Juan Maclean’s primary creative muse has always been equal parts electro-disco music and science fiction literature, mainly the American novelist Philip K. Dick. Juan’s vision of modern life, when explored on his 2005 debut album “Less Than Human”, was viewed through similar paranoid eyes.
But now it is almost 2008 and Juan is decidedly moving further away from his “Robot Phase” into a universe some may say is slightly more optimistic and relaxed in spirit. (He still worships Dick. He always will.) "Happy House" is the first evidence of this new direction - a winning combination of Nancy Whang’s effervescent vocals, the production and mixing work of the DFA and a brilliant and relentless dance pop anthem co-written by Nancy Whang and Juan Maclean.
It is clear time touring the world as a headline DJ has also had an impact. "Like many people I know, I had DJ'd a whole load of storming sets in the privacy of my bedroom. After leaving teaching (on the east coast) to once again make and perform music, I had the time and resources to begin DJ'ing regularly in a club scene that had become increasingly popular with indie kids. To me, playing live with the band and DJ'ing are very similar in terms of performance: they both involve an interaction with the audience in order to be done successfully." In the last few months alone, Juan’s tenure on the turntables has seen him spin in places as far apart as Dublin and Sao Paolo. Experiences like hearing his own music and watching people dance to it at leading clubs like Berlin’s Panorama Bar is now starting to inform his music as much as his oft-repeated set of core influences - Paperclip People, Derrick May, Throbbing Gristle, Cerrone, Boney M, and Giorgio Moroder.
For remix duties, Juan enlisted two New Yorkers - long time downtown DJ stalwart Prince Language has started to make more of a namefor himself internationally in the last year with remixes for the likes of The Rapture, Armand Van Helden, Joakim, Stateless, and The Droyds. Here, he turns in his best remix to date with its echoes of Mudd club era NYC and Konk's "Your Life."
Rong Music's Lee Douglas blew up dance floors across the globe in 2007 with his already classic "New York Story" single, which seamlessly morphed a classic disco sound into something uniquely modern and very much his own. Like Prince Language, Lee Douglas has also released a number of successful re-edits. His remix takes “Happy House” deeper into the cosmic disco / Italo realm.
Both remixes add a that special New York City flavor, making the Happy House single a dance tourist’s window into the state of downtown clubbing in what has always historically been THE worldwide capital for boogie. It is no longer as paranoid, as cold, as robotic. The hands are back in the air and Juan Maclean’s 4/4 beating heart may just be human after all.
- Happy House
- Happy House (Prince Language Dub)
- Happy House (Lee Douglas Remix)