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.
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.
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 later this year on 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.
Marcus Lambkin aka Shit Robot returns with his third full length album for DFA Records, entitled What Follows. The album follows Lambkin's previous long-players, From The Cradle To The Rave (2010) and We Got A Love (2014), which drew plaudits from the likes of The Guardian and Pitchfork, and featured Reggie Watts and James Murphy among the array of contributors. The album was recorded at Marcus' home studio in Stuttgart and various New York studios, then mixed in DFA label mate Juan Maclean's New Hampshire studio.
As with those previous albums, the Dublin-born producer has enlisted the help of a stellar cast of guest vocalists, with previous collaborators Alexis Taylor, Museum of Love and Nancy Whang returning alongside newer guests Jay Green and leftfield fellow Dubliner New Jackson. Taylor turns in two vocal performances on lead single 'End Of The Trail' and album opener 'In Love'; Museum of Love lend the album title track an air of what could have been made in the two months in between the death of Joy Divison and the birth of New Order; and Nancy Whang gave such a strong vocal for 'Lose Control' that Lambkin and Maclean threw out the existing track and recorded the backing along with the vocal in one take, which the two producers working the machines live.
Best known for fronting iconic American punk bands Orchid and Panthers, Jay Green narrates Is There No End as thought it were sibling to 'From The Cradle To The Rave' single Simple Things. New Jackson makes two appearances, on both Wir Warten and OB-8 (Winter Version), adding oddball vocals and spaced-out Krautrock guitar arrangements.
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".
Ecstatic, vital, and brilliantly unhinged, Guerilla Toss promotes positive energy and twisted spirituality through the less-traveled path of brutal, intelligent, live rock and roll dance music. Like a hurricane of healing bliss, a Guerilla Toss concert is more of a ritual than a performance. It is theunique pairing of musical voices and backgrounds that makes Guerilla Toss such a special party band. But they are more than that - GT gets realwhen you pay close attention. Their music is inspired by both tragedy and beauty, drug addiction/mental illness and the re-birth of the soul throughspiritual practice and psychedelic drug healing - helping the listener overcome these mind-fuck hardships.
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.
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.
Deluxe White Vinyl 2XLP with 4 illustrated slipcovers and a gatefold jacket. Features Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire), I Walked Alone, and Shangri-La. Comes with an instant digital download.
Shangri-La, YACHT's second album for DFA Records and the follow-up to their critically acclaimed full-length, See Mystery Lights, is the duo's most thematically ambitious work to date, showcasing an exponential evolution in songwriting and sharp, surreal hooks. When the darkly anthemic track, "Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire)" was released digitally in April, YACHT offered a window onto the new album. Members Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans described the track as an "apocalyptic fight song, a cautionary tale, a science-fiction story for our particular eco-sociopolitical landscape." These themes are echoed throughout the conceptually unified Shangri-La. In contrast to the meditative, mantra-esque quality of their debut, Shangri-La is a narrative work.
The album explores mankind's eternal pursuit of Utopia with a soundtrack comprised of compelling pop melodies, fiercely druggy grooves and an endlessly diverse canon of influences. The message here is that the future is a blank slate upon which anything can be imposed. Shangri-La is literally YACHT's idea of Utopia: a place made of songs. Never a band to stay in one place sonically, visually or philosophically, YACHT transformed themselves, taking advantage of a proper studio for the very first time and using more live instrumentation than ever before.
Recording in the West Texas desert without an engineer, the duo employed a kaleidoscope of genres-ranging from disco to psychedelia, from krautrock to punk-all culminating in pure pop. Shangri-La was performed, mixed, and recorded by Bechtolt and Evans themselves. The Utopian illustration featured in the album's encyclopedic cover design was painted by iconic science fiction illustrator Jim Burns, three-time Hugo Award-winner.
Yr City’s a Sucker was originally released as a 12” single way back in 2004, and is the fourth single by LCD Soundsystem. It was lated included on the bonus disc of the compact disc version of 2005’s acclaimed LCD Soundsystem LP. It is now back in print for the first time in 10 years, with a brand new 45 RPM cut.
DFA Records is pleased to announce I Need New Eyes, the new album from Larry Gus. 2013's Years Not Living was a masterpiece of composition, pushing sampling to its limits within a conceptual framework provided by Life A User's Manual, George Perec's postmodern fiction masterpiece.
I Need New Eyes treads familiar sonic ground to Larry Gus' previous works - but his beatmaker percussion, shill falsetto vocals, and found sounds form a gestalt more concise and clear than ever. The references to literature continue - the title is based on a supposed quote by Proust, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." This record was completed amidst two life-changing events - the birth of his first child, and his participation in Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo.
In spite of the of the heavy conceptual themes, there is a true jubilance to the sonics of the record. Twinkling synths and orchestral stabs mingle with handclaps and a thundering kick drum on All Graphs Explored, while funk guitars and endless layers of percussion and brass build around Larry's bilingual vocals, climaxing in a double-timed drum solo. This is a record for fans of Caribou, Can, Panda Bear, and self-reflection.
