Well, kudos to the DFA boys for a succinct title - this is indeed a compilation of the New York production duo/label's 12" a-side output thus far, and it's a pretty impressive one at that. The DFA gets props far and above the pasty, unwashed masses of Williamsburger bands who have been mistakenly labeled with some permutation of the adjective "dance-" (as in dance-punk, dance-post-punk, whatever) in the recent "hey, white people are cool again" rock revival/media frenzy. A sloppy four-to-the-floor beat and a well-worn copy of the Gang of Four's Entertainment do not dance music make, my friends. What separates the DFA aesthetic from this chaff is an un-ironic appreciation of early Chicago house, deep disco, dancey post-punk, and rock in general, and the ability to combine them all in a way that each retains its stylistic integrity in the mix. In other words, no one is laughing at the music they are making. The Rapture doesn't sound like a rock group trying to make half-assed dance records, they simply sound like a good band. Things kick off with nicely with The Juan MacLean's "By The Time I Get To Venus," a bumping electro number that reference's dark '80s electro-pop without getting cheeky. James Murphy's (1/2 of the DFA) LCD Soundsystem release "Give It Up" is a great itchey post-punk dance number, and while you might be sick of The Rapture's "House Of Jealous Lovers" by now, it is a massively great track, arguably the soundtrack of NYC the last year, and the record that put the DFA on map. Also here is the Rapture's damaged-pretty "Silent Morning", LCD's hilarious hipster anti-anthem "Losing My Edge, The Juan MacLean's "You Can't Have It Both Ways," and two tracks from free-form wankers (in a good way) the Black Dice.
- music label: DFA / 2003