The CD release of DFA Records Compilation #1 came out in days of yore, when the iTunes store did not exist, when iPods were more coveted than your phone. The only way to hear the first batch of singles DFA released was to seek out the vinyl and lots of people did. This magical mythical first group of releases from DFA included “House of Jealous Lovers” by The Rapture, “Losing My Edge” and “Give It Up” by LCD Soundsystem. It also included two very different approaches to dance music from The Juan Maclean – “By The Time I Get To Venus” and “You Can’t Have It Both Ways,” which subtly introduced the world to the vocal powers of Nancy Whang. Black Dice also released a 12″ single, throwing their noise roots behind a 4/4 screech and created one of the most unique singles in the DFA catalog with “Cone Toaster.”
The compilation was edited to fit onto one CD, more a sampler than a completist’s anthology. In hindsight, it should have been an anthology of the first 5 singles in full but the A sides had enough momentum happening to make the sampler a bonafide success for the label. The 8.0 review from Pitchfork in 2003 helped cement the DFA label as both the leaders of a new production approach, as well as a collection of artists who could co-exist make music together and please both the discerning DJ and the indie rock enthusiasts. In the review, the writer Nick Sylvester calls DFA “The Neptunes of the discopunk underground,” which maybe seems funny and far-fetched now, but back in 2003 was a compliment and comparison that DFA were very willing to accept.
It is now 2016 and both parties continue to work and stay busy and relevant. Success being relative, this compilation represents the humble beginnings of the label and the birth / re-birth of DFA flagship artists The Rapture, The Juan Maclean, LCD Soundsystem and Black Dice. This is the first time this title has ever been pressed to vinyl.