THE JUAN MACLEAN - Less Than Human

DELIA GONZALEZ / GAVIN RUSSOM - The Days of Mars

[DFA Records, www.dfarecords.com]


The DFA team [James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy of LCD Soundsystem] are busy at work on a stunning array of projects. This is but a small portion of what's brewing at their NYC studios. Juan Maclean is the former guitarist / synth-player for Six Finger Satellite - a band that was too much into robotic dance-punk music during the grunge phase and died a cruel death. His love of robot-music - Herbie Hancock, Devo, Kraftwerk and early Material - remained constant throughout the years, but it took James and Tim of DFA to bring his love of music back to the limelight. His first solo full-length, "Less Than Human" [not surprisingly co-produced by DFA] is the culmination of Juan Maclean's years of musical hibernation. Right from the get-go, an all-instrumental "AD2003" shows the future belongs to the machines. Old beat- boxes, drum machines and found-in-the-attic synths permeate every damn pore of this sweaty release. With shades of Herbie Hancock's better 80's records [especially those that came at the beginning of the decade], Kraftwerk's lounge, repetitive mastery, Juan Maclean also adds elements of a real live band to the backbone. Juan's processed, robot-like vocals only add to the joy of the individual tracks. Check out those twisted angelic voices on "Love is in the Air" as they circulate up above the funky break-beats. This brings me to another point which is the instrumentals here are pure and simple killers. The music is to be a sure hit on the dance floors of the world [a couple of 12" have already been released by DFA]. Just when you think about a revolution on the dance floor, comes the album's closer. "Dance With Me" turns out to be a 14 minute melancholy ride, complete with Nancy Whang's indifferent and hushed vocals. As the repetitive beat drills a hole in your head, near the end of the track a toy piano appears to soothe your tired mind. Perhaps one of the most perfect closing statements since Minor Threat belted out "Salad Days" in another galaxy, far, far away.

On an entirely different groove [and I suspect from another planet] comes the duo of Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom. Imagine a more art-like Tangerine Dream on acid or a more spaced-out version of the first Kraftwerk record or even Vangelis [be glad I didn't pop Jean Michel Jarre into this equation!], and you'll be close to hitting the mark. Delia Gonzalez [not to be confused with a boxer or a Latin singer] and her partner Gavin Russom have been around leaving their marks in dance, art and music fields over the last few years. But really, they're in the business of making space music. Nothing more and nothing less needs to be added. It's as simple as that. Their duo synth and keyboard assault is more along the lines of a loop they try to tie around your brain. Once you start staring at the cover, the first thing that comes to your head is whether these two are not enticing you to join their secret cult. Whatever the case may be, the music turns out to be hypnotic and mesmerising. Gentle rolling waves and light progressions are evident throughout the album. To be honest, these are sounds which become difficult to digest during daylight hours. So, turn out those damn lights. Lie down. Pour yourself some Cool Aid. "The Days of Mars" are here and now.
Whatever your choice of stimulant, this is music worth celebrating.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Lester Bowie - All The Magic / The One And Only / The 5th Power ; Art Ensemble of Chicago - Americans Swinging in Paris: The Pathe Sessions
+ Rova:Orchestrova - Electric Ascension
+ AMM - Norwich
+ Günter Müller / Jason Kahn/Christian Wolfarth - Drumming
+ Graham Halliwell - Recorded Delivery
+ Invisible Pyramid: Elegy Box
+ Mike Cooper - Metal Box
+ Peter Baumgartner / Christoph Schiller - Savagnieres
+ Tape - Mort Aux Vaches
+ Birgit Ulher / Lou Mallozzi/Michael Zerang - Landscape: recognizable
+ Mats Gustafsson / David Stackenas - Blues
+ Heathen Shame - Speed the Parting Guest
+ Nush Werchowska / Mathias Pontevia/Heddy Boubaker - Glotosifres
+ Renato Figoli - Ocho Al Puma
+ Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
+ Gigolo Freak Show
+ Ake Hodell - Verbal Braiwash and Other Works
+ Kalacakra - Crawling to Lhasa
+ Ghost - Metamorphosis: Ghost Chronicles 1984-2004
+ Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno - Just Another Band from the Cosmic Inferno
+ Gigolo Showcase - P.Diddy - Jack U / Christopher Just - I'm A Disco Dancer - Remixes / Uhu - Constellation / Hell - Tragic Picture Show
+ Hanna Hartman - Longitude/Cratere
+ Hell - Grossenwahn 1992 - 2005 / Monotonie Durch Automation - NY Muscle Interpretationen
+ Innerstance.Beatbox - Your Eyes Are Like UFO`s, My Darling
+ Kone-R - Knob / I`m Dubious
+ LJ Kruzer - This Is How I Write
+ Lo-Fi Stereography
+ Alton Miller - Stories From Bohemia
+ Five Years Of Moon Harbour
+ Napsugar - Don't Blind Me
+ Editors - The Back Room
+ Octave One - Theory Of Everything
+ Savas Pascalidis - Relax Your Body
+ The Prodigy - Their Law - The Singles 1990 - 2005
+ Coloma - Dovetail
+ Box Jams
+ Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl
+ V/A - Afryka
+ Berkut - Zli Pryvyczky
+ Roman - So Ghost?
+ Safety Scissors - Tainted Lunch
+ Sender Berlin - Unequal Arts
+ Signaldrift - Set Design
+ Sofa Surfers - Sofa Surfers
+ Stardub - Cut & Paste
+ Static - Re Talking About Memories
+ The Timeout Drawer - Nowonmaid
+ Trio Exklusiv - International Standards
+ Wojczech - Sedimente
+ Jar - Jar
+ Iwan Kirczuk - Spadczyna Zahinuuszych Wiosak
+ Julia Doszna - Immigrant
+ Bratskład - Bratosfera/Rapdarmo
+ Flit - Swit Takyj...
+ TNMK & Schid Side - Jazzy - Live in 44
+ Kulgrinda - Prusu Giesmes
+ AuIi - Sendzirdeju
+ Wahrnehmungen
+ Neo.Pop 05
+ lil - Epiphenomenon
+ Richard Bartz - Big

