In the early part of the last decade, dance-punk briefly seemed to be taking over the world, and no song was as pervasive as The Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers," the first release from James Murphy’s DFA record label. While the genre began to lose its lustre by the mid-00s, DFA and Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem have continued with vigor, releasing the ubiquitous Sound of Silver
in 2007 and this year’s impeccable This Is Happening
. Like any iconic label DFA has a clear visual style, a look crafted by Murphy and the label’s artistic director, Michael Vadino. This week their work is the subject of That’s Cool But Can You Make It More Shit?
, an exhibition of disparate artwork in Sydney that coincides with LCD’s final Australian tour. The show also features the original scrap of paper on which the label’s lightning bolt logo was sketched. “There is some debate as to who actually drew the logo,” says Vadino. “One of them [Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy, DFA co-founder] scrawled this really rudimentary [picture] and now they both claim to have done it. I came in one day, saw it, and said, ‘That should be your logo!’ They said, ‘That piece of shit? That was a joke.’ They resisted, but I kept pushing it onto work I did for them and they finally succumbed.” Vadino says the label’s aesthetic has now begun to make sense as a whole since he began sifting through material for the exhibition, which runs until August 2 at the Tom Dunne Gallery. “There was always a common thread of being awkward: something photocopied, something cut out by hand. None of this stuff is precious.” Also today: James Murphy himself sounds off on DFA's unique graphic stylings. Read the interview >>