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DFA (record label)
DFADFA records are James Murphy and English expat Tim Goldsworthy.
Post Punk RevivalWith the growing interest in the consumption of post-punk records from the early 80s, there has emerged an eagerness among critics to cite the post-punk elements in the music of contemporary bands, as well. In New York in particular, the press makes innumerable references to The Rapture, the Liars, and Radio 4 as harbingers of the "post-punk revival." On the West Coast, there's Erase Errata, Numbers, the Quails, and the now-defunct Subtonix.
These bands incorporate the post-punk or no-wave aesthetics to the extent that they take more traditional rock music forms and twist them into something different; they may also acknowledge having drawn inspiration from bands like Gang of Four and Fire Engines. To describe Erase Errata or The Rapture by dropping a laundry-list of obscure post-punk greats, however, is shortsighted; and to focus on those qualities of their music that are reminiscent of the past as opposed to those which signal the expansion of musical horizons stands in direct contrast to what they aim to accomplish. The post-punk revival, if you want to call it that, is -at its best-not a rehashing of 80's musical idioms, but rather a return to the experimental mindset that gave birth to a realm of integrated genres in the first place. -- Jenna Alden, June 2002 [...]
One man's trash is another man's treasure. When DFA Records' James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy saw New York band the Rapture play a Sub Pop showcase at South by Southwest in Austin three years ago, they were buried on the bill. "Such a waste," says Jonathan Galkin, DFA's third owner. "The band's so good and the label didn't give a shit about them." But with one highly successful single on DFA under its belt, the band's time in obscurity is thankfully over.
After two years of punk rock grooming and disco brainwashing, the Rapture have emerged as an entirely different unit from the band on Sub Pop. "We wanted to make something that worked on the dancefloor and concentrated on dance music rather than our traditional indie rock audience," says singer Luke Jenner, 27.
The result: "House of Jealous Lovers"—which sold a staggering 7500 copies. The band—Vito Roccoforte, drums, 27, Matt Safer, bass, 21, and sax player Gabriel Andruzzi, 26—evolved into a punk-disco juggernaut, with tightly wound basslines and hooks wired so tense they pop off the vinyl.
Like the other artists on DFA, the Rapture explore the symbiotic relationship between the riotous rock of New York and the slick electro revival overwhelming the clubs. Says Jenner, "I don't know if we really fit in. Hopefully we bridge a couple of communities that don't really go together."
The production finesse of Murphy and English expat Goldsworthy helped morph the Rapture from a raw entity into a bombastic disco-rock hybrid. "We have a big interest in dance music and that is what we kind of bonded over," says Jenner. "We tried things in the studio we had not tried live. It's really changed the way we approach music."
Citing bands like the Happy Mondays and Primal Scream, Jenner hopes the Rapture can close the gap between dance and rock. "We see ourselves in response to a dialogue between New York and England," he says. "If we were going to align ourselves with anything it might be that idea." -- Tricia Romano, Village Voice, accessed March 2003.
James DuncanJames Duncan was born in Toronto Ont Canada and was active as a musican and DJ there for a number of years. Since arriving in NYC he has worked with some of the city's brightest lights, in additon to releasing his own records as a producer on labels like Traxxx and his own label, Le Systeme Records.
As a musician, he has recorded and performed with Metro Area and has appeared on recordings and remixes by Environ head-honcho Morgan Geist. 2002 also saw him playing on trumpet on The Rapture's dancefloor hit "The House of Jealous Lovers" (on DFA), adding a scronked out, Don Cherry-like trumpet solo to Geist's made for the floor firey remix. In addition to this, he also records with NYC improvising collective IZITITIZ on the Conduit/Sound@one record label. His latest release is called "Times Like These" on Le Systeme. --http://www.family-house.net/jamesduncan.html [Dec 2004]
Michaelangelo Matos on House of Jealous LoversThere’s more than one way to make a perfect record, and this is one of them, modeled on the 12-inch aesthetics that came to fore in the early ’80s (approximate first appearance: Larry Levan’s reconstruction of Instant Funk’s “I’ve Got My Mind Made Up”): keep the groove going, keep the listener’s interest, but keep moving shit around. In this case, it means establish the groove before you get to the song. (Compare certain African styles, or early Talking Heads, e.g. “Found a Job,” which get the song out of the way and then just keeps the music going forever.) [...]
