The Juan Maclean
This teaser for The Juan Maclean’s full-length doesn’t so much give the listener a taste of what to expect from the album as it does for the dance floor of trendy electro clubs. With the DFA’s signature live drums and whistle punctuations, the album version of “Tito’s Way” melds a warm electro pulse with sharp-toothed melodies. It’s an interesting combination of soft and angular and makes for a catchy song. It’s one of the best statements from the DFA camp to cross my path.
The remaining four tracks are remixes with varying degrees of success and representative accuracy to the source material. The Lindstrom & Prins Thomas mix changes the relation of the beat and melody, adding a smooth guitar solo and a driving bass line like the thrum of helicopter blades. It feels like an excerpt from an ’80s action movie soundtrack. Booka Shade lifts the most basic elements — the electro beat and the vocals — and creates an amorphous rave-up. It’s less of a song and more of a continuous flow from one end of the dance floor to the other. Fracturing the vocals and introducing canned strings halfway through go quite a ways toward breaking up the building monotony. Reverso 68’s attempt features echoing funk guitar and percolating New Order dynamics in the tastefully restrained rhythm and melody and synthesized voices. 41 Small Stars’ contribution — a remix of “By the Time I Get to Venus” — feels distinctly more urban with more emphasis on, and latitude given, to the beat. There’s nothing to compare this version with since the original mix isn’t included, but it’s a nice change of pace after the Euro-sounding envisionings of “Tito’s Way.” It’s not essential by any means, but Tito’s Way is definitely better than most remix singles.