Release Date: Mar 24, 2017
Record label: Arts & Crafts
Admit it: you've always had a soft spot for Canadian producer Jacques Greene. Indeed, long before Bonobo was co-opting Brandy on his 'Migration' LP, the Montreal-based artist was sampling her track 'I Wanna Be Down' on 2010's 'The Look'. But there's so much more to him than that. Ever since he emerged with 'Another Girl' back in 2011 and had his re-edit of Drake's 'Know Yourself' endorsed by the megastar himself, the enigmatic producer has nurtured his r'n'b-inflected electronic brand with club cuts such as 2013's How To Dress Well collab 'On Your Side' and remixes for the likes of The xx and Radiohead.
"Finishing this record has been about trying to find new approaches of pushing the Jacques Greene sound forward, but I also wanted to do something that was almost like a culmination of all these previous records too," says Jacques Greene, in a recent interview with Exclaim!. Listening to his debut full-length, Feel Infinite, it's easy to hear that Greene (born Philippe Aubin-Dionne) has succeeded in his goals. The record is a fine example of someone honing their craft without abandoning their sound. Like his previous releases, it's dripping with the kind of nostalgic melodies that immediately take you back to a certain place or an encounter you may have had.
Feel Infinite may be the debut Jacques Greene album, but it's hardly the first we've heard from the project's 27-year-old mastermind, Philippe Aubin-Dionne. Since his breakout single on the 2010 Night Slugs Allstars compilation, the French-Canadian DJ and producer has graduated from throwing parties in his native Montreal to touring the world with a steady stream of singles and EPs on indie dance labels. It might seem odd to release your debut LP seven years into an ascendant career.
Montreal DJ/producer Jacques Greene is one of the few dance music artists who get respect from both music critics and the late-night party crowd. Over the past few years, he's released a strong body of singles and EPs that blend house and techno with R&B and hip-hop touches. Feel Infinite is his debut full-length, and he seems to have made an attempt to adjust his approach for a home-listening environment by balancing dance floor tracks with more introspective songs.
Hearing a tuned-up Brandy vocal sample floating over a pounding four-four bass drum or glittering synth is commonplace in the club these days. From Blawan's 'Getting Me Down' and Burial's 'Fostercare', both sampling Brandy's 'I Wanna Be Down', to Bonobo sampling 'Baby' in his recent release 'Kerala', this tendency towards the R&B vocal - not just Brandy - finds a point of origin in the Canadian producer Jacques Greene's work. Since his 2010 breakthrough single '(Baby I Don't Know) What You Want', released on London's Night Slugs imprint and featuring a chipmunk sample of 'Foolish' by Ashanti, Greene's brand of emotive vocal, maximal melody and pulsating rhythm has spearheaded a movement of club-chopped R&B and House whose other proponents include Machinedrum, Kingdom and Jubilee, to name just a few.