Taken By the Wind: The Fleetmac Wood Story

Photo courtesy of Fleetmac Wood.
Photo courtesy of Fleetmac Wood.

Fleetmac Wood is a DJ collective and themed party series strongly organized around an appreciation for the stylings of America’s favorite soft-rock band: think a regular dance party, but with 100 percent more disco-flecked remixes of “Rhiannon” and “The Chain” than you might regularly encounter. You might also wonder what Lindsey Buckingham’s lawyers think, but Fleetmac Wood’s core DJs, the Los Angeles-based duo Lisa Jelliffe (Roxanne Roll) and Alex Oxley (Mister Sushi), have yet to receive any feedback as to their project from the Mac. “We’d love to find out what they think of the edits,” Mister Sushi told me.

Fleetmac Wood brings the party to Brooklyn tomorrow night at Black Bear Bar, kicking off a summer of dance parties that will see the group jetting to LA, San Francisco, London, and festival appearances at Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, and others to be announced. The Facebook event for tomorrow’s party describes it as an “unadulterated, tunnel-visioned event, paying homage to the incredible musical journey that is Fleetwood Mac,” and encourages anyone who’s not sure if they like Fleetwood Mac to stay home. No straight covers are allowed–-only remixes, edits, and originals. “From blues to rock, from country to stadium pop–the back catalogue is an endless source of delight to revisit and revel to–ALL NIGHT LONG.”

Fleetmac Wood started coalescing in 2012, when Jelliffe and Oxley (who are married, fittingly) began contributing to a nascent remix and edit community on Soundcloud in which producers shared classic rock edits for the dance floor. “I always loved surprising crowds with Fleetwood Mac in my DJ sets over the past 10 years,” Jelliffe says. “But it became increasingly clear to me that a night of only Fleetwood Mac would be an exciting and welcome experiment.” Oxley enthusiastically agreed, and Fleetmac Wood was born.

The couple was living in London at the time, and the first Fleetmac Wood party was “a sweaty basement in East London,” to celebrate the release of a remix of “Dreams” by the DJ duo Psychemagik, who first came of note with a popular edit of “Everywhere.” Jelliffe remembers that the “atmosphere was incredible, more like a festival because people were there for their love of the music (the best reason to be at a party). Here’s a genre of music that you are used to listening to in the car, with your parents, or at home suddenly in a club environment. Everyone has so many emotional connections to the songs that the party is a chance to really lose your self. It’s a celebration that involves a lot of dancing and singing along.”

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Fleetmac Wood’s principals relocated to Los Angeles in 2013 for work, where they’re loving the California lifestyle. “We actually live on the same street in Laurel Canyon that Mick Fleetwood did in the 70s,” Oxley says. The parties seem to be getting crazier all the time. Last year, Fleetmac Wood executed a five-hour takeover of Burning Man, which resulted in fans “from all over the world getting dusty and emotional in various states of undress.” There was also a pool party in Palm Springs and a New Year’s Mac attack in San Francisco. That party “was probably the wildest,” Oxley says. “They know how to have fun there, that’s for sure.”

But Oxley and Jelliffe operate in the spirit of inclusiveness that marks the best dance parties. “Every party has the best crowd–because Fleetwood Mac fans are the best crowd,” Oxley says. “Fact. There’s a feeling of togetherness and an emotional release.” They won’t even pick a favorite record, initially settling on Tango In The Night before demurring. “It’s weird to pick. The amazing thing is there are so many great albums to discover, starting from the Peter Green era. Pick a mood and there’s a Fleetwood Mac song to go with it.”

Follow Phillip Pantuso on Twitter @phillippantuso.


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