A new book has been announced, chronicling the early years of the seminal DFA Records through rare and unseen photos. Check out a selection of exclusive images on NME below.
DFA, creation of Tim Goldsworthy, Jonathan Galkin and LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy, was pivotal to the dance-rock explosion from New York at the turn of the century – putting on game-changing parties and world-shifting records by the likes of The Rapture, Black Dice, The Juan MacLean, Gavilán Rayna Russom, Delia Gonzales, and LCD themselves.
The new book, DFA: The Early Years, features a huge selection of images ranging from candid Polaroids of Goldsworthy and Murphy to rare band press shots, to tell the story of DFA from 2003 accompanied by primitive Hotmail correspondence and a new anecdotal interview with The Rapture.
The book also offers “a visual diary for fans, taking them back to a unique time in NYC’s music history – before streaming services and before price-gouging ticket hubs”.
“I made DFA Records: The Early Years as the fan book for those who were there and those who came to the party late and wanted to go back 20 years to the start,” Soter told NME. “In my early music loving days I remember how vital it was to find a UK released small press book on say New Order, that had interviews and unseen photos and a discography. It was exciting! I built all of that fan fervor and exclusive detail into this book. And it’s my story too!”
He continued: “20 years ago I put a simple ask in an email – ‘can I come and take the definitive portraits of the bands on the label that will be used for press?’ – and wound up staying on to document the rise of the label. It was a different era back then; people were approachable, NYC felt intimate, and everyone had their unique role to play. There seemed to be a finite amount of working photographers and many times I found myself as the only one in the room with a camera.”
DFA: The Early Years is available for order now here. Check out a selection of images supplied exclusively to NME below…
The same era, almost-single-handedly credited with the emergence of the “indie-sleaze” phenomenon, was also explored in Meet Me In The Bathroom – based on former NME journalist Lizzy Goodman’s oral history book on Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001–2011 before being made into a documentary movie released last year of the same name.
LCD Soundsystem recently completed a 12-date New York City residency across three different boroughs, where they performed ‘One Touch’ from ‘This Is Happening’ live for the first time and paid tribute to Shane MacGowan with a cover of The Pogues’ ‘Fairy Tale In New York’.
They will finally round out the year with two shows in San Francisco on December 30 and 31, before a run of European shows in 2024 including a headline slot at London’s All Points East on August 23. Visit here for tickets and more information.
The band last released music in 2022 with a song called ‘New Body Rhumba’, written for the soundtrack of Noah Baumbach’s White Noise. They also last released their full-length album in 2017 with ‘American Dream‘, a record which NME said “retains the uncanny power to encapsulate a place and time. This is a cautious return, not a triumphant one – and that proves LCD Soundsystem are very 2017.”