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James Murphy is a musician, producer, DJ, and co-founder of dance-punk label DFA Records. His most well-known musical project is LCD Soundsystem, which first gained attention with its first single, “Losing My Edge”, in 2002 before releasing their eponymous debut album in February 2005 to critical acclaim and top 20 success in the UK.
Starting in 1993, Murphy used the name Death from Above when DJing, a nickname that was given to his signature PA setup while he was the sound setup for Six Finger Satellite. The original name of Murphy’s and co-owner Tim Goldsworthy’s DFA Records was Death from Above Records (though this name was deemed inappropriate for a New York City-based label after the September 11, 2001 attacks). A two-man Canadian band originally called themselves Death from Above before there was a dispute over the name. In response to the threat, the Canadian group changed the minimum number of characters legally required of them and became Death from Above 1979.
Murphy was a member of Falling Man from 1988 to 1989, Pixies-soundalikes Pony from 1992 to 1994 and Speedking from 1995 to 1997. He was also the sound engineer for Sub Pop band Six Finger Satellite. Former Six Finger Satellite member John Maclean is now on DFA records as The Juan Maclean. In 1999 he formed DFA with Tim Goldsworthy (formerly of UNKLE). At age 22, Murphy was offered a job writing for what was then a little-known sitcom named Seinfeld. He did not expect the show to be successful and chose to continue with music instead.
Murphy’s second LCD Soundsystem album, entitled Sound of Silver, was released on March 12, 2007. He also has a CD in the Fabriclive CD series, Fabric Live 36, made in collaboration with LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney, released in October 2007. In late 2008 Murphy also announced he is to play bass guitar in a as-yet unnamed classic rock band with LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney and friends Scott Wells and Paul Sprangers, although this was later refuted by Murphy as a misinterpretation.