DFA's TIM Goldsworthy and TIM Sweeney with Andrew Allsgood , DMT , John Kong and Spence Diamonds at the Supermarket (268 Augusta), Saturday (February 12). $10. 416-840-0501. Rating: NNNNN
The meeting of Mo' Wax triphop geezer Tim Goldsworthy of UNKLE infamy with third-tier math rock drummer James Murphy didn't appear to be a studio combination built for success. Yet there's no denying that their influential DFA production team and label have shaken up the club scene and opened up dance floors to shag-cut geeks with guitars.
The whole twisted DFA world-domination-through-quirky-remixes scheme seemed to be working according to plan until their flagship group, the Rapture, was bought by Gary Gersh to add some credibility to his Universal-backed Strummer start-up. Since then, the DFA operation has been in a holding pattern while Goldsworthy and Murphy regrouped and plotted their next move.
Joining forces with a major label was a surprise in itself, but an even bigger shock was that they didn't follow the Rapture to Universal. Instead, they hooked up with EMI, which is releasing the LCD Soundsystem's self-titled debut album Tuesday (February 15). See review, page 86.
"Actually, EMI was the first major label to show interest in what we were doing," explains Goldsworthy from his Brooklyn home. "The people at the UK office of EMI were amazing. They just weren't prepared to put up as much money as Universal for the Rapture.
"But DFA kept on talking to EMI, and after two years of discussions we finally had a deal that made everyone happy.
"The Universal people never really understood what we were about, and that shows in the singles they've released by the Rapture. By putting out House Of Jealous Lovers yet again, they threw away all the hard work that had been done and didn't pay any respect to the fans who'd been there from the early days. It's very sad."
The deal with EMI appears to have shaken DFA out of the doldrums and given them a renewed sense of purpose. The release of the highly anticipated LCD Soundsystem disc will be followed in quick succession by the Juan McLean full-length and a long-overdue collection of DFA's innovative remixes.
Speaking of which, they've just been in the studio adding some excitement to the Blues Explosion's track Mars, Arizona, and there's more cut-up chicanery to come.
"Next week we'll be starting work on a Nine Inch Nails remix," chuckles Goldsworthy mischievously. "There's no point in trying to out-punk them, so I think we'll go the other way and try for more of a gay disco thing. It should be a lot of fun.
"Part of what makes our partnership work is that James and I are both willing to investigate those areas that other producers would call incredibly tasteless."
In addition to the label and the remixes, DFA is also notorious for putting on insane dance parties. So expect the DJ team of chief selector Goldsworthy ("I don't put my hands on the decks") and his turntable-friendly associate, Tim Sweeney, to tear up the Supermarket Saturday (February 12) with deep dark 80s disco damage spiked with a few 70s prog-psych curiosities to keep the spotters guessing.
However, those hoping to hear the latest DFA edits would be better off checking out Morgan Geist's set over at 99 Sudbury. Goldsworthy isn't one for shameless self-promotion.
"I can't play my own stuff in clubs," he gasps. "That's too much like shouting, 'Hey, everyone, look at me! Aren't I great?' Some people don't have a problem with it, but I can't do it.
"We went to see Tiga spin once, and all he played the whole night was the stuff he'd produced and remixed. I felt like yelling, 'You know, there are other people who make music too!'"