By: Damian Moran
It’s been two weeks and I am still grieving a bit over James Murphy’s retirement from the electronic music scene… At least for the time being. There is no doubt in my mind he will go on to produce more music in the future. For those of us who have been able to steal a glance at the farewell show at Madison Square Garden, and the rest who are anxiously awaiting the re-mastered DVD release, you can’t help but feel a small void in your musical soul. Someone great is gone.
Sure LCD Soundsystem isn’t the first group you think of when you think of The Untz's traditional spotlights, but James Murphy is a key contributor to the culture of electronic music. Not only a producer, Murphy plays drums, bass, synths, piano, organs, guitar, clavinets, and many other instruments, using sophisticated programming to piece it all together, creating music that has its own feel.
Twice nominated and once winner of a Grammy award, LCD Soundsystem had something that not most electronic musicians aim for, an emotional connection to its listeners. It was as though whatever Murphy was feeling, you are feeling too; the music travels through your cells. It keeps your head bobbing and your shoulders swaying. Most of the songs are built over loops of bass, drums, keyboard and guitar with everything from claps to cow bells making an appearance. Murphy beautifully composes music that can be enjoyed by an indie-rock fan as well as a club hopper. I think the big reason people will miss LCD Soundsystem is because you could actually feel the passion and energy put into each song by James Murphy. It is a rare thing to be able to say that about many other electronic music groups.
“All My Friends” and “Someone Great” are two prime examples of Murphy’s genius, both tracks highly acclaimed by critics. This album was an electronic masterpiece, straight from Murphy’s soul. The two aforementioned tracks were produced and performed by Murphy solo. During their short time on the scene, LCD Soundsystem showed us you could craft electronic music without everyone having to get sweaty to enjoy it.
It all ended right where it started for LCD Soundsystem, New York City. Murphy and fellow band members played a set that stretched over 3 hours and included some of my favorite tracks such as “Tribulations,” “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House,” “Get Innocuous,” and “New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down.” The electronic music community will definitely miss Murphy’s talent and creativity. Be sure to keep an eye and ear out for the release of the farewell show DVD, and more to come from James Murphy. I assure you this brilliant musical mind is not finished.
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