Pat Mahoney and sound collagist Gavin Russom.
Far from the typical difficult sophomore release that some might have expected, Sound Of Silver took the LCD Soundsystem we knew and loved and unveiled their rebirth as a great pop band. Here, repetitive percussion, towering walls of sound, driven melodies, lyrical hooks and occasional abstract and detailed string orchestration combine to create a sound like no other. From the crushing barrage of first single "North American Scum" to the lounge piano of epic closer and twisted love ode to James Murphy's hometown "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" to the cascading harmonics of "Someone Great" and the title track, Sound of Silver marks the true emergence of an artist to be reckoned with and the definitive sound of LCD Soundsystem. Sound Of Silver became the single most critically acclaimed record of 2007, voted #1 in the Pazz & Jop critics’ poll published annually in the Village Voice and was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008 for the Best Dance/Electronic Album.
2003 DFA Records Compilation Available on Vinyl for the First Time! The CD release of DFA Records Compilation #1 came out in days of yore, when the iTunes store did not exist, when iPods were more coveted than your phone. The only way to hear the first batch of singles DFA released was to seek out the vinyl and lots of people did. This magical mythical first group of releases from DFA included "House of Jealous Lovers" by The Rapture, "Losing My Edge" and "Give It Up" by LCD Soundsystem. It also included two very different approaches to dance music from The Juan Maclean - "By The Time I Get To Venus" and "You Can't Have It Both Ways," which subtly introduced the world to the vocal powers of Nancy Whang. Black Dice also released a 12" single, throwing their noise roots behind a 4/4 screech and created one of the most unique singles in the DFA catalog with "Cone Toaster." The compilation was edited to fit onto one CD, more a sampler than a completist's anthology. In hindsight, it should have been an anthology of the first 5 singles in full but the A sides had enough momentum happening to make the sampler a bonafide success for the label. The 8.0 review from Pitchfork in 2003 helped cement the DFA label as both the leaders of a new production approach, as well as a collection of artists who could co-exist make music together and please both the discerning DJ and the indie rock enthusiasts. In the review, the writer Nick Sylvester calls DFA "The Neptunes of the discopunk underground," which maybe seems funny and far-fetched now, but back in 2003 was a compliment and comparison that DFA were very willing to accept. It is now 2016 and both parties continue to work and stay busy and relevant. Success being relative, this compilation represents the humble beginnings of the label and the birth / re-birth of DFA flagship artists The Rapture, The Juan Maclean, LCD Soundsystem and Black Dice. This is the first time this title has ever been pressed to vinyl.
Recorded in Marfa, Texas, YACHT's See Mystery Lights is an intimate party record that was captured in widescreen Technicolor. Singles include Summer Song and the sublimely catchy Psychic City, mixing electro and post punk rhythms seamlessly. Jona Bechtolt - founding member of YACHT, former member of the Blow - is a huge talent, something that may not have been readily apparent on any of his three previous LPs. Those albums, created largely as solo endeavors, will not have prepared listeners for See Mystery Lights. Now an official partnership between Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans, who performed on several songs on 2007's I Believe In You, Your Magic Is Real, YACHT finally feel like a full-fledged band with direction and vision, particularly given the added weight (or rather, levity) of Evans' influence. The songs on See Mystery Lights - from the bouncy, burbling you-can't-take-it-with-you screed The Afterlife (which plays like a less spastic companion piece to the Mae Shi's Run to Your Grave) to the roller rink-ready vocoder vocals of I'm In Love With a Ripper - represent YACHT at their most poppy. It's a collection of stone jams that finds the band finally as hellbent on experimenting and expanding the boundaries of its sonic scope as it is on having fun. Built on electronic foundations - laser effects, skittering computerized beats, and spacey synth lines (or guitar riffs that have been tuned or distorted to sound like synths) - these new songs are giddy with creative freedom while remaining tethered in service of their melodies. The vocal melodies are bright and buoyant, but delivered (by either band member, or in unison) in a chanted, oftentimes detached monotone that plays up the repetitive lyrics' mantra-like feel and adds a welcome undercurrent of slacker cool to their otherwise sugary optimism. See Mystery Lights also marks the first time that YACHT are recording for DFA. Normally a label-change wouldn't be notable, as it is usually less an indicator of artistic choices than it is of financial or business ones, but moving to a label with such a distinctive aesthetic may be enough for many to reconsider their work. YACHT themselves created the track Summer Song as an homage to LCD Soundsystem, and LCD/DFA leader James Murphy liked it enough to release it on his label. It's no wonder that Murphy was smitten; the track, which also appears on the full-length, echoes the deadpan vocal delivery and burbling 80s krautrock synths of his own band, as well as cowbell-and-handclap percussion ripped from the Rapture's House of Jealous Lovers, one of DFA's biggest singles. Even other tracks on the collection - ones that weren't written specifically in homage to Murphy - can't help but sound influenced by him. Case in point: We Have All We've Ever Wanted, with its minimalist dance beat, heavy bass, and Bechtolt's dry, talky delivery, recalls Losing My Edge, albeit with a lighthearted, anthemic chorus. Still, while YACHT clearly share influences with Murphy's gang (Eno, Ferry, Neu!, ESG, etc.), their positive, futuristic jams actually sound most closely related to Tom Tom Club. Perhaps that's because, like Tom Tom Club's first self-titled album, which was recorded in Barbados, See Mystery Lights was recorded in a sunny, faraway locale - in this case, far from the band's native rainy Portland, Oregon, in Marfa, Texas. The vibe of the album is relaxed and sun-soaked - especially Psychic City (Voodoo City), which features an elastic groove built on a dubby, reggae-ish keyboard melody inspired by the bassline of Althea and Donna's Uptown Top Ranking. Regardless of influence or intent, however, See Mystery Lights is a triumph. It's a feel-good album for an era that could use a little happiness, a sweaty collection of heady, hedonistic tunes just in time for the hottest days of the year. And the best part is that one spin of this wily, sunny disc will be able to transport you back to summer vacation any day of the year.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
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