Track of the Moment: The Juan Maclean’s “A Simple Design” (Remixes)


The Juan MacLean’s In A Dream, which was released in September on DFA Records, is one of the best dance-music albums of 2014. I’m chuffed that one of the album’s standout tunes, “A Simple Design,” has been released as a single, replete with an array of kick-ass remixes.

The Single Edit positions Nancy Whang’s vocals front and center in the mix as a chugging electro-pop groove meanders and synthy shenanigans prowl behind her gorgeous croon. From the get-go L.A.’s Magic Touch stays true to the album version, gradually building with infectious piano until a breakdown strips everything down and we’re blessed with an epic crescendo.

Berlin’s xxxy distills the jam into seven minutes of heaven while hot-stuff Swiss producer Deetron takes “A Simple Design” on a completely wild acid trip.

A track that’s been on continuous play here at Big Shot HQ for the better part of two weeks, we’re pleased to declare The Juan MacLean’s “A Simple Design” our track of the moment!

Read our exclusive interview with John MacLean about The Juan Maclean’s In A Dream here.

The Juan MacLean’s John MacLean: Sad Songs Say So Much


Dance-punk outfit The Juan MacLean made a triumphant return in September with In A Dream, their first album since 2009’s exceptional The Future Will Come. From the first note of the epic opening song “A Place Called Space,” it’s evident that the collaboration between John MacLean and Nancy Whang has grown stronger and more mature. With flashes of disco peppering their synth-tastic tracks, their third album finds TJM at the top of its game.

We caught up with MacLean and asked the eloquent producer/musician about the evolution of TJM’s sound, the passing of his good friend and musical collaborator Jerry Fuchs and why sad songs say so much.

The Juan MacLean’s In A Dream is out now on DFA. The Juan MacLean’s remix of Sharon Van Etten can be heard here. Continue Reading

The Juan Maclean’s Album Inspires Toy and Watch


New York-based design company Nooka has collaborated with DFA Records on a toy and watch inspired by The Juan Maclean’s latest album, The Future Will Come. Designed by DFA’s art director Mike Vadino, and sculpted by LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney, the character iresembles Nooka’s official mascot, the NookaNooka. If you think you’re not too old for toys, then check the company’s website.

Live review: The Juan MacLean at Bowery Ballroom, NYC

the juan maclean at bowery ballroom

Dressed in a dark blazer and white pants (after Labor Day, mind you!), John MacLean looked more like a professor than a dance-rocker. Perhaps his fashion sense is a remnant from his days teaching English in New Hampshire? Following a set from Chairlift, a Brooklyn-based trio whose career received a kick-start after Apple licensed “Bruises” for an iPod commercial, their fleeting allusions to Television and Bjork were bulldozed by The Juan MacLean’s dance floor pastiche and their fondness for disco, house, and techno.

Though MacLean’s vocals sounded a little off at times (probably due to technical problems), when he’s not singing and playing keyboards, he’s constantly adding hand percussion and tweaking gizmos that give his music an interesting effect. Most notably, the icy vocal of singer/keyboardist Nancy Whang (of LCD Soundsystem) is a perfect yin to MacLean’s yang. Their union shined on “Give Me Every Little Thing,” a throbbing, squelchy, funky number laden with Theremin. Thankfully void of needless irony, it tipped its hat to Parliament-Funkadelic. Along the way, they dropped “Happy House,” the first single from their forthcoming album, The Future Will Come, and it was a definite highlight. If tonight’s performance is any indication, the future for The Juan MacLean looks very bright.

Words & images: Darren Ressler

the juan maclean at bowery ballroom
the juan maclean at bowery ballroom
chairlift at bowery ballroom
the juan maclean at bowery ballroom