LCD Soundsystem debut album turns 15

On January 24th, 2005, James Murphy‘s collective released the eponymous debut studio album through DFA. The record contained nine new compositions and regained the previous non-album singles, among those recorded between 2002 and 2004. The bonus-disc packed two reworks on ‘Yeah,’ giving a historical stand for ‘Losing My Edge/Beat Connection,’ the first that drew attention to the band.
If there are genuine NYC momentums in albums like “The Velvet Underground & Nico” in the ’60s, “Suicide” in the ’70s, “The Message,” “License to Ill, ” and “Pay In Full” in the ’80s, “All Eyez On Me” and “Illmatic” in the ’90s, “LCD Soundsystem” is for the millennial turn. Am I exaggerating? Maybe. But this one is the closest to a musical correlate for the most significant city’s transformation. A retro-call for vanishing realities asking for relocation. Cultural gentrification. A post-modern peak.
James Murphy grew up in New Jersey and crossed way to the city. A young musician involved in different bands from the ’80s through the ’90s, an engineer in charge of the sound setup of Sub Pop band Six Finger Satellite, and a record producer for David Holmes. With fellow Tim Goldsworthy (formerly UNKLE) began djing on the Lower East Side under the stage name Death From Above. Self-considered as “not even an outsider, just sort of a nobody, invisible, sad and kind of shy,” he became a cool DJ for his unexpected sessions, playing records nobody dared to play, picking up from Can, PIL, Mars to The Human League, The Normal, through Lou Reed, The Sonics, The Fall… and all those ready to pull the thread on memory lane. He was moving furtively in a particular direction, a “new way to realize old values.”
With the creation of a label and production house, DFA, LCD Soundsystem was an open collective with the core trio formed by Patrick Mahoney and Nancy Whang. Claiming “I Was There” is more than referential; it is a vivid private archive growing whether lived or not even presumed.
In a narrative style rather than singing, ironically moved, by all means, Murphy places venues disappeared in the map of inner-city chic related to groundbreaking artists as a consulting page on the internet for the new generations. In a sense, the album seems the voice of the absent structure of substitution. The punk no longer surrounds the dirty streets of the Bowery but is the random talk of any Brooklyn coffee shop. The early morning footsteps echoing through abandoned meat warehouses were Suicide in mind ignoring the danger. Now is the rattling keys for a luxury apartment in Tribeca.
With resounds of Brian Eno‘s “Another Green World” and Talking Head‘s “Fear Of Music,” “LCD Soundsystem” engages in the production, strategically flavored with cowbells and rims of the disco era, edging the rhythmic propelling force of walking in a mental talk. Yes, not cohesive, but thought on repeat: different places, the same conclusion. And NYC is repeating: “You’re history, and I’m tapped.”