DFA Records

DFA Records
Founded 2001
Founder Tim Goldsworthy
James Murphy
Jonathan Galkin
Distributor(s) EMI
Genre Dance-punk, Electronic, Disco
Country of origin United States
Location New York, New York
Official Website http://www.dfarecords.com

DFA Records is an independent record label and production team, launched in September 2001 by Mo' Wax co-founder Tim Goldsworthy, musician James Murphy,[1] and manager Jonathan Galkin.[2] The label has an exclusive distribution deal with major record label EMI.[3]



James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy met while working in New York on the David Holmes album Let's Get Killed.[4] After the recording was completed, Goldsworthy stayed in New York, and the two began to throw parties in the Lower East Side. They wished to start a record label, but it was not until they met Jonathan Galkin, who subsequently quit his event-production job to run the label that it took off.[2]

DFA Records began on a series of 12" single vinyl releases starting with The Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers" and The Juan Maclean's "By The Time I Get To Venus". "House of Jealous Lovers" went on to sell 7500 copies.[5] Many of the early releases of DFA's catalog were released in Europe through Trevor Jackson's Output Recordings. After completing production on The Rapture's debut full-length album Echoes, DFA began to shop around the album. Although The Rapture eventually signed to Universal Music Group, the DFA label secured a deal with EMI for distribution of its acts outside the United States, along with several distributors within the U.S.[3]

The label has grown steadily since, producing full-length albums for its ever-growing roster of artists, as well as releasing a selection of singles and compilations on their label. Notable releases include The Rapture's EP "House of Jealous Lovers", the twice-Grammy nominated debut of James Murphy's band LCD Soundsystem and its follow-up Sound of Silver. DFA-label compilation albums include The DFA Remixes - Chapter Two from October 2006, a companion pieces to the earlier The DFA Remixes – Chapter One. Signed artists represented on such albums include The Rapture, The Juan Maclean, Black Dice, Shit Robot, Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom, J.O.Y., Pixeltan, Black Leotard Front, Hot Chip, and LCD Soundsystem.

As a production team, the DFA have produced and remixed artists including Radio 4, Le Tigre, N.E.R.D., Soulwax, Blues Explosion, Nine Inch Nails, Automato, Gorillaz, UNKLE, The Chemical Brothers and M.I.A.. The DFA remix of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" appeared on A. R. Rahman's Academy Award-winning Slumdog Millionaire (soundtrack). They spent an afternoon writing a song with Britney Spears.[6]

Death From Abroad

In 2007 DFA Records started an imprint label entitled Death From Abroad. This offshoot is used to release 12" singles by artists not based in North America, such as Mock & Toof and ALTZ.[7] The imprint also released a CD compilation of tracks released on the Berlin based Supersoul Recordings.[8]

Name dispute

The label's original name was Death From Above Records, dating from Murphy's nickname for the soundsystem he had helped build for Six Finger Satellite. This name was deemed inappropriate for a New York City-based label following the September 11, 2001 attacks and subsequently shortened to its abbreviation DFA.

In 2004, DFA Records forced the Canadian duo Death From Above to change their name to Death from Above 1979. Murphy explained his side of the story in a 2005 interview with Pitchfork Media:

We knew about them for a long time, the name thing wasn't a big deal. It wasn't until they signed to a major label, which wouldn't release the record until we signed off on the name. That's how this all came about.... [Parent company of Death From Above 1979's label, Vice] Atlantic's not gonna release a record by a band with the same name as another entity in music.... We spent a lot of money because we didn't just wanna be total fucking assholes and just say no. We were trying to find a way for it to actually work.... I was like, "What the hell's wrong with Death From Above 1979?" But the copyright attorney was like, "No, that's not fine." And I said, "If they become a totally different name, and it delays their record, that's something I'm not comfortable with." So we just tried to make it work as well as possible.[9]

Sound and influence

As well as Murphy's LCD Soundsystem the label is currently home to the likes of The Juan Maclean, Hot Chip (North America only), Shit Robot, Gavin Russom, Prinzhorn Dance School, Shocking Pinks, Holy Ghost!, Still Going, Syclops, Planningtorock and YACHT. They are also jointly releasing music with fellow New York City based label Rong Music, by artists such as Free Blood and Woolfy.[10] The label has also reissued the first two albums by Athens, Georgia based new wave band Pylon, the first time they have been available on CD,[11][12] as well as a retrospective collection of tracks by Peter Gordon & the Love of Life Orchestra.[13]

The influence of bands like Talking Heads, Liquid Liquid, ESG, and Blondie can be heard throughout the DFA catalog, as well as British electronica pioneers, New Order.[14][15][16][17] Rather than retread, however, the DFA have taken the live dance music of the time and infused the techniques and themes with a modern aesthetic—alternately faster, heavier, dubbier, noisier, and generally more intense than their influences.


