From his LCD Soundsystem persona, James Murphy comes off as a bit of a cantankerous crank—a hater, even. “Losing My Edge” dropped an H-bomb on Bedford Avenue and its hipper-than-thou collector-scum denizens (never mind that he's one himself), while on this year's Sound of Silver, he sneered about “North American Scum” (he's that, too). Once removed from such cultural critiques, though, Murphy is a lover. Take the Nike-commissioned 45:33: It not only folded into its ecstatic grooves the history of disco music—from Hot Chocolate to Arthur Russell to Larry Levan—but it was also a wide-eyed, ecstatic, first-person account of how a DJ saved his life.
Such love overflows on his new mix for London-based label/club Fabric. While the studio incarnation of LCD is centered on Murphy, the live band revolves around man/machine drummer Pat Mahoney, who teams up here with Murphy to make overt their love of disco in its myriad forms and ceaseless hi-hat impetuses. Did we mention the love? There's Donald Byrd's “Love Has Come Around,” Chic's “I Feel Your Love Comin' On,” JT's “I Love Music”—and the set opens and closes with Peter Gordon and Love of Life Orchestra.
Not content with shouting out to disco's heyday practitioners on the Salsoul and Ze labels, Murphy and Mahoney also slip in some new jacks. There's Theo Parrrish/GQ's “ugly edit” of “Lies” and tracks from Environ's Baby Oliver and Daniel Wang. DFA studio assistant Eric Broucek dons his slinky Babytalk guise; recent DFA signees Still Going show up; and even LCD's “Hippie Priest Bum-out” B-side appears. It's more a set of choice cuts than a seamless cresting mix, but that's no reason to hate on Murphy's hapless (yet still legendary) beat-matching skills. What's not to love?