NYC singer Amy Douglas makes her official DFA debut with "Never Saw It Coming," a limited release 12" single co-written and produced by Tim Wagner of 33Hz, with two remixes by Sheffield artist Crooked Man.
With a five-octave range and a diverse background in performance, ranging from rock to soul to jazz, Douglas' voice is the heart of the song, lending heightened drama to the steady mechanical funk of Wagner's production. The two remixes by DFA artist Crooked Man let the track grow and build slowly with longer, lush arrangements, while his hypnotic dub doubles down on the woozy bassline and has Amy's vocals echoing out into the ether.
Though this is Douglas' first release on the label, she is no stranger to the DFA roster. She is the voice behind "Happiness," the epic closing track on Crooked Man's self-titled 2016 LP, and also appears on the forthcoming Crooked Man album, due out on DFA this fall. Amy also works with Juan Maclean as one half of Peach Melba, who have released singles on both DFA and Defected / Classic. Crooked Man's signature maximalist house sound has always been complemented by the support of strong female vocalists, and together the pair take each other's work to a new level for an impressive collaboration. Rumor has it they're currently working on more tracks togetherâ€¦
Lots of artists these days aim to 'reimagine' the sounds of disco, house, and soul, but Amy Douglas and Crooked Man are creating something all their own that pulls from the best of times past, while also looking decidedly forward.
Sometimes the best remixes come direct from the artist themselves. Following the success of their debut EP, CCFX return to reimagine and reiterate all four tracks. At times turbulent, at others serene, and throughout unabashedly raffish, these instrumental versions take the liberty of exploding the originals and thrusting the fragments into deeper and more ornate sonic territory. Minimal beats as well as pumped up breaks take the forefront here, rendering nascent atmospheric jungle & dubbed out balearic new wave.
Though it was released last October, the original EP is still making waves, having been hyped by the likes of NPR, Pitchfork, and NME. With this new record, the band demonstrate their versatility in addition to their songwriting talent - always willing to take risks, The Remixes is a masterful selector's spin on their late 90s/early 00s indie pop-oriented sounds. And the band isn't slowing down, as this release comes on the heels of the band's debut live performance on KEXP, and ahead of their appearance at Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington state. Stay tuned for more from CCFX this yearâ€¦
CCFX are a new trio from Olympia, Washington, featuring Mary Jane Dunphe (Vexx, CC Dust), David Jacques (CC Dust) and Chris McDonnell (TransFX). Collectively coming from a background of punk, new wave, and shoegaze, all three members embody Olympia's historical ethos of DIY, and join forces for a record that is a showcase of what is currently coming out of the Pacific Northwest.
Recorded and mixed with Captain Tripps, the CCFX EP is a testament to the nostalgic properties of 80's UK chiming and melodic guitar parts that counter and complement Mary Jane's emotional vocals. Undeniably indebted to the sounds of The Cure, New Order, The Smiths, and My Bloody Valentine, Chris McDonnell has made much of the kinship he feels between Olympia, Washington and Manchester, England. And like the Brits across the ocean, CCFX strike that delicate balance between heartfelt and gloomy, but there is an earnest sincerity to these tracks that sets the band apart.
The timbre of the music is warm and just slightly fuzzed out, and the expressive quality of Mary Jane’s voice is pushed to the front. These four songs allow access to suppressed and forgotten feelings from youth - punk's not dead, and neither are its descendants. This is the stuff indie dance nights are made of.
He may be ill at ease with the darkroom throb of 21st century clubs, but the house music Crooked Man produces is as weighty, alien, raw and left of-centre as anything you'd get from many a hyped young producer. His instincts, honed through years of DJing, production and dancing in sweaty cellars, remain as sharp as ever.
Richard Barrat aka Parrot aka Crooked Man is the Sheffield based producer who is most famous for being one half of the duo Sweet Exorcist, alongside Cabaret Voltaire founder Richard H Kirk.
