LCD Soundsystem Biography

One of the leading movers in the twenty-first century’s new wave of punk funk, psychedelic pop and dark disco, LCD Soundsystem is fronted by New York, USA-based producer and co-creator of DFA (Death From Above) Records, James Murphy (1970, Princeton Junction, New Jersey, USA). Murphy had previously worked as a drummer with the early 90s alternative rock band Pony before moving into record engineering. It was at his New York-based studio that he met his future LCD Soundsystem songwriting partner, UK producer/DJ and part-time U.N.K.L.E. member Tim Goldsworthy. The duo set up their own club, Death From Above, and began to make a name for themselves with production and remix work for artists such as David Holmes, Black Dice, Primal Scream, Hot Chip, in addition to two bands at the forefront of the New York-based punk funk scene, Radio 4 and the Rapture. Their production of the latter’s 2002 single ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’ was instrumental in introducing the duo’s work to a wider audience, and inspired Murphy to form his own group.

LCD Soundsystem’s first release, 2002’s ‘Losing My Edge’, was notable for its marriage of heavy bass and electronic overlays, and tongue-in-cheek lyrics about growing old in an increasingly fickle dance scene. The flip-side, ‘Beat Connection’, was a freaky electro number about ‘dancing by yourself and not meeting people on the dance floor’. The second single from LCD Soundsystem, ‘Give It Up’, featured Murphy at his playful best mixing up textures and sounds to give an aural excursion into the new wave. Both singles were released in Europe on Trevor Jackson’s Output label, a leading force on the avant garde experimental scene. A self-titled debut album followed at the start of 2005, comprising one disc of new songs and a second disc collecting the group’s previous singles. The opening ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’ was a terrific follow-up to ‘Losing My Edge’, and while the rest of the album struggled to follow this track there was enough musical and lyrical inventiveness on show to warrant the critical plaudits.

At the end of 2006, Murphy teamed up with the Nike sportswear firm to issue the download-only composition 45:33 (which strangely ran to 45 minutes and 58 seconds). The track, which was inspired by Manuel Göttsching’s seminal early 80s release E2-E4, was later re-released on CD and vinyl. The full-length Sound Of Silver, released in March 2007, confirmed the promise of Murphy’s earlier work. The seamless mix of dance, disco, post-punk and Krautrock smoothed out the rough edges of the debut album, and on ‘Someone Great’ Murphy even proved himself adept as a confessional pop songwriter.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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