Artists who have released music on DFA records include:





The following outlines production credits to The DFA (Murphy and Goldsworthy), and is not a list of recordings released by DFA Records.
  • A New Machine for Living by Turing Machine (Jade Tree · 2000)
  • AM Gold by Zero Zero (Jade Tree · 2001)
  • Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks EP by The Rapture (Sub Pop · 2001)
  • Gotham by Radio 4 (City Slang · 2002)
  • Automato by Automato (co-produced by Phil Mossman) (Coup de Grace · 2003)
  • Echoes by The Rapture (DFA · 2003)
  • "El Monte"/"Rise" (single) by Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom (DFA · 2003)
  • "Get Up/Say What" (single) by Pixeltan (DFA · 2004)
  • "Kousho" and "Ibasho" by We Acediasts, on Pre Acediasts EP (Mesh-Key · 2004)
  • "Casual Friday" (single) by Black Leotard Front (DFA · 2005)
  • LCD Soundsystem by LCD Soundsystem (DFA · 2005)
  • Less Than Human by The Juan MacLean (DFA · 2005)
  • The Days of Mars LP by Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom (DFA · 2005)
  • "Wrong Galaxy"/"Triumph" (single) by Shit Robot (DFA · 2006)
  • Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem (DFA · 2007)
  • Prinzhorn Dance School by Prinzhorn Dance School (DFA · 2007)
  • "Chasm"/"Lonely Planet" (single) by Shit Robot (DFA · 2007)
  • "Hold On" (single) by Holy Ghost! (DFA · 2007)
  • "Happy House" (single) by The Juan MacLean (DFA · 2008)
  • "The Simple Life" (single) by The Juan MacLean (DFA · 2008)
  • The Future Will Come by The Juan MacLean (DFA · 2009)
  • "Stuck On Nothing" by Free Energy (DFA · 2009)
  • "Simple Things (Work it out)" by Shit Robot (DFA · 2009)
  • This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem (DFA · 2010)
  • From the Cradle to the Rave by Shit Robot (co-produced by Marcus Lambkin) (DFA · 2010)


  • "Deceptacon" (DFA remix) for Le Tigre, on Remix (Mr. Lady · 2001)
  • "Orange Alert" (DFA remix) for Metro Area, on "Dance Reaction" (Source · 2002)
  • "Dance to the Underground" (The DFA version) for Radio 4, on "Dance to the Underground" (City Slang · 2002)
  • "Emerge" (DFA version) for Fischerspooner, on "Emerge" (Capitol · 2002)
  • "Destination: Overdrive" (DFA remix) for Chromeo, on "Destination: Overdrive" (Turbo · 2003)
  • "Rise" (DFA remix) for Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom, on "El Monte"/"Rise" (DFA · 2003)
  • "In a State" (DFA remix) for UNKLE, on "In a State" (Mo' Wax · 2003)
  • "Shake Your Coconuts" (DFA mix) and (DFA Instrumental mix) for Junior Senior, on "Shake Your Coconuts" (Atlantic · 2003)
  • "Sister Saviour" (DFA remix) and (DFA remix instrumental), and "Echoes" (DFA remix) for The Rapture, on "Sister Saviour" (Output · 2003)
  • "Sunplus" (DFA remix) for J.O.Y., on DFA Compilation #2 (DFA · 2004)
  • "Get Up/Say What" (DFA remix) for Pixeltan, on "Get Up/Say What" (single) (DFA · 2004)
  • "She Wants to Move" (DFA remix) for N.E.R.D., on "She Wants to Move" (Virgin · 2004)
  • "Mars, Arizona" (DFA remix) for Blues Explosion, on "Crunchy" EP (Mute · 2005)
  • "Dare" (DFA remix) for Gorillaz, on "Dare" (Parlophone · 2005)
  • "Another Excuse" (DFA remix) for Soulwax, on "NY Excuse" (PIAS · 2005)
  • "The Hand That Feeds" (DFA remix) for Nine Inch Nails, on "The Hand That Feeds" (DFA remixes) and "Only" (Interscope · 2005)
  • "Just Like We (Breakdown)" (DFA remix) for Hot Chip, on "Over & Over"/"Just Like We (Breakdown)" (Astralwerks · 2005)
  • "Smiling Off" (DFA remix) for Black Dice, on "Smiling Off" (DFA · 2005)
  • "The Boxer" (DFA Version) for The Chemical Brothers, on "The Boxer" (Virgin · 2005)
  • "(Far From) Home" (DFA remix) for Tiga, on "(Far From) Home" (PIAS · 2006)
  • "Colours" (DFA remix) for Hot Chip, on "Colours" (EMI · 2006)
  • "Slide In" (DFA remix) for Goldfrapp, on "Fly Me Away" (Mute · 2006)
  • "Relevee" (DFA remix) for Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom, on "Revelee" (DFA · 2006)
  • "Springfield" (DFA Remix) for Arthur Russell, on "Springfield" (Audika · 2006)
  • "My Love" (DFA Remix) for Justin Timberlake, on "My Love" (Zomba · 2006)
  • "Frontline" (DFA Remix) for Captain, on "Frontline" (EMI · 2006)
  • "Paper Planes" (DFA Remix) for M.I.A. on Paper Planes (Homeland Security Remixes) - EP (XL Records - 2008)
  • "Tomorrow" (DFA Remix) for Clinic on "Tomorrow" (Domino Records - 2008)

