James Murphy discusses DFA drama for the first time

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In 2001, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy co-founded DFA Records with UK record producer Tim Goldsworthy, US record producer Tyler Brodie and US event promoter Jonathan Galkin. Starring influential dance-punk and experimental noise groups like The Rapture and Black Dice, DFA quickly gained a versatile and volatile reputation within the New York indie-rock boom of the early 2000s.

The label is currently up and running, but Galkin was ousted in the summer of 2020. The legal drama that followed turned into a war of words in the press, with Galkin telling writer Shawn Reynaldo he didn’t. received no warning or notice regarding his dismissal, and one day he was simply kicked out of the DFA headquarters. “One day I came to work and the [DFA building’s] the locks have been changed, ”Galkin said. “It was a really sad day, and the only information I got was that the partnership – of which I was a part as a minority owner – made the decision to cut the label. And then it got ugly. , with lawyers involved.

Galkin sued Murphy, Brodie and DFA LLC for breach of contract, fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment in August 2020. In a new interview with ForkMurphy responded to Galkin’s dismissal for the first time.

“I remember the feeling I was having, and it’s awful,” Murphy explained. “But after some time to think it over, he was able to listen to what I told him again. “Well, how are you going to retire? How is it going to work? What will the future look like? ‘.

Murphy explained that he felt the label was in danger of falling apart and that Galkin was “not fulfilling this [he] to believe[s] are its ethical duties to its artists. According to Murphy, DFA “had an insane burn rate and regularly needed cash injections that were meant to be temporary loans that were never loans. Which was great, I knew what we had signed up for to some extent. But after a certain point, Murphy was no longer comfortable with Galkin’s effectiveness in his role and physically locked him out of space.

“I had to do this and he knows why, and if he doesn’t know why, it’s because he just hasn’t listened,” Murphy said. “But I made it very clear why he had to go… After the initial shock – you had to be bloodless not to be shocked, because it was pretty much out of nowhere – I just called him.” and I was like, “This can’t go on. And I said to him: ‘Don’t go to the office, we will find your way out’. And he said, “OK”. And I had changed the locks because I felt he would go to the office. An hour later he called me and said, “Did you change the locks? And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m glad I changed the locks.’ “

“It sucked, I felt like I was stabbing my friend in the back, but I knew he would come in and I didn’t want him to come in.” And I’m not going to say why. Why he had to go is between me and him, and why I changed the locks is between me and him, unless he wants to share it. But I have no interest in shitting Jon.

Galkin then took a number of unfinished albums from groups that were on the DFA label and founded a new label, FourFour Records. The first release of this label will be the last album of Black Dice, Mod Prog Sic, which should fall on October 1. Galkin also shared, “There is also a strong case to be made with real teamwork from the partners, all in the same room, reviewing the artists and the accounts, the release schedules and the catalog, etc. ., the label would have been nice.

Galkin and Murphy both agreed their working relationship was hampered by Murphy’s reduced involvement in the label’s operations in recent years, particularly during the LCD Soundsystem reunion in the latter half of the 2010s. Murphy said LCD has been on hiatus since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is likely that it will reiterate its focus on DFA during this time, causing the events that led to Galkin’s departure.

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