You might not know his name just yet, but you’ve probably seen Jacques Greene. That’s him in the glasses in rapper pal Azealia Banks’s raucous, Kanye West-approved video for 212. The Montreal producer doesn’t usually show his face in photos or use his real name, yet in one short year he’s had a huge impact on UK club music. Barely into his 20s, Greene’s releases on boundary-pushing labels LuckyMe and Night Slugs have house music’s euphoric melancholy at their heart, but incorporate elements of R&B and garage to make dancefloor excitement with a fresh, warm touch. It was his Another Girl 12-inch that really pricked ears and hearts, though, culminating in Radiohead asking him to contribute to their King Of Limbs remix album.
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“It was a good year but it just sets a benchmark for what I need to be doing this year,” Greene reflects. Having injected a new energy into the dancefloor, now he’s setting his sights on shaking up established ideas of a label with his own imprint, called Vase. “The overarching idea is kind of a postmodern label, in a way,” he says, explaining that it’s going to release a lot more than just dance music 12-inches.
His thinking is that music genres have collided, so why shouldn’t business models? To that end, Greene has signed two Montreal fashion designers to Vase for “a release”, though what form that will take he’s yet to see: “It’s kind of like when you sign an artist and you wait for their demo.”
He cites Factory Records and fashion designer Rick Owens among his inspirations, and of the latter, Greene is especially effusive: “He said in an interview last year that any creator’s ultimate goal would be to customise their entire surroundings. To him, fashion, architecture and all of that exists on the same creative plane. I feel the same way. The moment you start making music you think, ‘What if I made my own synthesizer that could do exactly what I want?’ I guess this is a way to make that happen.”
The first release on Vase, however, is a little more conventional. Greene’s Concealer EP, which he stresses is likely to be the only release of his own on Vase, stretches his trademark sound in both directions: towards pop on Flatline featuring Ango, to abstracted, slow-burn form on Arrow with Koreless. “It would have been boring to just do Another Girl part two,” he says.
As to when we can expect something a little longer, Jacques is adamant about waiting for the right time. “I wouldn’t want it to be just another producer album.” That feeling extends to his live show: you’ll never catch him doing a laptop set. “It’s not a laptop versus hardware thing; it’s a matter of a show.”
This urge to always push harder and reach further runs throughout everything Jacques does. It’s what makes him, his music and now his newly launched label feel so fresh. And it’ll be what turns 2012 into the year everyone knows Jacques Greene’s name.
(via The Guardian)