The Juan MacLean, “A Simple Design”

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 08.13.14 in Listen to This

There’s a lot of largely overlooked records in the DFA catalog, but one of the label’s most thoroughly satisfying — and rarely name-checked — long players has to be 2009′s The Future Will Come. As suggested by the seemingly lost co-stars on its sleeve (John MacLean and Nancy Whang), the album emphasized the creative core of The Juan MacLean in ways that were merely suggested by the duo’s club-calibrated, vocoder-cloaked debut Less Than Human.

Fast forward five years to this fall’s In a Dream full-length. Much like when she performed alongside James Murphy in LCD Soundsystem’s final days, Whang owns the spotlight every time its shined on her in new songs like “A Simple Design.” Driven by MacLean’s robust mirror ball melodies and gleaming synth lines, Whang keeps the single going for seven minutes without making any of us check the clock. If anything, the track could tack on a few more and no one would even notice.