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+ RICH HALLEY TRIO - Mountains and Plains
+ SU LYN - Clay Angels
+ IN FLAGRANTI - Wronger Than Anyone Else
>> THE JUAN MACLEAN - Less Than Human ; DELIA GONZALEZ / GAVIN RUSSOM - The Days of Mars
+ PHILIP SAMARTZIS / GUNTER MULLER / VOICE CRACK - Wireless_Within ; GUNTER MULLER / STEINBRUCHEL - Perspectives
+ MARC HELLNER - Marriages
+ KPTMICHIGAN - KptMichigan
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - How to Kill The DJ [Part Two] ; VARIOUS ARTISTS - ROJO - Tachan - CD Compilation by Nosordo / Glasvocht - Nosordo - We're for the Unknown, Unbought & Unbossed ; PULSEPROGRAMMING - Tulsa for One Second - Remix Project
+ RUBIN STEINER - Drum Major
+ DIJF SANDERS - To Be a Bob
+ STEVE RODEN - Oder Delias or Butterflies
+ MAZEN KERBAJ / SHARIF SEHNAOUI / CHRISTINE SEHNAOUI / INGAR ZACH - Rouba 3 i 5 ; MAZEN KERBAJ - BRT VRT ZRT KRT
+ VORPAL - An Incomplete Guide to Vorpal Music
+ SANHEDOLIN - Manjo icchi wa muko ; KEIJI HAINO - Konokehai fujirareteru hajimarini
+ JOHN LINDBERG QUARTET- Winter Birds
+ LULA CORTES e ZE RAMALHO- Paebiru
+ ALEXANDER TUCKER - Old Fog
+ THE LAPPETITES - Before the Libretto
+ ASWEFALL - Bleed ; AFETY SCISSORS - Tainted Lunch
+ JACKIE-O MOTHERFUCKER - Fig. 5 / Liberation
+ DR. ISRAEL - Inna City Pressure ; DR. ISRAEL PRESENTS DREADTONE INTERNATIONAL - Patterns of War
+ RAN BLAKE / DAVID FABRIS - Indian Winter
+ DEATH IN VEGAS - FabricLive 23 ; DIPLO - FabricLive 24
+ TIM BERNE'S BLOODCOUNT - Memory Select - The Paris Concert III ; MARC JOHNSON'S RIGHT BRAIN PATROL - Magic Labyrinth ; PAUL MOTIAN TRIO - At The Village Vanguard
+ HERIBERT FRIEDL - Bradycard
+ GERRY HEMINGWAY QUINTET - Double Blues Crossing
+ BAIKONOUR - For the Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos
+ CONFUTATIS - Built in Anger
+ DREKKA - Extractioning ; ANNELIES MONSERE - Helder
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Invisible Pyramid: Elegy Box
+ SKALPEL - Konfusion
+ FME - FREE MUSIC ENSEMBLE - Cuts
+ MATTHEW SHIPP - One
+ MATS GUSTAFSSON - Slide
+ STUNT ROCK - This is Stunt Rock Volume Three
+ TOD DOCKSTADER / DAVID LEE MYERS - Bijou
+ THE VILLAGE ORCHESTRA - Et In Arcadia Ego

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WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Back with a new face - Sender Berlin - wywiad