Various Artists – DFA Compilation#1

Death From Above, also known as dfa, is one of the hottest labels in New York right now. Formed sometime around 1998 by an English producer (Tim Goldsworthy) and a musician from New Jersey (James Murphy) dfa have been promoting underground dance parties, while producing and releasing a new style of dance record. The releases are edgy and raw, and with many it is hard to tell if they have danced up a punk track or punked up a dance track. It is those tracks, which have so defied categorisation, that gave birth to the term discopunk. This compilation is a sampler of songs that are already classics of their genre.

The Juan Maclean start us off with the heavy but classic disco bassline of the ‘By The Time I Get To Venus’. Strong elements of classic House run through this light-hearted but seriously funky dance. Those elements are continued in the live version of the infectious ‘You Can’t Have It Both Ways’.

A more organic dance sound can be found in the excellent LCD Soundsystem. Beginning with the driving bass of ‘Give It up’ along with the defiant monologue to the flat beat of ‘Losing My Edge’. LCD Soundsystem use punk vocals to offer simple, yet potent, messages to great effect.


In a blast of jarring guitars, screaming vocals and absolute funk come The Rapture with the incredible sound of ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’. This is a truly great song, balancing dance and rock on a knife-edge to create a track that can’t be ignored. By contrast, ‘Silent Morning’ is a work of dreamy subtlety and space age sounds. The cathartic cries sit atop more optimistic sounds that conjure up tropical island paradise.

Last, but not least, we come to Black Dice. The ‘Dice are definitely at the more challenging end of the dfa spectrum; they have combined what appear to have been the most disparate of found sounds into slowly evolving pieces that are not afraid of complete minimalism or wilful chaos. The results are not for the feint hearted. The freaky ‘Cone Toaster’ develops into an impressively abrasive perversion of house while ‘Endless Happiness’, by complete contrast, takes a more delicate, even pastoral, approach with its samples of waves crashing, whale song and high pitched pipes.

When they are put all together the effect is like a blurring of boundaries that only leaves you to wonder what else they can achieve.

Label : dfa

Release Date : 05 Apr 2004

Website :

MP3 Downloads :


  • The Juan Maclean – By The Time I Get To Venus
  • LCD Soundsystem – Give It Up
  • The Rapture – House Of Jealous Lovers
  • Black Dice – Cone Toaster
  • The Juan Maclean – You Can’t Have It Both Ways
  • The Rapture – Silent Morning
  • LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge
  • Black Dice – Endless Happiness

Previous post Surferosa – Shanghai My Heart
Next post Super Furry Animals – Phantom Phorce

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: