Whether young Americans or seasoned Europeans, the dance elite usually embraces wide worldviews and mainstream riches, as if, secretly, Rod Stewart had underwritten operations all these years. With vaunted production team DFA, though, New York’s James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy break that tradition: Their remixes create boldly non-mainstream moments. Their band and artist projects—the heralded LCD Soundsystem and the Juan McLean’s brilliant fluff—conform to indie rock’s often cramped vistas. But captured here, the duo’s best remix work catches them in a more authentic and juicer dance vein. Listening to their lean reductions of such outfits as Le Tigre and Blues Explosion, you understand why a Parisian electronicist like Colder took DFA’s style as his template. It’s definitely something.
This is dance music madeas if New Order had been running the show, a bunch of inside tracks that Murphy and Goldsworthy turn outside. Redoing “The Boxer” (a Chemical Brothers track), DFA swap amusement park gunk for chic lobby minimalism; with Soulwax’s Bambaataa-busy “Another Excuse,” they make a conversational racket with single notes, skimpy riffs, and naked drums. DFA: two guys superb at making virtually nothing snap.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 2, 2006