Five years ago, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and brothers David and Stephen Dewaele of Soulwax teamed up to create a PA system that sounded as good as an audiophile hi-fi.
The Despacio touring show, which I attended Thursday night, is playing this Easter weekend in Queens, New York. It was born from this idea of an audiophile PA. It's designed to deliver great sound at what is essentially a massive dance party. Here's what it looks like.
Despacio means "slowly" in Spanish, and the idea behind the night is that all of the music is played on specially pressed 45s that are slowed down to 33 1/3 rpm. This, coupled with the sombre blue lighting scheme, gives the evening a Gothic atmosphere. One of the only real uptempo moments is when the trio cuts in 10 seconds of ABBA's "Dancing Queen."
At the start of the night it was Murphy's responsibility to get the reticent dance floor moving. Having worked with David Bowie, he paid tribute to the Thin White Duke with a slowed-down version of "Young Americans."