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.
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.
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.
GT Ultra is the second full length album by Guerilla Toss on DFA Records. The album demonstrates a remarkable shift in sound, musicianship and songwriting, without ever giving up the unhinged quality that made their earlier recordings so exciting. It is a dream state record for sure, filled with an insistence to "hydrate, gyrate, think straight, no weight", all the while under the influence of golden beams of orange sunshine, glimmering glitter and kaleidoscopic bursts.
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.
The Juan Maclean return to DFA with a stand-alone single, bursting with deep house elastic bounce and electronic pop flourishes, married to the deadpan earnestness of Nancy Whang's vocal delivery."Can You Ever Really Know Somebody" is the kind of slinky song that is easily absorbed and difficult to forget. It is a taste of things to come, as The Juan Maclean prepares a brand new LP for DFA due out in Fall 2017.The remix is courtesy of LA-4A, aka Ambivalent and legally known as American born producer Kevin McHugh. Stripping out the house music and replacing it with a grinding electro-acid template, LA-4A creates a lovely buzzing new bed of music for Nancy Whang's vocals to rest on top of it. This is a remix with wildly successful results and a perfect companion to the original.
Spiked Punch is a new project from 2/3 of Black Dice, Eric Copeland & Aaron Warren.
After the third member Bjorn Copeland relocated to Los Angeles in 2015, Aaron & Eric worked on a Black Dice remix commission for Awesome Tapes From Africa, for artist Aby Ngana Diop. Through this creative process, they hit upon a new sort of inspiration for making music and Spiked Punch was born.
These two tracks were born out of long form improvisations between Eric & Aaron. It is most definitely music born of their environment in Brooklyn - the lo-fi bodega beats seeping out of the dozens of delis, trial and error with early sample chopping, watching YouTube tutorials for help, the eerie comfort of late nite local tv, and a sweltering Brooklyn summer cooled and fueled by Tecate. The duo also emphasizes the music was recorded on an iBook from 2004.
The music Spiked Punch have created is wildly percussive and zig zags around tweaked vocal stabs and dubbed out bass lines. When pressed for more personal descriptors for the music the band responded with this: "Coconut bongos, pineapple kick drums, stolen bike vocals, peanut chew bass-lines".
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" & "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 & Black Dice.
This is the first time this title has ever been pressed to vinyl.
Flood Dosed was DFA's first release from the incomparable New York-via-Boston Guerilla Toss. Originally released only on cassette and digitally, Flood Dosed is now available on vinyl for the first time. It now includes a bonus vinyl exclusive track "Teacher Speaks" which was recorded in the same sessions as the rest of the EP.
Guerilla Toss have lived by (admitted fan/supporter) Henry Rollins "Get in the Van"-style promotion; touring extensively around the USA, Canada, and Europe since their inception in 2011. They played pigsties, punk houses, liberal arts colleges, and the occasional opening slot for iconic bands such as Mission of Burma, Merzbow, & Black Dice. Recently, the band affixed a Grateful Dead "steal yr face" decal to the bumper of their well-traveled minivan - a signifier of their commitment to unique setlists and unpredictable surprises at each and every performance.
Guerilla Toss have also been prolific recording and releasing multiple releases on vinyl, tape, and CD on respected underground labels labels such as Feeding Tube, John Zorn's TZADIK, NNA Tapes, Infinity Cat and as well as their most recent full-length LP Eraser Stargazer for DFA in the spring of 2016.
Guerilla Toss are set to release their EPs Flood Dosed and Giant Claw VS Guerilla Toss bundled for the first time on Compact Disc on October 14, 2016.
Flood Dosed was DFA's first release from the incomparable New York-via-Boston Guerilla Toss. Guerilla Toss have lived by (admitted fan/supporter) Henry Rollins "Get in the Van"-style promotion; touring extensively around the USA, Canada, and Europe since their inception in 2011. They played pigsties, punk houses, liberal arts colleges, and the occasional opening slot for iconic bands such as Mission of Burma, Merzbow, & Black Dice. Recently, the band affixed a Grateful Dead "steal yr face" decal to the bumper of their well-traveled minivan - a signifier of their commitment to unique setlists and unpredictable surprises at each and every performance. Guerilla Toss have also been prolific recording and releasing multiple releases on vinyl, tape, and CD on respected underground labels such as Feeding Tube, John Zorn's TZADIK, NNA Tapes, Infinity Cat and others.
Giant Claw VS Guerilla Toss is the remix/version/reworking of Guerilla Toss' music, a musical creation mixed, manipulated and imagined through the prism of ideas that is Giant Claw (Orange Milk Records). Giant Claw is also known to many as Keith Rankin, an in-demand artist / graphic designer, tied to Guerilla Toss by illustrating the bold LP images from their DFA debut LP Eraser Stargazer, as well as the cover for this very release. Giant Claw takes five prime Guerilla Toss tracks and zaps them with his wild blend of elastic 808 rhythms, merging the crazy R&B vocal sample style he is known for with Kassie's sing/shout rapid-fire poetic delivery. It is a unique formula and it sees Giant Claw find a surprising elements or two or three within all five "versions". The through-line that pulls all tracks together is the faithful analog stems VS MIDI triggered fully digital sounds, all clashing together into a glorious groove.
A busy stage actor and singer already well known in his native Norway for three albums released on Oslo's Fysisk Format, "Echo" marks a pivotal turning point for Bech, and something of a radical sonic departure too. The keys to the seachange lie with Bech's new collaborator, the young underground DJ, producer and beat maker Drippin, known for his work with American rap artists such as LE1F and Cakes Da Killa. As a result, where his previous work was strange, ethereal and otherworldly - completely and utterly unique - "Echo" throbs with a renewed sense of vigour and urgency, without losing any of the idiosyncratic beauty which marked Bech's work out before.
The sound created here is strange and immediate. Stuttering sharp bass kicks combine with clanging 5-alarm snare drums made of glass, orchestra stabs and melancholy piano lines jump in and out of the arrangements. These new elements and ideas are married to the already singular voice of Nils Bech, with "Echo" becoming something new, exciting and 100% Norwegian - homegrown and ready for the world. Just listen to new track "Waiting" for evidence of his truly inimitable vision, as martial drums anchor Bech's floating, weightless vocals, to create something swoonsome, beguiling and defiantly its own creature.
The music comes to full fruition when performed live, as proven at two packed performances at the 2016 By Larm Festival where Nils was joined onstage by both Drippin & Oyvind Mathisen, who also produced, arranged and played on the album alongside Bech. Make sure not to miss the completely original and striking sound of Nils Bech.
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.