Shit Robot From The Cradle To The Rave Music
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While working as a DJ in New York in 2000 he befriended James Murphy, later of LCD Soundsystem, and started a DJ partnership with him. Lambkin moved to rural Germany in 2004 and started producing his own music, with a number of releases on DFA Records from 2006. He released his debut album From the Cradle to the Rave in September 2010 to positive reviews from Entertainment.ie and NME. The album features contributions from Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip and James Murphy amongst others.
"My family think it's hilarious. My wife's parents are German Counts and Countesses and they're not quite so crazy about it," confides Marcus Lambkin, aka Shit Robot, sipping on a drink in a hotel just off Old Street tube station. He's reflecting on his faecal-matter-crossed-with-android moniker; the same pseudonym under which he released his debut album Cradle To The Rave earlier this year, a brilliantly schizophrenically record that serves as a map marking his own treasured musical obsessions including house, techno, rave and electro and which features contributions from fellow DFA residents such as James Murphy, Juan Maclean and Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor. He pauses momentarily - throughout our forty-minute conversation, Lambkin scarcely draws breath for longer than nanoseconds at a time - before laughingly adding: "But my wife's mum loves the music. She even has her friends over to listen to it - sitting there in a castle with her 80-year-old friends listening to 'Wrong Galaxy'."
For someone who now lives in an ancient Schloss belonging to his wife's ancestors and rubs shoulders with the shepherds of his remote village outside Stuttgart ("They have the crooks and everything," he insists), Lambkin's history is fittingly haphazard. There are certain plotting points along the way; markers which take you from A to B, perhaps, but without ever fully explaining the terrain in between. He grew up in Ireland, which is where he first started to discover the music that would form the kernel of Cradle To The Rave, but didn't start to DJ until he applied for a Green Card advertisement he saw in a newspaper, quit his cabinet making apprenticeship and moved to New York at the age of 21. Some years later, after blagging sets in clubs and bars in East Village, he met James Murphy through a mutual friend and the two hit it off by playing each other their favourite records; fast-forward another indistinct period of time, and he'd be in the studio with the LCD Soundsystem frontman working on his debut album, before moving to Germany to apply the finishing touches.
"Well, that's what the press and the reviews have been saying," agrees Lambkin. " '20 years in the making'. It actually took three or four years to make, but I never really sat down to make an album. It was more like, 'I think I have enough tracks to make an album now'. But it's definitely an amalgamation of all the stuff I've been listening to for 20 years. I first started going to raves in the late 80s, and that stuff is what's stuck with me to today, and that's where the main influences of the record are all from."
There, through friends of friends, his first break came playing at legendary not-quite-CBGB's rock venue, Brownies. In an early example of playing Daft Punk to the rock kids, he would spin Euro rave anthems (bought, for cents, from the bargain bins at stores like Vinyl Mania and Sonic Groove) to a, generally, empty Sunday night dancefloor. "I'd play to, like, 15 people, but," stresses Marcus, "that's where I learned to mix and DJ properly."
At its mid-90s peak, that NY club scene was uniquely hedonistic; an amoral vortex of chemicals, bizarre spectacle and provocative behaviour, that was both terrible and compelling. "It was a big shock," says Marcus. "That whole Club Kids period - that ended up with that kid Angel being murdered by Michael Alig - was insane. You'd be out, in a club, and there'd be cages with people having sex in them and all these people dressed like complete freaks. For a kid from Dublin, it was constantly: what the fuck!? It's weird. The clubs were amazing and things like hearing Vasquez play the Sound Factory blew me away. But it wasn't the clubbing that I knew. It was all about posing and pulling flashy dance moves. It wasn't rave."
However, as Murphy began to piece a studio together beneath Plant's Lower East Side offices, they bonded. Marcus, the cabinet maker, offered to help build the studio, and Murphy would give him a lift home after work. Tentatively, they started playing each other their favourite music. Marcus would play Murphy "good dance music", from classic house to Mr Oizo's Flat Beat. In return, Murphy would play Marcus all the records, from Liquid Liquid to the Silver Apples, that those dance tracks sampled. "I was stunned," Marcus admits. "Over night, I realised my heroes had just pillaged these great records."
