Shit Robot, live from a castle

Will Deitz

Marcus Lambkin, Shit Robot.

Marcus Lambkin, Shit Robot.

Marcus Lambkin built DFA Records – literally. He lives in a castle. He’s married to a German countess. He’s releasing an album that’s taken 20 years to make. And he seems to think “Shit Robot” is a good moniker. With that background, a transatlantic phone call with the Schloss-bound acid house legend had a lot to cover, and though the lack of a crack of thunder and a Dracula-voiced “good evening” upon his answering was a bit of a let down, it’s still a journey talking to Marcus Lambkin.

Marcus came to New York from Ireland in 1992, a 21 year-old kid who had won a green card and wanted to escape Dublin’s fading techno scene. He spent the bulk of the ‘90s in a New York City wholly alien to the one we know now, DJing in the East Village at a time when every bar was a dance party and every street was a new opportunity to see strangers doing smack in public. Introduced to DFA founder and LCD Soundsystem mastermind James Murphy through a mutual friend in 1998, Lambkin helped Murphy install the cabinets in DFA’s recording studios, schooled him in dance music, and likewise introduced him to future DFA co-founder Tim Goldsworthy. Lambkin and fellow Irish ex-pat Dominique Keegan opened Plant Bar, the “unofficial DFA headquarters,” in the heart of Alphabet City in 2000, where the DFA Records sound was forged through dance parties and DJ sets.

However, when it came to putting out a record, Marcus was the slacker in the class. While LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture were blowing up, Marcus was grumbling about the decline of the New York club scene and smoking “far too much pot.” However, those days are apparently gone, and, now living with his wife in a town of 900 in the Baden-W

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