The US electro ace is back with another hands-in-the-air classic so we grabbed a playlist off him.
John MacLean once purveyed hair-singeing post-hardcore as Six Finger Satellite but after that band’s split in the mid-noughties, and with a little encouragement from pal James Murphy, he’s since been exploring the ecstatic, hands-in-the-air end of the electro and house spectrum as The Juan Maclean. His new single, Feel Like Movin', is out now on DFA Records and he has a new album out in 2014. Here are a few of the records that made him.
“Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel. I was somewhere around nine or 10 years old. This is when I first started playing my parents’ records that were lying around the house and I remember being totally taken aback by it. In retrospect, it’s a very intense song for a 10-year-old to be sitting around the house listening to on repeat. I guess I was already a brooding, moody kid, very into music.”
“Racer X by Big Black. I got the Racer X EP when I was in high school, so I must have been around 15. I was heavily into the hardcore scene in Boston and just getting into post-punk, stuff that really put me over the edge in terms of how powerful music could be. Hardcore was great, but stuff like The Birthday Party, Big Black, Swans, Public Image Limited, and others really changed my life.”
“I got my shirt ripped off at an Adolescents show at the Rat in Boston some time in 1985. These were very different times and, believe me, taking the subway home from Kenmore Square with no shirt, wearing ripped jeans, Chuck Taylors, and a funny haircut was pretty intense.”
“In the past ten years I have spent 90 per cent of Friday nights in clubs, so my Friday night anthem is something I would be listening to in my hotel room to get myself psyched up to DJ. For this, the Underground Resistance track Transition has been a standby. I’ve listened to it nearly every day since it was released in 2002. It’s a serious track – it makes a definitive statement that has nothing to do with partying or having a good time. You can’t touch UR. It’s not sample-pack-track-of-the-week bullshit.”
“Discipline by Throbbing Gristle. I’m not sure it’s ‘unlistenable,’ but it’s one of those tracks that a lot of people would say is not really ‘music.’ I’m not sure it’s meant to be listened to for enjoyment – definitely a message song. Throbbing Gristle, like Underground Resistance, are artists who exist in another world of integrity and vision that is far beyond the pale.”
“Will to Love by Neil Young. I’m a huge Neil Young fan, and he recorded this with just an acoustic guitar and a little portable tape recorder, sitting in front of the fireplace. You can hear the fire crackling in the background. It’s a very sad, melancholy song in an evocative sort of way.”
“Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Anything by them really, but that song sucks. It’s just a rip-off of More Than A Feeling by Boston. Nirvana are one of those cool-to-the-uncool types of bands. They all suck, fuck them, go listen to Locust Abortion Technician by the Butthole Surfers.”