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Droid to the world
Operating under the Shit Robot alias Dubliner Marcus Lambkin is part of the LCD Soundystem inner circle. He talks about hanging with the Beastie Boys, his friendship with dance-funk guru James Murphy and why the old ways of doing things in music don’t cut it anymore.
Paul Nolan, 28 May 2012
Based in Germany for the past number of years, Dubliner and DFA stalwart Marcus Lambkin, aka Shit Robot, returns home at the start of next month for a Forbidden Fruit slot. Having released a well-received debut album, From The Cradle To The Rave in 2010, of late Lambkin has been working on a series of 12 inches he intends to put out this year. Given the collective title The Green Machine, the first of the three planned records, featuring the tracks ‘Teenage Bass’ and ‘Space Race’, surfaced recently, and Lambkin says the idea was to give himself some creative breathing space.
“I was sort of thinking of that early DFA style of not worrying about albums or videos or any of that stuff you get caught up in,” he explains. “That approach doesn’t even really work anymore, it’s kind of like, ‘What’s the point?’ You sort of put your life and soul into something for a few years, and you come up with an album. Then two months before it comes out, boom, it’s on some Russian website, and everybody’s downloaded it before you’ve even finished the artwork, and it has little or no impact.
“Not that making albums is wrong, I still want to do that, but I wanted to go back to my first 12s, where it’s two tracks, no remixes – just sort of retarded instrumental dance music.”
There goes that Wire front-cover then. Marcus says that one of the planned tracks for The Green Machine will feature guest vocals from Luke Jenner, frontman with fellow DFA veterans The Rapture, with whom he’s shortly to play some dates in Germany. Moving in DFA circles in New York afforded Marcus the opportunity to engage with a wide range of musicians, and he tweeted recently of his sadness at the passing of the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, whom he once met.
“I was lucky to meet those guys,” he reflects. “Weirdly enough, James Murphy used to play basketball with Ad Rock, who had another band, BS 2000, with one of the guys from Suicidal Tendencies. Their album was one of the first records that came out on DFA. They produced it there and that’s where I met Ad Rock. I’ve sort of been DJing and meeting my idols for years, and you get over that, but meeting him was still... he’s the nicest guy ever. He’s really smart, and he’s able to disarm you – he’s really able to put you at ease very quickly.