LIVE: James Murphy X Eric Duncan at Output
by Reginald Duvivier
On a cool summer night in NYC James Murphy, the rock star lord who abdicated his throne with his recently dismantled LCD Soundsystem project, came to check in on his former subjects. The night was billed as somewhat of a competition, with Murphy pitted against one of his label’s (DFA Records) signee’s Eric Duncan. Across three decks the two DJ’s consistently traded places; two songs in a row here, three songs in a row there. A line of friends and well-wishers streamed into the side of the DJ booth to pay homage while cans of Sapporo (consumed by Duncan) or flutes of champagne (consumed by Murphy) were tipped back. There was some screaming along to songs in each other’s ears, some playful shoves, but the night had more of a family reunion vibe than anything else.
One of the issues in NYC nightlife as of late is that sometimes the attendees feel that they are too cool to dance and ruin their meticulously put together clothes. Not at Output; it was a full on dance party with a minimal amount of people hawking the DJ booth and a maximum amount of people sweating themselves off (and onto each other) on the dance floor. It helped that the venue has fantastic speaker setup along with Murphy’s ear as a music producer and ex-sound man; there were no mp3’s with shitty bitrates played. The sound was pristine and Murphy and his DFA’s crew preference for hard-hitting disco beats were well served.
You would figure that after several hours of disco one would get bored, but what’s great about Murphy’s and Duncan’s taste is that they found that 4 beat signature goodness in a wide variety of genres. Sometimes the tracks would veer off into a little more 80’s new wave, sometimes more soulful and funky, sometimes into the recent dance punk revolution that he helped start. But it was always that disco beat that brought everything together and kept everyone moving and shaking without stopping.