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Headquarters: New York, NY
- Black Dice
- LCD Soundsystem
- The Juan Maclean
- The Rapture
- Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom
- Hot Chip
- Shit Robot
Like many new bands, relatively new labels that produce a specific and exciting type of sound, (of which kind is not really important) whether new or old, are subject to the hype phenomenon. A few notable writers and magazines deem them the next big thing and the kids come running and ready to toss out last month's "in" albums in exchange for this new, much cooler sound. The sad truth is, half the time, these kids do not even really understand, and sometimes even like, what they are listening to; which subsequently makes it that much easier to move on to the next popular act. New York's DFA record label and production duo consisting of James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and Tim Goldsworthy fell unwillingly into this hype in 2003.
Before starting the DFA (which stands for "Death From Above," which was Murphy's DJ name and original name for the label before it was deemed inappropriate because of the terrible incidents in New York City) James Murphy founded the Plantain Recording House which is responsible for excellent recordings from June of 44, Primal Scream, Six Finger Satellite, Trans Am and more. Tim Goldsworthy has also had a very successful career pre-DFA as a founding member of U.N.K.L.E. and has remixed the likes of The Verve, Radiohead, Beck, Can, Tortoise and Massive Attack.
They unified their powers in a basement studio somewhere in the heart of New York City and produced four 12 inches (The Rapture - House of Jealous Lovers, The Juan Maclean - By the Time I Get to Venus, LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge, The Juan Maclean - You Can't Have It Both Ways) that immediately catapulted the label out of the underground and into every musical critics "Next Big Thing" column. With the release of The Rapture's full length, Echoes, the DFA was the password into the "hip" music crowd party. With this instant credibility along with a few sarcastic comments made by the producers, all of sudden Murphy and Goldsworthy were not only considered the hippest cats in the game but also pompous and arrogant. I personally do not know them, so I cannot make an honest comment, but it's my suspicion that a lot of Americans failed to pick up on the British wit and this is what it translated to. After 2003, the DFA was able to catch its breath after their reign as next big thing was over. More recently, the duo has begun to solidify their discography with well-accepted full lengths from LCD Soundsystem and The Juan Maclean.