Soon after, Marcus and Dominique Keegan opened Plant Bar (legal capacity: 74), which - with the Rapture's Luke Jenner manning the bar, and everyone from Felix Da Housecat to Beastie Boy Ad Rock in the crowd - became DFA's unofficial HQ. On Fridays, Murphy and Marcus would DJ all sorts of eclectic madness: Krautrock, early house and techno, electro and electroclash, punk rock, proto-electronics and vintage synth-pop, under the name, Shit Robot. "I'd always been a very serious DJ, mixing perfectly, very po-faced," says Marcus, as explains the genesis of the name, for which Murphy then provided the Bender-like, waving-robot logo. "James was always like, 'look, you retard, chill out, you're just playing other peoples' records'. He was always threatening to show up in a 'I'm With Marcus' t-shirt and white gloves, and do really shit robotics dancing in front of the DJ booth, to embarrass me. That's how the 'shit robot' tag came about."
The sound forged by DFA at Plant Bar between 2000-2002, that fusion of post-punk and dance music, reverberated globally. It made Murphy a reluctant star as LCD Soundsystem, and paved the way (whether anyone likes it or not) for new rave and much modern electro. Marcus, however, just couldn't get any music made. "I fannied around and smoked far too much pot," he explains, simply.
From the Cradle... evolves with an irresistible, internal logic. The opener, Tuff Enuff, lays down a marker, literal and metaphorical. A crisp, knowing homage to Chicago house, Kraftwerk and gay electronic disco, it is almost Marcus saying: "Look, this is who I am." The lyrics, meanwhile - written by Murphy, and, like a coach's pre-game pep talk, intended to galvanise Marcus as he prepared for the birth of his daughter, while finishing this album - throw down a gauntlet, which Marcus picks up, defiantly. "I was freaking out," he recalls, "and that was James laughing at me, saying, 'are you ready for this?'." As the album moves from the deliciously oddball I Found Love (with Marcus on pitched-down, processed-Barry White vocals) through the hard, hypnotic Grim Receiver - part Hawkwind, part S'Express - and the distorted memories of distant warehouse raves explored on I Got A Feeling, Marcus doesn't waste a beat or put a blip wrong. You barely notice, moreover, that it is all building, imperceptibly but irrefutably, to Triumph. A soaring kosmiche finale, an Ibiza sunrise pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl, it is the perfect way to top-out.
In 2010, Planningtorock collaborated with The Knife and Mount Sims to write an opera for the Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma. The opera, titled Tomorrow, In a Year, is based on Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Tomorrow, In a Year was later released on 9 March 2010, by Mute Records and received generally favourable reviews from contemporary critics; according to the music review aggregation of Metacritic, it garnered an average score of 67/100.
voc, *1976 US, Portland, OregonSinger of Dance, Electronic and RockNancy Whang (born 1976) is an American singer and musician known for her work with The Juan MacLean and the highly critically acclaimed rock band LCD Soundsystem. She was born in Portland, Oregon of Chinese-Korean parents. She has also recorded with Soulwax, and appears in the film Part of the Weekend Never Dies. Her work with numerous dance-punk bands has resulted in her being labeled "a sort of Loleatta Holloway figure for the DFA era." Among other artists, she was featured on Shit Robot's first album From the Cradle to the Rave in 2010. Additionally Nancy was also featured in Classixx's All You're Waiting For from their album Hanging Gardens in 2013.
After over a dozen failures from "not able to access itunes store" and a dozen removals from the dock and resets and such, mine finally went through. Sync'd OK and phone was working but now its still updating music, videos, etc.. WHy on earth would Apple release the 2.0 update for the old 2.5G iPhone on the same day 58736578365489 people are going to be activating their new 3G iPhone?
I think that's a fantastic idea!!! 6 hours of loving for 6 hours Apple's corporate bullshit!! I'll spank her and say this is dedicated to Apple from all the people who wasted their brain cells today! Cheers!
Well after 3 hours earlier this evening of trying to get it to work, I decided to switch of the pc and wait until later. I've just now connected it again and it is finally working, currently restoring music and videos. I have to say I think it is absolutely ridiculous that Apple decided to release the 3G and this update on the same day producing all of this traffic that they couldn't handle. I mean it's common sense to let the first gen iphone users update to 2.0 before the 3G is released. Apple made a huge mistake, and I really hope they learn from it.
I now cannot turn it on; cannot place in cradle and get any "read"...I encourage everyone to stay as far away from 2.0 as possible until Apple really figures this out. Today's issues are not just DOS and network traffic, imho. 2b1af7f3a8