Thank You For Stickin' With Twig is the latest long-playing album from the artist known to the world (or at least to his mother) as Slim Twig. Coming out July 10th, 2015 on DFA, you may be surprised to know that it represents the fifth album by the Toronto based songwriter / producer. Twig has released these previous records among a swath of EP's, singles and one-offs, displaying in the process a complete disregard for genre or consistency. The evolution from Contempt!, his sample-stained 2009 debut, through to A Hound At The Hem, his symphonic tribute album to Nabokov's Lolita (reissued by DFA in 2014), is not entirely linear, although intriguing all the same.
Thank You For Stickin' With Twig is to date the most sonically immersive album in Twig's discography. Where some records have focused explicitly on sample-based songwriting, while others have been completely live-recorded, the new album arrives at a perfectly produced fusion of fidelities. It hovers, glamorously caught between a cloud of obscurant, half-speed tape hiss, and the most stoned Jeff Lynne production you've ever heard. Twig flirts here with a variety of vibes, most often opting for a three dimensional approach whereby a warped tape aura is overlaid with colourful, laser-cut keyboard and guitar melodies.
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.
Prinzhorn Dance School are still recognisably the same spiky Brighton-based duo whose ultra-rigorous debut cut through the excess of 2008 like a scimitar through bacon fat. But with their trademark stripped-down intensity now winningly off-set by moments of unabashed tenderness, their third album Home Economics continues and even accelerates the move away from austerity and into human warmth begun by its acclaimed 2011 predecessor Clay Class.
All the best six-track albums - The Fall's Slates, Orange Juice's Texas Fever - know exactly what they want to say and how they intend to say it. Home Economics shares that infectious sense of urgency. There's not an inch of spare meat on it - from Reign's snatched moment of optimism, through Battlefield's restorative meeting of minds with an urban fox on a drunken walk home in the early hours, to Let Me Go's concluding tribute to "a love that won't rewind and will not be deleted". Spindly yet sensuous, together and alone, exquisitely sad but somehow full of hope, Prinzhorn Dance School knit together disparate and even opposite fragments into an utterly satisfying whole.
Prinzhorn Dance School's spartan sonics have often lead to some hand-wringing when trying to play out their records 'in the club'. In the first 7 years of their existence, there was a sole club-friendly remix in their entire catalog. It is for these reasons that we're really proud to announce there is now a second.
DFA veteran Shit Robot takes the track "Reign" from their imminently released third album "Home Economics" and turns it into a deep, dark floor-filler. The band's pleading vocals dive in and out of a throbbing bassline, with new robotic percussion seamlessly blending with the band's original bangs and clangs.
The flip features that previously alluded to Optimo (Espaco) mix of You Are The Space Invader - previously only available commercially in digital form, this is the first (slightly) wider vinyl release of this classic remix. An edition of 500 hand-stamped and numbered white label copies, not to be pressed again for another 7 years or so. Probably.
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.
Shit Robot and DFA are psyched to release "Where It's At" another collaboration with the singer/comedian/television star Reggie Watts. Reggie Watts' vocal performance runs the gamut of Chicago dance music history - from the gloom and melodrama of iconic label Wax Trax, to the jubilant choruses of Frankie Knuckles' house anthems. But let's not de-emphasize the solid instrumentation provided by Mr. Marcus 'Shit Robot' Lambkin - we've got that classic DFA bassline, claps, and bleeps and bloops aplenty - mixed and manipulated by none other than our own James Murphy. The flip features a remix by London producer Johnny Aux, who turns the track into a staticy, stripped down, raw Deep House banger, with hissing glimmers of icy cymbals peeking through the smog.
DFA is pleased to announce the long-awaited followup to Marcus Marr's acclaimed 2013 single "The Music".
A music obsessive all his life, Londoner Marcus Marr's first encounters with dance music were acid house records which augmented his vinyl collection of rock and soul, and attending all night parties under Brixton's St Matthews church. Traveling to the south of England to watch DJ Harvey play a lengthy set, he saw the kind of power a DJ can wield over a willing crowd.
"The Music", was featured prominently in the 2012 film "Pusher", starring Richard Coyle and Agyness Dean. The single's B-Side "Pleasure Moon" was used to open the 2014 Versace show in Milan. Additionally, it was placed at #3 in Spin Magazine's "The 40 Best Dance Tracks of 2013", bested only by Daft Punk and Todd Terje.
These two tracks are a taste of what we can expect in the future from Marcus Marr, who will be releasing his debut album on DFA in 2015.
Ninos Du Brasil are Nicolo Fortuni and Nico Vascellari, an Italian percussion duo with a background in visual art. Through their aptitude with drumming, they are masters at fusing the seemingly disparate influences of punk, tribal techno, and batacuda, emerging with a sound that is truly singular. The project takes its rhythmic backbone from Brazilian carnival music, and the duo injects each track with the frothy attitude of punk and the shuffling dancefloor domination of techno.
Nico Vascellari had the following to say of these two tracks: "These two songs are meant to be poisonous and malignant, As if somebody had the idea of inviting us to a party between the bushes of Queimada Grande (Snake Island, Brazil.)"