Sweet Exorcist were known as the first architects of the bleep techno sound, closely associated with Warp Records, and responsible for releasing the first CD on Warp, in 1991.
The 5 singles and full length self-titled album marks a celebratory musical return for Richard, still making club music - sounding vibrant electric and relevant.
The elusive Crooked Man returns to DFA with Crooked House, a maximalist take on electronic and house music that picks up where 2016's self-titled LP left off. Teaming up again with Michael Somerset Ward (Clock DVA) and David Lewin (Bleep & Booster) in the studio, Richard Barratt crafts a comprehensive journey of hi-fi house belters with more sinister electro-pop mixed in for good measure. The LP is influenced by two historic epicenters of electronic music: Sheffield, UK, where Richard has had an illustrious career in a mix of legendary groups like Funky Worm, Sweet Exorcist, and The All Seeing I; and the NYC Loft-era disco sound, where extended grooves were layered with peak-time choruses.
Richard's diverse collaborations and intensely prolific discography have now led him to records as lush and sophisticated as Crooked House. Considering the rarity of a live Crooked Man performance or DJ set, it's a testament to his hyper-creativity that these tracks are able to reach new heights in a club setting. With support from disco historian Bill Brewster and NTS resident Ross Allen (not to mention "Echo Loves Narcissus" being named #1 single of the year by Piccadilly Records in 2017, before it was even properly released), it's clear that Crooked House brings a timeless vitality to the current landscape of dance music, and continues an exciting new chapter in Crooked Man's career.
"I write about the things I know, but it should be interesting for other people. So I want it to be like a really great roman-a-clef, or reading your older sisters diary."
Berlin based songwriter Dan Bodan was born in the wide open Canadian prairies and raised in Montreal. Reared on the cities underground noise and experimental music scene, Bodan moved to Berlin 8 years ago. Blossoming in the cities unique mixture of crumbling old-world European values, start-up philanthropy, sleepless techno and epic grey skies, he began writing songs to soundtrack his train rides through the city and make sense of it all.
Working together with a team of world-class producers, poets and artists, he writes songs to fit comfortably in that space between the finger and the mousepad, the bedroom and the club, the earth and the ether.
Dawn People's "The Star Is Your Future" is a studio collaboration between New York musicians Nick Forte and Peter Negroponte. The pair's mutual disregard for musical categorization results in a genre-bending ride on the nine-track LP, which portrays their diverse backgrounds while maintaining a sense of accessibility, continuity, and purpose.
Both veterans of the underground experimental scene, the duo entered into the project preparing to make a serious racket. In time, their mutual appreciation for breezy 70's jazz fusion, kraut rock, and library funk became apparent, setting the course for the sessions. In the summer of 2016, they started tracking live jams with drums and electronics at the Outlier Inn studio in upstate New York with engineer Josh Druckman. As the tracks took shape, Forte and Druckman arranged the material and Negroponte overdubbed guitar, synthesizer, bass, and percussion. Finally, the tracks were handed to Abe Seiferth for mixing and post production.
The sound of this LP harkens back to a time not too long ago, in the early - mid 90's, with groups like Air, Cornelius, Stereolab, Tortoise, and Cibo Matto. All these artists combined a love of Krautrock & David Axelrod records into a lushly produced jigsaw puzzle of live instrumentation, editing, sampling, and immaculate production. It is a genre that Pitchfork's Eric Harvey recently described as "recombinant pop", which is applied to "adventurous, sample-driven and style-copping music".
"The Star Is Your Future" shifts aesthetically and dramatically between sections and phrases, woozy in the best way and never unfocused. Together, Forte and Negroponte have cobbled together a dazzling scope of sonic elements to create something cohesive and mesmerizing - put on the record and get lost in the haze.
