The vinyl-only Despacio soundsystem: James Murphy and 2ManyDJs talk sound, club culture and being uncool



A mini-documentary about James Murphy and 2ManyDJs’ 50,000-watt Despacio rig.

Eight speaker stacks each standing at 11 feet, 48 McIntosh amplifiers at £22,000 a piece, close to 50,000 watts averaging 100db on the dancefloor, and three nights to road test one of the most impressive and ambitious soundsystems in the world.

Premiered at this year’s Manchester International Festival, Despacio wowed crowds on three sweltering nights at New Century Hall; a conference space transformed into an old-school disco ballroom, where seven of the towering stacks encircled the tiled dancefloor for four hours of back-to-back, vinyl-only mayhem.

In this short film from the event, we caught up with James Murphy and 2ManyDJs’ David and Stephen Dewaele to get the low down on Despacio, from concept to completion, and ruminate with them on the nature of contemporary DJ culture, the joys of playing vinyl and whether or not it matters to still be considered “cool”. We also asked DFA and Despacio engineer John Klett to illuminate (for the layman) just what is so special about these unique stacks.

Watch time-lapse footage of Despacio from the workshop at PBS Audio to dancefloor at Manchester International Festival below:

You can read the full transcript of the James Murphy & 2ManysDJs interview HERE and get techy with John Klett, whose full explanation of the Despacio spec is published HERE.