Jacques Greene at Resident
Montreal-based electronic musician Jacques Greene, at age 27, has already made the graceful transition from dance singles/EP producer to full-fledged album artist. With this year’s offering, Feel Infinite, JG synthesizes a variety of forms and styles into a timeless piece that also reflects the complex moods of the contemporary milieu.
On April 4th, Jacques Greene played a sold-out show at The Resident in Downtown LA’s Arts District, with Suicideyear opening up the night. The Resident is a new and trendy venue with indoor décor that is clearly influenced by Manchester’s fabled Haçienda dance club, while the outdoor portion echoes tropes of the rest of the recently gentrified district (see: craft cocktails served out of a converted trailer). The intimate indoor setting seemed fitting for Greene’s driving beats and lush synth textures, which were believably backed by pure artistic intention.
The stage was set with extraordinarily striking visual and lighting effects: a glowing LED laced frame hung above him, with six rectangular scrims draped from it. Flashing visuals were projected onto the scrims, creating a surreal holographic effect for the audience. Between the more dancefloor-directed moments of his set, the whole spectacle, including the artist himself, could have made as much sense in a high-end art gallery as it did in the venue space.
Jacques Greene’s live set propounded even more style and movement than his recordings. His stage presence oscillated quickly between nervous and impassioned, often manipulating his combination of digital and analog equipment and then swiftly stepping back or pacing before returning for his next cue. The integration of laptop and hardware, including synths, a drum machine, and an extremely spacey delay, yielded sounds that felt simultaneously organic and technical. The output aligned well with his self-proclaimed goal, “To draw emotions and moments that above all, feel human within the context of dance music.”
Greene’s performance, both sonically and visually, almost lent him the illusion of a knowing specter. He broke character only to smile and welcome a friend to the stage, How To Dress Well (Tom Krell), who provided guest vocals on the album track, “True,” which the pair joyfully performed toward the end of the set.
After the guest vocalist cleared the stage, the remainder of the set seemed improvisational and refreshingly strange–possibly as strange as music can be without alienating the tightly packed-in Los Angeles scenesters, who appeared unusually satisfied by the forward-thinking hour of music. As the set came to a close, the crowd dispersed, presumably knowing that they had just experienced something more rare than most local club nights would have to offer, especially on a Wednesday.