My love affair with The Juan Maclean began upon listening to ‘Happy House,’ the lead single from their second album, The Future Will Come. Released in 2008, the 12-minute slow-burner is handclap, hip-thrust house at its finest. It also introduced me to Nancy Whang. As result, I became an instant disciple, hooked on Whang’s unwavered and nonchalant voice. I was then thrilled to find her infiltrating productions by DFA artists Holy Ghost! and Shit Robot along with Classixx. In my mind, the former member of the now defunct LCD Soundsystem is the queen of New York dance-punk. The reason for me focusing on Nancy is because that is exactly what In A Dream, the third album by The Juan Maclean, does. She not only dominates its nine tracks, she’s all over the cover-art, looking cool-as-fuck.
Like every Juan Maclean record, it’s rich in dead drums and vintage synthesisers, fusing electroclash, disco-punk, electro-disco, techno, house, deep house etc etc. We’re introduced to the album with the Giorgio Moroder inspired ‘A Place Called Space.’ You’ve probably caught onto the fact that The Juan Maclean like calling it how it is, with most titles indicating the general sentiment of the track itself. ‘A Place Called Space’ is no different, taking the listener on a prog-rock journey into the stars.
In terms of energy, the album has its highs and lows. The arrangement of love songs sees Nancy giving a wide range of expression, ultimately coming out triumphantly.
In conclusion, this is the Nancy Whang Show and I couldn’t be happier.
In A Dream is available NOW through DFA Records.