'ELECTROCLASH 2002'It will be interesting to see how Larry Tee's self-anointed genre has held up with finicky New York clubbers since the festival's debut last year. Many of the same artists are also playing this go-round, including punk slut Peaches, A.R.E. Weapons, and artsy kitsch trio Chicks on Speed. New additions include indie band Bis, who recently dipped their toes into the electro pool, the cute but rather pointless W.I.T. project, Mount Sims, and Tracy and the Plastics. The opening night party at Webster Hall features Arthur Baker, 2 Many DJs/Soulwax, Erol Arkin, Tommie Sunshine, and Felix Da Housecat—whose album Kittenz and Thee Glitz should be used as a primer for all the nu-electro artists on how to properly take an old genre and make it new again. --[...]
2 Many DJs"In London, we play with Trevor Jackson or Arthur Baker, in Berlin with Peaches, in New York with the DFA people." --David Dewaele, March 2003, Deng magazine.
LCD SoundsystemLosing My Edge 12"
"I'm Losing My Edge. To the kids from France and London. But I was there, I was there in 1968, I was there at the first Can show in Cologne." "Losing My Edge(1)" is self-deprecation over banging lo-fi electro from DFA founding member James Murphy. This has got to be one of the most entertaining and enlightening tracks I've heard in a while. Anyone who's been in the game for an extended period will definitely appreciate it, as Murphy's dead pan lyrics capture the moment that cool kid geezers start to wonder what the game is all about, and start noticing the younger breed of cool kids breathing down their necks. It's a strange and painful phenomenon, a mid life crisis of sorts. A masterful work of sarcasm and self analysis, it ironically has become an underground club hit of sorts. I've even heard it's become a Williamsburg party favorite. How avant po-mo. Newbies stick to the b-side "Beat Connection(2)," but will of course quickly migrate to the flip.
Mirror - Rapture (1999) [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
1. In Finite Clock! Listen Listen 2. Notes... Listen Listen 3. Olio Listen Listen 4. Frames Frames Frames Listen Listen 5. Mirror Listen Listen 6. Alienation 7. Dusk at Maureen's 8. Kid 606 in Love With the Underground
If you buy "mirror" to hear what all the hype about the rapture is, then you will not be dissapointed.
Mirror, was the rapture's first full length and with the first record a band is always in it's most primitive stage. This first outing by the rapture is very goth at times yet still has a lot of the elements of todays NYC version of the rapture. It even has some more good songs than the sub pop release "out of the races and on to the tracks."
First thing you'll notice is Luke Jenner's vocal styling is a wacked out version of the CURE's Robert Smith. This and the creepy keyboard sound sets a very dark mood that makes the goth genre pop up in peoples minds.
But with a song like "notes from the underground" you know that the band is also a little NO-WAVE, ART PUNK, DANCE PUNK, or whatever buzz word our music media is pushing on us currently. This song recalls british post-punkers Gang of Four. This is one of the best songs by the rapture only rivaled by their new song "house of jealous lovers" that is british dj's new fave. This song easily puts the rapture in the same scene as LIARS, the yeah yeah yeahs, interpol, and blah blah blah.
"Olio" plays off like a cure b-side. And another stand out track is "mirror".
This record is great. but the rapture is a great band. their e.p. after this "out of the races and onto the tracks" is another great release. when they release their new record (you can go to dfarecords.com to get them) you will learn why they are in every magazine out on the news stands right now. they are the cream of the crop or top of the genre. buy everything you can find. --Markus Garcia for amazon.com
Dfa Records Presents: Compilation 2 (2004) - Various Artists
Dfa Records Presents: Compilation 2 (2004) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
DFA's second compilation includes many unreleased tracks and a beautiful packaging that includes a sturdy box enclosing three LP style CD jackets. A sampling of the tracks on this compilation include: The Rapture Alabama Sunshine (Unreleased in America); LCD Soundsystem Yeah (Pretentious Mix); Black Dice Wastered (Unreleased); J.O.Y. Sunplus (Original) (Unreleased); The Juan Maclean Less Than Human (Unreleased); and many more by the likes of these artists and others...30 TRACKS!
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