DFA Records is proud to announce the release of In Remembrance, a multimedia project by acclaimed contemporary artist Delia Gonzalez. Delia transplanted from Miami to New York City in the mid-1990s, working in various dance and guerilla theatre troupes. It was around this time that she met synth wizard Gavin Russom, beginning a series of multi-disciplinary collaborations, one of the most notable being their album of cosmic acid-house "The Days of Mars", released by DFA in 2005. Single "Relevee" is oft-cited as one of the high points of DFA's early years, especially the monstrous remix by Detroit techno legend Carl Craig.
In Remembrance is the next landmark in Delia's artistic pursuits. The project originates in a 2010 solo show of the same name at Galleria Fonti in Naples, which was further realized in 2012. The exhibitions consisted of four 16mm ballet dance films, accompanied by music composed by Gonzalez. The films were exhibited in 2012 at Clocktower Gallery in NYC, with a live performance featuring underground musicians Bryce Hackford and Alice Cohen. Bryce Hackford contributes a second disc of remixes, turning Delia's delicate piano score into left-field club bangers.
Horse Follows Darkness is the second record by Delia Gonzalez, her follow up to the album "In Remembrance".
The title is taken from a werewolf genre film her 8 year old son Wolfgang had created. At this time, Wolfgang also turned Delia onto a genre of cinema she had always resisted - the American Western.
Delia explains that what she observed "was all relevant - the album is based on our personal experience of moving back to America (from Berlin) and the journey that followed. The record is a manifestation of that, and what one creates for themselves under the given circumstances. Coming back to America, I felt like a foreigner and NYC / America felt like the Wild West. Most Westerns from the 1960s to the present have revisionist themes. Many were made by emerging major filmmakers who saw the Western as an opportunity to expand their criticism of American society and values into a new genre."
Horse Follows Darkness is essentially a modern electronic soundtrack for the Revisionist Western.
DFA is proud to release a long-gestating 12" single of wild interpretations of Eric Copeland's 2013 album "Joke In The Hole". The Black Dice member received universal acclaim for the record, "Fringe though Copeland may be, this album is a serious coup for DFA - he walks the line between complete nuttiness and outright accessibility, and ends up with one of his best records to date." (XLR8R) Starting us off is Panda Bear, who adds his trademark falsetto vocals and shuffling percussion, sweetening Eric's black coffee beats. DFA's own sonic collagist Larry Gus blends Eric's mumbled vocals with bright percussion and a vocoded male choir, among many other audio dalliances. Meanwhile, Hyperdub's Fhloston Paradigm (AKA King Britt) takes aim with his laser cannons, firing volleys at unrelenting waves of marching alien armies, before being swallowed up in a solar flare. Finally, Anthony Naples (Text Records, Trilogy Tapes) brings it back to the club with snaps, claps, and hi-hats, but it sounds like you left 'em out in the rear window of your car on a sunny day. You know what we mean.
Ms Pretzel is a 4 track, 20-minute EP of brand new material by Eric Copeland (Black Dice, Terrestrial Tones). This is Eric's return to DFA after the release of an acclaimed single on Ron Morelli's underground dance juggernaut L.I.E.S., which followed his beloved 2013 album "Joke In The Hole", his solo debut for DFA. The music on Ms Pretzel most certainly continues to break new sonic ground, a process which has gradually unfolded over the last few years via many prior works on seminal underground labels such as Underwater Peoples, Escho, Post Present Medium, and Catsup Plate, among many others. Ms Pretzel takes Eric's outsider fascination with 4/4 dance music and twists it yet again. It is the sound of Eric Copeland throwing a wobbly dance party in a junkyard. DFA could not be more excited to host this gritty event.
Eric Copeland (Black Dice) returns to DFA with a brand-new set of hyper & hectic leftfield club music. Goofballs places its emphasis on playful melodies, ear worm hooks & vocals mixed with trademark machine funk rhythms that hit hard and land off-balance. Any other way would be too obvious for an artist like Eric. Perhaps he even invented a new dance genre: 'Goofstep'. We'll see if that one sticks...
