Murphy has cited his influences as Liquid Liquid, Talking Heads, The Fall, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Velvet Underground, David Bowie and Daft Punk. He attended West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. Murphy was a member of Falling Man from 1988 to 1989, Pony from 1992 to 1994, and Speedking from 1995 to 1997. He was also the sound engineer for Sub Pop band Six Finger Satellite. (Former Six Finger Satellite member John Maclean is now on Murphy's record label as The Juan Maclean.) At age 22, Murphy was offered a job writing for the sitcom Seinfeld which was then little-known. He did not expect the show to be successful and chose to continue with music instead.
Starting in 1993, Murphy used the name Death from Above when DJing, a nickname that was given to his signature PA setup while he was the sound setup for Six Finger Satellite. In 1999 he formed Death from Above Records (later abbreviated to "DFA Records") in New York City with Tim Goldsworthy (formerly of UNKLE). The name "Death from Above" led to a dispute with a two-man Canadian band also using the same name. In response to a legal threat, the Canadian group changed their name to Death from Above 1979.
LCD Soundsystem (2001-2011)
In 2001 Murphy started the electronic dance-punk band LCD Soundsystem. The band first came to attention with its first single "Losing My Edge". The band released its first album, self-titled LCD Soundsystem, in 2005 to critical acclaim.
Murphy's second LCD Soundsystem album, entitled Sound of Silver, was released on March 12, 2007. In October 2009 Pitchfork Media named the track "All My Friends" off Sound of Silver, the second best song of the decade, and a week later, Sound of Silver was ranked at #17 in The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s list. He also has a CD in the Fabriclive CD series, Fabric Live 36, made in collaboration with LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney, released in October 2007. In late 2008 Murphy also announced he is to play bass guitar in Free Energy, a classic rock band, with LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney and friends Scott Wells and Paul Sprangers, although this was later refuted by Murphy as a misinterpretation.
In late 2009 Murphy moved into film scoring, writing music for Noah Baumbach's film Greenberg. The soundtrack was released on March 22, 2010. LCD Soundsystem's third album This Is Happening was released on May 17, 2010 in the UK and May 18 in the US. The album was recorded over the course of 2009 and early 2010 in the famed Mansion. April saw the release of the first official single "Drunk Girls" with an accompanying music video directed by Spike Jonze. The album is dedicated to Jerry Fuchs (1974–2009), who had performed drums live with the band on occasion as well as having a big part with other associated DFA acts.
Murphy announced his retirement from LCD Soundsystem with the release of This Is Happening, and made his last television appearance under that name on February 14, 2011, on The Colbert Report. His last concert at Madison Square Garden was simulcast streaming on Pitchfork Media's website on April 2, 2011.
After LCD Soundsystem
He recorded a song with Gorillaz and OutKast's Andre 3000, called "DoYaThing", for their Converse collection. It was released on 23 February 2012  Murphy also appeared in The Comedy with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.