It doesn't come much more explicit than the title of The Juan Maclean's newest 12-inch. 'Happy House' is happy. And it’s house. Juan, it seems, has ditched the paranoid androidisms of 'I Robot' and come out of the darkness with a house anthem worthy of the spotlight.
Frequent DFA associate Nancy Whang provides vocals, and Maclean drafts in two former Automatons on keys and rhythm. The live quality of this recording is key: not only does 'Happy House' sound as present as many of the DFA's punk-funk productions, but it's also full of the niggly little overdubs and Easter Egg surprises that make this worth listening to just as much on headphones. Its proper place, though, is most obviously the floor and, like its title implies, it'll be hard not to dance to it without a smile on your face, especially when the insistent piano riff winds its way up through the mix.
Prince Language's Dub Mix moves slowly from instrument to instrument, highlighting just about every special thing about the original. Like many dubs, the Prince pitches up (and then down) the track's piano riff to create some nice tension along the way. At nine minutes and change, the dub mix is more than three minutes shorter than the original, jettisoning the epic reprise that launches Whang into space. On the B2, rising talent Lee Douglas properly remixes the tune into cosmic territory, using the space portion of the track as its launching pad.
All told, three excellent, playable tracks for sets of nearly any persuasion. Bring on the full-length.
Buy The Juan Maclean - Happy House at
Tracklist: The Juan Maclean - Happy HouseA Happy House (Original)
B1 Happy House (Prince Language Dub Mix)
B2 Happy House (Lee Douglas Remix)