Peach Melba, Can’t Let Go


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A new track from the ever-eclectic DFA mainstay Juan MacLean is usually a cause for celebration, and new project Peach Melba lines itself up to be a knockout. A new collaboration between MacLean and American vocalist Amy Douglas, judging from “Can’t Let Go,” Peach Melba deals in rigid, taut grooves halfway between house and disco. The original “Can’t Let Go” wraps an endlessly uncoiling sequence of Douglas’ vocals around a surprisingly complex core of rotating percussion, smooth Rhodes chords, and decadent chord stabs. The track’s momentum never slows, spinning faster and faster — check the snare that gets caught up in the spokes about halfway through — and the slightly chunky, wooden groove sits in the middle of Juan MacLean’s glossy takes on house and the kind of antique material he so lovingly played with on his DJ-Kicks mix.

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The single comes backed with two dub mixes; the first pares the beat down to those rigid, raw stabs, preferring Douglas’ rhythmic grunts over her diva wails. It lacks the ecstatic blur of the original, but it’s also less distracting. Finally, the “Dub of Dub” slows things right down to dubby stagger, all tremulous waves of reverb and delay chords. It feels completely divorced from the original’s mechanodisco swing, though when the blinding synth comes through to reanimate the track out of its half-dead crawl, the rejuvenated skank that follows might have the EP’s strongest moments. Peach Melba is an intriguingly dirty and primative detour for a producer usually focused on applying the shiniest coat of polish.

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