Eric Copeland is a founding member of Black Dice as well as a prolific solo artist. Besides DFA, he has released albums on L.I.E.S., Post Present Medium & Paw Tracks.
Goofballs was mixed by Rusty Santos (who has mixed everyone from DJ Rashad to Panda Bear to Owen Pallett) and mastered by Joe Lambert. It is Eric's third solo album for DFA Records.
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.
On New Path, their second album for DFA, Montreal electronic duo Essaie pas (Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau) take inspiration from Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, a dystopian science fiction classic. The album sounds like the book reads - a voyeuristic, druggy, and paranoid narrative of existence in the surveillance state."I read the book a long time ago, maybe 15 years ago, and it had a strong impression on me," explains Pierre. "In our previous work we always looked to music as inspiration in our lives, but this time we felt the desire to try something different, that's not based on ourselves but on someone else's universe. It was going to be more conceptual, more political."New Path touches on addiction, loss, and the lingering strength of identity within late capitalism's mass media paranoia. It pins down the central character's destructive tendencies, using this as a metaphor to explore the dichotomous rupture between our inner lives and our social environment, one that is often fed and soothed by various kinds of dependences."I think it touches us on many levels," Pierre continues. "We can talk about drug addiction issues, we can talk about the mass surveillance world we live in, but there's also the experience of loss, of grief. I was surprised by how the book felt so modern and accurate to the time we live in right now. Dick's visions of surveillance are the reality of social control today." Essaie pas possess a wiry, experimental take on the more leftfield end of techno music, in the way of pioneers Chris & Cosey and Cabaret Voltaire, as well as newer acts like Fever Ray, Factory Floor, and Helena Hauff. The album trades in hypnotic pads of strings, punctuated by dramatic stabs and sensual rhythmic patterns, with Marie's tripped-out, pseudo-scientific verbiage further adding to the ambience. The world the duo have created here offers a tangled vision of tomorrow's aesthetics, a soundtrack stacked with cold music for cold times.
Essaie pas is a Montreal-based electronic duo comprised of Marie Davidson and Pierre Pierre Guerineau. Their musical language is vibrant and varied, touching upon styles such as Film Soundtracks, Electronic Body Music, Disco, and Minimal Techno. Their sensually-delivered lyrics explore the themes of fantasies, obsessions, and the feeling of "The Void".
Repress with yellow jacket and black vinyl.
Produced and recorded by the band themselves in their North London warehouse space on a vintage mixing desk originally used by Dave Stewart three decades ago to record all of the Eurythmics’'early hits, Factory Floor is a fully immersive trip through the bands repertoire. It opens with 'Turn It Up' their most minimal track to date. They are reduced to the core trio of elements: mass, velocity and momentum - mixed in astonishing detail by Timothy 'Q' Wiles, an LA based producer who has previously worked with VCMG and Afrika Bambaataa. It also features a pitched down voice demanding to know: "Where is a good place to start?" The listener should start with the immense volume that the title demands. Good speakers and even better headphones reveal a hidden world of deep listening behind the minimal frame of agitated percussion, dub echo and bass rumble, beneath the framework of the track.
Factory Floor return to DFA with their sonically striking sophomore album, "25 25". What was once a trio is now a duo, with members Gabe Gurnsey and Nik Void holding it down and co-writing and recording the new LP together.
Their debut self-titled album (2013) embraced "industrial, post-punk, disco, acid, avant-garde minimalism, electro, dub and - most crucially - the dancefloor, without being beholden to any one genre". (Pitchfork)
"25 25" certainly does not forego any of these genres. What it adds to it is a new level of intricate detail in the production and mixing, with hyper-attention paid to drums & percussion. Mixing was completed by David Wrench (Caribou, FKA Twigs) was emphasizing their love of classic & modern dub. Nik Void's hypnotic / robotic vocals also take a new-found center stage on many tracks. This artificial and human adding an extra layer of alienation with barely discernible lyrics on top of rock-steady time keeping and the arpeggiated squelching synths Factory Floor became initially known for.