- If you make sizzling, live-based dance rock under the name The Juan Maclean, and you find yourself one day making straight-up house music, it might be time to do the right thing and divide your identity. Plus what better place is there to pretend to be someone else than a dance 12-inch? The signs that Mr. John Maclean might embrace a split personality were already there in all vinyl, one-take DJ-Kicks mix: gone, abruptly, were the post-punky and electro influences that had become the mainstay of the DFA sound, and in their place were joyous diva samples and wound-up disco loops. In retrospect the mix seems like a language lesson, with Maclean absorbing grammar rules and vocabulary, and now as Peach Melba he's opened his mouth, speaking in the same classic house dialect that dominated the DJ Kicks.
Upon first listen you're likely to be swallowed up in the tune's revved-up glee—a repeated encounter is needed to reveal that what sounds like one Ron Hardy-sized monster disco sample is in fact an entire cluster of musical snippets, their boisterous mingling reminiscent of a house party's happy chaos. Inventively, the 12-inch includes two dub versions so you can enjoy the sound of "Can't Let Go" getting progressively mashed into sonic oblivion. Dub number one wrests one of the plethora of vocal samples out from the original to take the lead. The Dub of Dub takes the Basic Channel route, mercilessly processing the tune's glitzy house heart down to dub techno ashes, leaving a single spectral wail, floating far away above the steely murk. In its three incarnations that shift from house to techno, Can't Let Go seems less like a side-project foray into house and more like a mini-lesson in electronic music.
A Can't Let Go
B1 Can't Let Go (Dub)
B2 Can't Let Go (Dub of Dub)