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Juan MacLean (US)

Image of artist
Image of artist

Since the turn of the 21st century, DFA club music maestro John MacLean, better known by the stage name The Juan MacLean, has been laying groundwork. First, there were killer singles, from “By The Time I Get to Venus” in 2002, to international mega hit of 2008 “Happy House” as well as the “The Simple Life.” There was a debut full-length (Less Than Human, 2005); remixes for colleagues like Air, Yoko Ono, Daft Punk, David Gahan, Franz Ferdinand; international tours with Cut Copy and Shocking Pinks, and DJ gigs from Telluride to Tel Aviv.

In April 2009 came the second album, The Future Will Come – a more pop inspired collaboration with DFA mainstay Nancy Whang.

The next stop on the journey was 2010’s Juan MacLean DJ-KiCKS mix CD. True to the series’ standard, it was selected by DJ Magazine as the #1 essential mix of 2010. Juan’s expert take on pure house music (re) introduced house to a new generation of dance music fans such that the genre’s popularity has risen to new heights.

In 2012 DFA released a 12” under Juan’s “house-de-plum” Peach Melba and a digital-only album called Everybody Get Close. It pulled together songs which had previously never been released on an album and remixes of The Juan MacLean songs by the likes of Cut Copy, Holmes Price and DFA’s Jee Day.



John MacLean was originally the guitarist and synth player of acclaimed but obscure, gonzo electro-punk band Six Finger Satellite, who began formulating their blend of rigidly mechanized disco beats, oddly sumptuous synth melodies and razor-shredded guitar work in the early 90s. They released five albums on the Sub Pop label. The brutish but groovy result suggested a cross between Devo, Kraftwerk and Big Black. Then, America was mired in grunge, the famous French robots were still in short pants and the 'punk-funk revival' was in the unimaginable future. Six Finger Satellite were just too far ahead of their time, the band was struck by several tragedies, and Maclean eventually moved into production duties, utilizing his home studio in Providence (nicknamed "The Parlor"). Eventually Former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy joined the band as sound engineer (where he became known for a punishing tour PA setup, which he nicknamed "Death From Above").

The Juan MacLean will release their third album through DFA Records on September 16th.

In A Dream is described as "the Nancy Show"—a reference to the duo's singer, Nancy Whang, whose trademark vocals take centre stage on the album. Sound-wise, we can expect something in keeping with previous productions from the duo, with nods to spacey disco, classic prog and house. A string of Juan Maclean DJ dates have also been announced, with shows across the US and Europe lined up from June through September. Numusic is excited to have Juan Maclean DJ’ing at this year’s festival, just before his new album release.

Listen to “A Place Called Space,” the album’s opening track and first single, is an excellent eight-minute synth-disco zone-out that sounds like the sort of thing Giorgio Moroder hears when he dreams


Thursday 4th Sept.,