Review: When they're not reissuing classic LCD Soundsystem material or coaxing an album out of Factory Floor, DFA Records are busy introducing new names to their roster such as Surahn. Formerly a member of Australian live disco outfit The Swiss, Surahn has spent the subsequent period flirting with nu disco stardom as Sidwho, touring with risible operatic compatriots Empire of The Sun and writing for Usher (no lie) His debut for DFA last autumn marked the fulfilment of a long held ambition to appear on the label, and here the masterful Prins Thomas turns a highlight from that self titled release into a typically fruity and expansive Diskomiks.
Review: Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel go from strength to strength, cruising their 18-wheeler disco wagon into the future without so much as a nudge on the brake pedal. "Dumb Disco Ideas" hits you straight in the face like a WhoMadeWho record produced by Tom Moulton. Hooky, pumping and precision produced, it's got 'sound of the summer' stamped all over it. It also comes complete with an insane video if you've got time for some visual titillation. There's nothing dumb about this at all.
Review: After the indie discoisms of "Drunk Girls", LCD Soundsystem have plucked the gorgeous "I Can Change" from their superlative third album for single duties. The gloriously 80s synth overtones of the original are left intact on the accompanying remix and dub version from Aussie duo Stereogamus.
Review: Marcus Marr's previous productions have largely been marked out by an ability to create rubbery, funk-fuelled anthems that put his own fine musicianship at the heart of the action. You'll find plenty of similar material on his latest DFA EP - see the Bootsy Collins jamming in New York in 1981 vibes of previous single "High Times" and "Love Release", which is marked out by some fantastic, jammed-out synth solos - but also tracks that explore darker and moodier territory (a product of being alone in the studio all night, according to the man himself). Of these, it's the slow, heavy, dubby and druggy pulse of "Familiar Five", featuring a distinctive spoken word vocal and a groove straight out of the post-punk playbook, which really hits the spot.
Review: Innervisions co-founder and tech-house behemoth Dixon is the latest remixer to get his hands on a track from LCD Soundsystem's 2017 album, American Dream. His version of "I Used To" is closer in feel to James Murphy and company's original version than his own grandiose and melodious tech-house epics, though the Berlin producer's decision to include some seriously epic breakdowns and build-ups suggests that the mix could not only land with his audience, but become something of an anthem in clubs around the globe. Arguably even better is flipside bonus cut "Pulse (V1)", a wonderfully melodious and atmospheric instrumental that sounds like it was inspired by NYC minimalists such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
Review: A year or so on from the release of American Dream, LCD Soundsystem's much-hyped comeback album, James Murphy has decided to commission a swathe of fresh remixes. The first mixes to land come from ESP Institute boss and former NYC dweller Lovefingers. He brilliantly plays around with "Oh Baby", first serving up a full vocal version drenched in dub delay and mind-altering effects that makes much of selected lyrical phrases, chugging drums, bubbly electronic motifs and the original's familiar piano refrain. Turn to the flip for a largely vocal-free dub that's even more trippy and far-out in tone, with the now familiar piano riff taking pride of place throughout.
Review: Eric Copeland's first album for DFA, 2013's Joke In The Hole, was something of a breakthrough for the eccentric artist. Since then, he's released two albums for L.I.E.S, both of which were notably obtuse in comparison. Black Bubblegum, his second full-length DFA outing, is an altogether cheerier proposition, with Copeland combining his usual abstract, experimental beat-making approach with skewed guitars, quirky instrumentation, wild pop sensibilities and more than a touch of wayward '60s psychedelia. As you'd expect, this kind of zany, lo-fi fusion makes for enjoyable and hugely entertaining listening, with the New York producer seemingly throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the project.
Review: Despite his self-proclaimed hatred of nightclubs, Sheffield misery-guts Richard "Crooked Man" Barratt is rather good at making dance music. That's not to say that the former Sweet Exorcist and All Seeing I man's second album, "Crooked House", is a riotous romp full of wonky, low-slung, industrial-tinged house and techno slammers, though. While rooted in Yorkshire's traditionally raw, alien, bleep-laden and bass-heavy take on those styles, the album's genius lies in Barratt's ability to write surprisingly soulful, off-kilter songs, co-produced by fellow veterans Mick Ward and David Lewin, and voiced by some seriously talented singers (Amy Douglas and Pete Simpson included). The results are undeniably magical, with "Here On Earth", "Walls", "Take It All Away", "Every Killer Needs a Friend" and trippy "Echo Loves Narcissus" amongst the highlights.
Review: Under the NHK yx Koyken alias, Japanese producer Kouhei Matsunaga has made some of the most arresting experimental techno of recent times. Here he lands on DFA following acclaimed releases on L.I.E.S, Computer Club and DFA. Interestingly, he's used this second full-length excursion to largely step away from the dancefloor - a couple of tough-as-teak outsider techno workouts aside - instead diving headfirst into the world of fuzzy electronic experimentation. As a result, the eight showcased cuts are even wonkier, weirder and more imaginative than his previous work, touching on drone, Autechre style IDM, PAN-style modular oddities and noise-laden industrial soundscapes. Expect to be challenged and entertained in equal measure.