The Juan MacLean
is the project by John MacLean, who wanted to finish his music career after his past as guitarist with Six Finger Satellite and a heavy drug habit. Only his long-time friend James Murphy from DFA Records could force him to comeback. MacLean just mixed a DJ Kicks compilation for K7.
Top 10 all-time favorite records
(Siren LP, 1979). Chrome were a pioneering act formed in the mid 1970’s, pre-dating punk by a few years. Though a four piece during their most important early albums, the two principle players were San Francisco’s Helios Creed and Damon Edge. Chrome combined elements of Hendrix, Public Image Limited, Kraftwerk, and Can, just like all those contemporary groups you go crazy for, except they were doing it when your parents weren’t even considering bringing another worthless life into the world.
(Metroplex 12”, 1985). Juan Atkins and Derrick May could arm wrestle to figure out who really invented techno, but «No UFO’s» has influenced the electronic side of me perhaps more than any other song. Straight away, Atkins is carrying on about spaceships. Second, the 909/ MS20 locked tight in combo is something you can certainly embarrass yourself by emulating in Reason or any of those other analog emulation software things you didn’t pay for just like every other clown littering Guitar Center’s electronic instruments room. But in mid 80’s Detroit this was a revolutionary first shot heard round the world by three people in Europe. And me in Boston. The B-side is an embarrassment of the highest order, but Juan was still a teenager when he made this, so whatever.
(Virgin 12”, 1991). Certainly not the best known Knuckles production. And I do mean «production», cuz I’m not entirely sure how much Frankie had to do with making records with his name on them, but he almost singlehandedly invented house music in Chicago about 50 years ago. This song has a laid back melancholy feel to it that I quite like. Feel-wise, anyway, a huge influence on the Juan MacLean track «Love Is In The Air».
(Virgin 12”, 1983). DAF were two impossibly gay looking dudes from Germany who were apparently not gay. Check out any of their album covers and you’ll find Robert Gorl and Gabby Delgado all sweat and leather, bare chested, well made up and ready for a night at the Purple Helmet. One of the principle influences on the band Six Finger Satellite. A live drum and synth combo produced by the legendary (at least in my circle of three people) Connie Plank, this track installed industrial music for sure. I just thought two athletic dudes singing a menacing dance track about Mussolini dressed in leather chaps was totally cool.
(Elektra LP, 1973)When I need a real kick in the ass to get going on putting some real effort into offing myself, I throw this on. I know, I know, it violates every sensibility you’ve had dictated to you by the cognoscenti, and I accept that. But side 1 of this album contains a lot of heartbreak. «Make It With You,» «If,» «Summer Breeze,» holy shit, David Gates dedicated his entire musical career to making tracks designed to fulfill one purpose: get chicks by manipulating them emotionally. At least that’s how it looks to me, and that’s why he is worthy of our respect.
(Panet E, 1995). I'm hard pressed to nail down one track to hang on my Carl Craig greatest hit hook, but I'm goin' with this one. In many ways, production quality not the least, this thing is a mess. It's pulsating chaos, throbbing gristle, engorged with soul.
(Diamond 12”, 1989). I know, you’ve heard it a million times at 5am. A House classic. But all that cocaine blinds you to the subtlety of its brilliance. Midway through, the track begins to slow down, and a woman starts moaning, and the moaning becomes more and more passionate and persistent, and the tracks speeds up again, and the truth is Louis was really doing it with some chick in the studio, and they were recording it, and that’s what makes this one of the reasons life is ok. This will be cited as a major influence when I find someone willing to do it with me in the studio with the tape rolling – but so far the only takers have been named Steve, Frank, Mike, and Seth.
(Sire LP, 1978). This Italo-Disco classic opens with an intro track bearing the album’s title, and it’s a countdown to the spaceship taking off on a flight to Venus, at night. Everyone’s wearing a space suit and there are big afros on the chicks and futuristic makeup and shit, all that stuff that makes my trousers come to life. A big influence on the first Juan MacLean track, «By The Time I Get To Venus».
(from «20 Jazz Funk Greats», Industrial 1979). These people were making punk rock in England in the early 70’s, so I’m not so sure what the big deal was when the sophomoric Sex Pistols came along. SEX PISTOLS, ha ha ha ha! Throbbing Gristle were doing «performances» with this Cosi chick sucking on Genesis’s willy for real, totally naked, while others were making an apocalyptic racket of electronic mayhem. I was in love with Cosi for years and years. All she says on this track is «hot on the heels of love,» and I would still consider marrying her if she didn’t look like Genesis himself. Blood and cum soaked electronics, what could be better?
Surely influenced by early Public Image Limited. Completely misanthropic hate rock that make Black Sabbath seem about as heavy as John Tesh. Late seventies, derailed by heavy duty drug problems, and to quote: «Too many fucking humans, you breed like rats, and you’re no better.»
Harvey Keitel / Sean Penn / Kate Blanchett (I would pay money...) / Roy Scheider / Chow Yun Fat
Philip K. Dick: «Valis» / James Ellroy: «Because The Night» / William S. Burroughs: «Queer» / Henry Miller: «Nexus, Sexus, Plexus trilogy» / Jim Thompson: «The Killer Inside Me»
London / New York City / Montreal / Providence, RI, USA / Brighton
Neil Young (1990) / Laughing Hyenas (1994) / The Jesus Lizard (1994) / Butthole Surfers (1986) / Sun Ra (1985)
motorcycle / walking / train / automobile / snowboard
turntable / computer / motorcycle / sex for pleasure / the book
Sequential Circuits Prophet 600 / Akai S1000 sampler / Roland TB303 / the drums / Moog Rogue
Oui / Hustler / Penthouse / This Week In Baseball / Jane
Blade Runner / Logan’s Run / Midnight Cowboy / The Killer / Straw Dogs
my computer - Atari 1040 ST / my bike - 1967 Norton Commando / my girlfriend / FutureRetro Revolution (synthesizer) / Moog Modular (synthesizer)
I’m smarter than you / I’m funny / I play in a popular music group / my ignorant South Boston working class Irish Catholic hooligan background / my hair
The food / The people / Subway / The Chelsea Lodge / Metro Area (the music group)
overcoming heroin addiction / overcoming cocaine addiction / overcoming alcohol addiction / overcoming pot addiction / remaining alive