It’s been seven years since James Murphy, Tim Goldsworthy, and Jonathan Galkin launched DFA Records and authorized scads of ostensibly soulless hipsters to relax a little and shake their asses the way young people ought to. Derided by some as being nothing more than cynical anthropologist DJs with a hard-on for no wave, the DFA post-everything juggernaut has always been a lot more varied (and generous) in scope than its detractors might admit. Its roster beams with recognizable legacy talents like Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, Cut Copy, and the Rapture; but hungry beat hunters would be well served by perusing their latest scores.
The Juan Maclean, “Happy House” [Excerpt]
You could check out this track on-line to get a sense of the Juan Maclean’s increasingly exuberant approach to simultaneously poppy and dirty house — but the guy’s gonna be downstairs at the Middle East on Labor Day (that’s September 1, folks), and you’d be silly not to experience it in its proper, bouncing context. Just make sure you digest all that barbecue first.
Plastique De Rêve, “Lost In The City”
In an effort to bring US beatfreaks tracks that are next to impossible to find stateside, DFA sprung its Death from Abroad! offshoot in 2007. So far, it’s dropped singles from London’s Mock & Toof, Osaka’s Altzm and France’s Bot’Ox. Here, Swiss producer Plastique de Rêve offers a gorgeous, pulsing chunk of neo-acid, with lilting vocals from 18-year-old phenom Ghostape.
Free Blood, “Grumpy”
Originating as a live-only party force (two mics, bass, and fake drums), the duo of Free Blood have migrated into the studio (okay, the closet of an apartment) and commenced flinging their ungodly concoction of experimental antics and straight-up party jammage onto tape. Here, vocalist John Pugh (ex-!!!) crawls up into his high-register only to drop onto the dance floor like Tigger.
Syclops, “Where’s Jason’s K”
With any luck, Syclops represent the future sound of DFA — meticulously programmed and sculpted, but brimming with a freewheeling, reassuring humanity. As suited to hard time on the floor as to soft time on the sofa, “Where’s Jason’s K” is a fitting ambassador from the trio’s freshly dropped I’ve Got My Eye on You. (Nyuk-nyuk, fellas.)