Inside the rectangular room of a club in the heart of Ireland, beanbags slouch across the floor polished smooth by the comings and goings of moviegoers. The basement below heaves while young pre-acid house ravers listen to music from the next century. Resident DJ Martin McCann expends an adrenaline-charged slap into the gut of the underground. As the sky overhead burns with lazer vapor trails, drugs swoop in and out, drawing the ravers swathed in euphoria to another dimension.

Those were the days that Marcus Lambkin aka Shit Robot describes as his youth, "When I first went clubbing that was me gone forever" he says. Over the phone Lambkin is quick to laugh and has an obsession with detail, partly because those years were his time of self-discovery, as if his memory acts in concert tagging everything that meant something for him.

We Got A Love the follow up album to 2010's From Cradle to the Rave shows how the concept of Shit Robot best manifests itself - by rotating a lineup of impeccably talented collaborators that unspool bouts of energetic nostalgia for the long-gone '90s club era.

To the rabid DFA-heads and casual listeners alike, the DFA family is always at a point of tacit agreement; to express volcanically hot devotion to one another and to collaborate. I might have started stuttering incurably as Lambkin traced his past across a circuitry board of memories involving masterfully munificent James Murphy, countless collaborations and why he nearly named this album 'Not as good as the first'.

When you made the big move from Ireland to New York in 1992, what was the biggest culture shock for you?

I was quite disappointed! You know when you went out in Ireland it was an experience that you shared with everyone else, in the US I was seeing people dancing in circles with dance moves and no one was looking at the DJ? There was this other phenomenon I saw where they were standing right in front of the DJ booth just watching the DJ, too weird.

Do you think that people have lost the ability to get lost in music these days?

Years ago we used to time our drugs because you'd get the main guy act and then start counting backwards from there. You found a spot on the floor and planted yourself there and you didn't move until you couldn't stand anymore. Nowadays everyone has such a short attention span and no one is getting strapped in for the journey. It must be 110% from the get go you know, the first guy comes on, bangs the hell out of it and it stays at that level for the night.

What opportunities did the experience of running a record label in the '90s open up for you then?

My partner Dominic Keegan and I ran Plant Records from the same and I helped him with Plant Bar - which was actually his baby but I realised I was not very good at running a label, it's extremely difficult and I'm much happier making the music. I met James Murphy [LCD Soundsystem] a good while before that through a mutual friend Tyler Brody because we all shared an office space in New York so we became friends just hanging out and talking about music.

You released your first album in 2010 From the Cradle to the Rave, were you working on this for a while?

I didn't even start making music until a long time after I met James he was the one who encouraged me because I didn't really want to. I saw his studio which is just this overwhelming room of knobs and I wasn't even gonna try and learn how to work this. This was all pre laptop so if you wanted to make a song you would have to go into the studio. It wasn't until I left New York and moved to Germany that I started making music. I live in the countryside here I was Johnny no-mate so I didn't really have anything else to do other than sit in the studio.

Actually James once said in an interview; "I've never guarded a technique in my life. I want music to sound better. I think I'm good at making it so I would like other people to know how it's done." - Is that how he guided you?

Oh for sure, James has no secrets, literally everything I know I learned from him and Juan MacLean. I always thought I had to do this by myself which is really daunting but then James said 'you have a little groove-thing and it needs a little 'summin-summin' you have friends - so ask them!' Even when he started LCD Soundsystem he tried to help everyone along and give everyone a piece of the pie. It sounds very clichéd but it is a family and it's James who taught me that.

How has your writing and recording changed then over the past four years?

Oh it's changed massively, James produced the shit out of that first record! It comes back to what we just talked about his generosity in showing you the way. Not everyone is like James Murphy who can write a hit just like that. I thought to myself this time around, who did I not work with on the last record and then I got more focused on dates, calendars and booking things in advance to get going.

I'm sure you had to seriously think who you wanted to work with on vocals - like Nancy Whang for example, what is it about her voice that appeals to you?

She has her sound you know with Nancy it's a no brainer - I'd be crazy not to, she's a friend, it's super easy and who wouldn't want to work with Nancy.

Absolutely and the collaborations are again, completely impressive - on the track Do It (Right) how did you reach out here?

There was this song called 'Nu Nu' which I was crazy about by Lidell Townsell. We got on Skype, he told me he loved the name and wanted to find out what the hell was going on. It was actually a different song because when he sent the vocals back I was like oh my god these vocals are way too good for the original song I sent and I have to write something bigger so I went back to the drawing board and wrote a whole new song for him.

You got to work with Pat Mahoney who moved from the kit of LCD Soundsystem to lead vocals on 'Museum of Love', which by the way is unbelievable.

Wait until you hear their album! It's amazing. It's proper old school, they have a video coming out that will absolutely blow your mind. I can't wait to do something with them again.

You brought along Reggie Watts who brings so much soul to the album - he isn't 'typical' DFA either - have you noticed any new fan interest from this?

It's weird he's definitely opened me up to a few extra people who wouldn't normally have spotted me. It's interesting how I'm also opening up the door for Reggie to a lot of people too. With him he did six takes for that song and every one of them was totally different and they were all amazing!

Considering that Shit Robot as a name can be quite prohibitive in terms of getting your music out there - from DJs saying it on the radio to starring it out in some newspapers - has this been a challenge for you?

Yeah it has been a bit of a pain in the ass to be honest with you, iTunes has been really terrible because they've been really big fans of DFA but they won't do Shit Robot. Again, somebody with a name like this, I'm not looking for pop stardom or to be a household name. The name has opened up many doors, as much as it's closed a few it's opened up just as many. People go "who calls themselves something that stupid" and have to investigate.

Ha! Do you think it's stupid?

Well it's kind of ridiculous - James put me on the spot late one night when he was making posters for the LCD tour where I was support DJ too and he was like [mimics James American accent] 'what's your twelve gonna be called!' I didn't wanna chicken out so I said 'ah just call it Shit Robot I can always change it'.

Here I am with two kids and my daughter is asking me why I'm called that name she's not allowed to say.

Silly 'sophomore-jinx' voodoo aside - do you feel that there's any pressure for this record that you haven't felt before?

I was going to make a joke actually, the album was tentatively titled 'Not as good as the first'. There is pressure but I think I've been very Zen about the whole thing. For me I'm amazed I got it done. I'm sort of too old to be worrying. I've got two kids to worry about so it puts things into perspective that if some nerd in a room doesn't like my record well then you know that's fine with me too! If you're going to start worrying about that then you're in serious trouble.


We Got A Love is out today via DFA. Check him out at the following dates:

  • 3/22: Dublin, Ireland @ Button Factory
  • 4/5: Belgium @ Recyclart, Brussels
  • 4/18: Sydney, Australia @ Leased (day)
  • 4/18: Adelaide, Australia @ Sugar (night)
  • 4/19: Melbourne, Australia @ New Guernica
  • 4/20: Hawkesbury, Australia @ Fibonacci Festival
  • 5/3: Cornwall, UK @ The Masked Ball
  • 5/9: Glasgow, Scotland @ The Berkeley Suite
  • 5/10: Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
  • 5/25: Belgrade, Serbia @ Mad in Belgrade (The Shit Robot Show live)