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DFA: 20 Years Bad Luck, a collector poster showcase

  • 12:01 am - 11:59 am | Monday March 07, 2022
  • Gallery | Ace Hotel Brooklyn

DFA: 20 Years Bad Luck

This month, DFA Records celebrates its 20th anniversary with a series of happenings at Ace Hotel Brooklyn and a party at the Knockdown Center. The “DFA: 20 Years Bad Luck” installation at Ace Hotel features a selection of promotional posters, artwork and ephemera from these groups.

Born out of notorious dance parties and bad ideas, New York label DFA Records released its first singles by The Rapture and The Juan MacLean back in March 2002. The label would go on to release successful and influential compilations, singles, remixes and albums by acts such as Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom, LCD Soundsystem, Hercules and Love Affair, and Holy Ghost! among many others.

Before it was a label, DFA was a recurring party known as Death From Above thrown by James Murphy and friends. The name was taken from an alias Murphy used while working as a soundman for the band Six Finger Satellite, which included a young Juan MacLean. The Death From Above poster, one of a small set screen printed by Murphy, Tim Goldsworthy and others, is a remnant of those early parties in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Like many independent record labels, DFA was built around a tight community of musicians, artists and friends. For years, the label and its primary recording studio, Plantain, were housed in the same West Village building, where DFA artists regularly collaborated. The label’s roster guested on and produced each other’s records, filled out bands when it was time to perform live and formed new acts out of these collaborations. One of the posters included in the exhibition is a group photo shot and released for the first Holy Ghost! LP. It features members of LCD Soundsystem, The Juan MacLean, Hercules and Love Affair, Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom, as well as yet-to-be-formed DFA band Museum of Love.

On view through March 30.

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Ace Hotel Brooklyn and DFA Records are joining forces to celebrate two noisy decades of DFA. The takeover includes an archival poster exhibition, a Pop-Up by The Four Horsemen in The Garden, DFA anniversary bash in The Lobby & special sleepover package for their anniversary show.

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