Jacques Greene

Jacques Greene


Jacques Greene’s new album Feel Infinite was released but days ago, an exquisite deep house album with some great vocal collaborations and banging basslines (listen to ‘I Won’t Judge’, I urge you) . The electronic music diehards have been in need of a 2017 album to dance to. Although he has produced and remixed tracks for the likes of Radiohead, Ciara and Frank Ocean, this is somehow his first official album, having instead released EPs and singles over the last seven years. His mixes are all magnificent layers of synths, beats and ethereal melodies, bringing R’n’B vocals bang up to date. ‘Another Girl’, his single released in 2011, has clocked up 4 million plays on Spotify, which I probably account for a good portion of.

We are pretty lucky to see this Canadian in Manchester. After only three dates in this county, he will go on to tour mainland Europe and then North America. It can only be through personal choice that he is not more mainstream because his back catalogue and popularity in the industry is impressive.

If you want to dance to anthemic beats that vibrate to your core, this Jacques Greene gig is the only place to be this evening. The Soup Kitchen will always be the best venue to see a very loud house DJ, where the sound will bounce around the small space along with the people. Greene strolls on stage as if he is soundchecking the equipment and cracks on without any furore. His opener is from the new album. ‘To Say’, a strong bass, fronted by some looped honey-toned male vocals. This room needs no warm up, we are straight in and moving to that beat. Crushed up against the speaker, I can feel my nose hair vibrating. Next up ‘Quicksand’ from an earlier EP, lead by fast twinkling synths with a bass that builds and builds. The room is rammed and there is no choice but to jostle for space as being still is not an option.

I know many of these DJs look like they turn up to a set and press play, but you just know that Greene has crafted these sounds for moments like this. You can see the delight on his face as we respond to ‘Real Time’, a deep house tune, with sampled female R’n’B vocal. As well as the music, the visuals are also pretty mesmerising. A simple frame of strip lights, draped with fabric, where we see projected quotes like “Everyone takes the limits of his own version of the world “ which should be wanky but seems to work.

Seamlessly, he moves on to ‘No Excuse’, an earlier single which is marginally quieter. Other than that, there is no let up, no lull in quality, no time to go and get a drink. I am utterly captivated. Even ‘AfterGlow’, more chilled in tempo on the album, is ramped right up. My favourite ‘I Won’t Judge’ builds and builds until it’s just hardcore bassline. The familiar voice of Tom Krell of How To Dress Well floats over off tempo, ‘True’. And when he plays his remix of Frank Ocean’s ‘White Ferrari’, I thought I was going to burst with joy. We hit that moment in the evening where we didn’t care that we were singing along.

He looks genuinely touched that we turned up to see him live. He doesn’t take much coercion to return to play “Another Girl’. As his most famous track, it seems to have captured the mood of the night. It came to an end all too soon. I could keep dancing all night but alas dehydration has probably set in for most of us. Thanks Jacque Greene, I hope you return to Manchester soon.

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