See also


  1. ^ "DFA Records: An Interview With James Murphy". Free Williamsburg. 2002-10-01. http://www.freewilliamsburg.com/october_2002/dfa.html. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  2. ^ a b "DFA: Sweet Connection". ModularPeople. 2004. http://www.modularpeople.com/03/dfa/. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  3. ^ a b Paoletta, Michael (2004-11-13). "DFA Inches Toward Mainstream". Billboard. http://www.allbusiness.com/retail-trade/miscellaneous-retail-retail-stores-not/4646433-1.html. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  4. ^ "Label Profile: DFA Records". Junkmedia. 2004-06-09. http://www.junkmedia.org/index.php?i=1063. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  5. ^ Romano, Tricia (2002-09-03). "Prophecy Fulfilled". Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/2002-09-03/nyc-life/prophecy-fulfilled/. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  6. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2004-10-26). "House of Zealous Rockers". Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/2004-10-26/news/house-of-zealous-rockers/. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  7. ^ Maher, Dave (2007-08-08). "DFA Spawns New Label: Death From Abroad". Pitchfork. http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/page/news/44786-dfa-spawns-new-label-death-from-abroad. 
  8. ^ "DFA teams up with Supersoul". Fact Magazine. 2008-05-02. http://www.factmagazine.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=521&Itemid=26. 
  9. ^ Sylvester, Nick (2005-05-09). "Jukebox: James Murphy". Pitchfork. http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/31332/Jukebox_James_Murphy. 
  10. ^ "Free Blood D.F.A. Records/Rong Music". Anthem Magazine. 2008-06-23. http://www.anthemmagazine.com/story/587. 
  11. ^ "PYLON - DFA reissues & some shows (like at Merc)". Brooklyn Vegan. 2007-10-07. http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2007/10/pylon_dfa_reiss.html. 
  12. ^ "New Reissue: Pylon: Chomp More". Pitchfork Media. 2009-10-14. http://pitchfork.com/news/36815-new-reissue-pylon-ichomp-morei. 
  13. ^ "Peter Gordon & Love of Life Orchestra: "Another Heartbreak"". Pitchfork Media. 2010-05-06. http://www.pitchfork.com/forkcast/14255-another-heartbreak. 
  14. ^ Keefe, Michael (2007-03-20). "Sound of Silver". PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/lcd-soundsystem-sound-of-silver/. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  15. ^ Sisson, Patrick (2003-09-11). "Echoes". PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/r/rapture-echoes.shtml. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  16. ^ Theakston, Rob (2003-09-11). "The Warning". AllMusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-warning-r833768. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  17. ^ Hogan, Mark (2007-09-27). "The Shocking Pinks". Pitchfork Media. http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/10708-shocking-pinks/. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 

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