Release Date: Sep 30, 2011
Record label: DFA
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
The Juan MacLean, aka John MacLean, has been with the DFA since the beginning. In many ways, his story is the story of the label itself. Much like DFA's core group, LCD Soundsystem, the ex-Six Finger Satellite musician came to dance music from an indie/punk rock background. He released a string of well-received 12"s-- his first predating LCD's breakout "Losing My Edge" and beaten onto the tracks only by the Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers"-- before eventually maturing into a solid album artist.
As is often the way with collections of B-sides, EP remixes and rarities, The Juan Maclean's Everybody Get Close is a mixed bag featuring some very lofty highs and a whole bunch of stuff that the world probably never cried out for, but will be more than happy to have gleaned as a result. And seeing as it primarily documents the work Maclean produced around the time of 2009’s The Future Will Come, those familiar with his past efforts will more than likely find a home for this collection until the third album surfaces. The standout track here is undoubtedly ‘Feel So Good’, which will be familiar to anyone who bought the recent DJ-Kicks compilation or caught their last batch of rather spiffing live shows, as it was the extended sister piece to 2008’s ‘Happy House’ that continued to document the music which fashioned Maclean’s past.
Everybody Get Close, a digital-only compilation album released late last year by the Juan MacLean, features the contents of a tour-only EP, three remixes, and some recent singles. Though it suffers from the kind of inconsistency that usually plagues odd-and-ends collections, it does offer an adequate sampling of Maclean’s sound that suggests the steady evolution of MacLean’s sonic ideas. Due to awkward sequencing and a surfeit of material that sounds like album rejects, the release won’t do much to make converts of the uninitiated, though at least two of the newest tracks here – “When I am With You” and “Feel So Good”, possess considerable charm.
Originally the guitarist in the little known electro rock band Six Finger Satellite, John "Juan" MacLean reinvented himself as a DFA electro artiste. Since 2009's acclaimed The Future Will Come, his life has been a blur of worldwide DJ spots and remixes for the likes of Stevie Nicks and Yoko Ono, which may explain his tardiness in making a followup. In the meantime, this collection of rarities – including five tracks from an EP only available at his live shows – offers a potted career history and a guided tour of the music that inspired the transformation.
Before LCD Soundsystem's esteemed James Murphy reinvented punk-funk in the 00s, he was the sound guy for a fine post-hardcore band called Six Finger Satellite, whose guitarist, John MacLean, now records, often with LCD's Nancy Whang, as the Juan MacLean, for Murphy's label, DFA. The two men are, yes, close and share an aesthetic. This compilation of Juan tour-only EP tracks, plus remixes and so on may be a stop-gap between Juan albums proper, but it doesn't feel like filler.
For a nominal service charge, John Maclean—aka electronic groove specialist the Juan Maclean—can turn your boring dorm room, kitchen or office located in an independently owned music magazine into a full-on dance party. Everybody Get Close is a digital-only, stop-gap collection of rare tracks, remixes and outtakes that will sate both the Juan-derful fans, as well as electronic dance music listeners who are too busy looking vacant to create their own playlists. There are some great groove-weapons in Maclean’s arsenal: The hypnotic “Feel So Good” is powered by the vocals of LCD Soundsystem synth op Nancy Whang and the beat science of late drummer Jerry Fuchs.