A deep collective sigh could be heard from the world's indie music fans last year when LCD Soundsystem announced its breakup. The decision left many wondering where members like James Murphy, Nancy Whang, and Pat Mahoney were going to take their careers next. While some joined bands such as !!!, others chose to continue sharing music with the masses as DJs, with Murphy and Mahoney performing together as DJ duo Special Disco Version and Whang doing several club gigs of her own, as well working with The Juan Maclean and Soulwax. Their DJing success now has them performing at massive DJ bonanzas like HARD and, most recently, S.F's The Creators Project. All Shook Down recently spoke with Whang and Mahoney together over iChat about DJing together, their favorite record stores, and what they're up to these days. They perform at Public Works this Friday with support from Eug.
You guys were here last week along with James Murphy for The Creators Project. What did you think of that concept?
We love the idea of tons of money going towards funding weird but ambitious art projects.
LCD just released Shut Up and Play the Hits. What were your thoughts on it? Do you think it was a good last hurrah?
The last hurrah was the show. Shut Up and Play the Hits is more like a nice afterword. Or if the show was a movie, [Shut Up] is that little extra bit of footage they sometimes put at the end of the credits for the super fans that refuse to leave the theater.
You both are known for having vast record collections. But what do each of your record collections actually look like?
Room-dividing walls. But smaller than John Peel's.
Touring with LCD, you guys must have seen some great record stores around the world. What are your favorites?
Disco Lecção in Lisbon, Portugal. It's on a really steep stairwell in Barrio Alto. For the longest time we could never remember what it was called or where it was, but we always managed to divine its location somehow.
Phonica in London. Pretty much the place to get the best dance 12 inches. Sadly and weirdly, we don't really have anything quite as good in NYC.
The place next to the Vooruit in Gent, Belgium. James found a copy of Eisbär and we all separately considered jumping him for it.
Lost in Music, Brussels, Belgium. Tiny but dense with great records.
Sleeping Bugz, Tokyo, Japan.
Disk Union, Tokyo, Japan. Record mecca.
Cosmos, Toronto, Canada.
And of course, A-1 Records in NYC.
A lot of your music and DJ sets are influenced by the '80s. What appeals to you guys about that era musically?
Well, we lived through them, so it's not that they necessarily have a special appeal as much as they were the conditions under which our musical selves were being formed. Also, in the dark ages before the Internet, there was such a thing as an underground, and there are still so many under-appreciated scenes to investigate.
Do you ever get flak from people who think you can't DJ since you were in a band?
Who said either of us knows how to DJ?
What's something people don't usually expect to hear in your DJ sets that you play?
Generally the expectation is that we're going to play all LCD songs all night long. So everything but that.
So what happens to people if they ask for LCD during your DJ sets?
They experience a sinking feeling in their heart area. But then proceed to have an uplifted feeling from hearing music that might be new to them.
Is the vibe DJing together different than playing in a band together, or is it the same chemistry?
The chemistry is the same. But also better because we can give each other hugs. And Pat can wear pants.
Since James and Pat have a DJ moniker -- Special Disco Version -- what would the moniker for you two be?
Window and Aisle. Guess where we like to sit on an airplane?
What will the setup be like at Public Works? Will you guys be alternating or DJing together? Vinyl only?
We'll be DJing together. Not strictly vinyl but no laptops.
Where can we catch you hanging out in SF?
Amoeba Records. And wherever the fish tacos are.