The Juan MacLean – Less Than Human

Juan MacleanThe little know Sub Pop signed band, Six Finger Satellite were a band destined to be influential, rather than successful. During the 90’s, they made music inspired by the early 1980’s post punk bands, when such a thing simply wasn’t done (especially in Britain). The band blended post punk and rock, and later delved into the repetitive groove of krautrock. John Maclean was the band’s guitarist up until the band split in 2001. James Murphy (LCD Soundsytem and part of the DFA production duo), had produced one of the last 6FS albums and eventually persuaded MacLean to record some music.

Less Than Human is the first Juan MacLean record and is influenced more by techno, krautrock and disco than it is by rock. The effect is an almost minimal electronic sound, far departed from the rough sounding, noisy production you usually hear on DFA records (The Rapture, Radio 4). One of the first tracks “Shinning Skinned Friend” is more akin to a modern sounding Kraftwerk with it’s cold, disembodied vocals and glacial synth sound. The next track “Tito’s Way” is even colder, but still danceable, “Love Is In The Air” is a sunny, chill-out sounding track that is over too quick.

Overall the album made me think of Aphex Twin in his more relaxed moments; it’s not an ambient album by any means but there’s no furious breakbeats. Overall the whole album fits together really well, so it’s one that doesn’t immediately show it’s hand. The retro sounding electronics are slightly nostalgic but the album’s no rip off. “My Time Is Running Out” is probably the best track that just seems to combine the new/old vibe perfectly, sounding lush and mechanical at the same time. Overall a top album.

The Juan MacLean – Less Than Tito (video probably not safe for work):

 

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