HiFi Club, Calgary
For Calgarians, spirits were high on the night that the Montreal based house guru Jacques Greene rolled in to town. The snowy city had just experienced their first win of the season in the NHL against their arch rivals the ‘Edmonton Oilers’. This meant that the Hifi Club (one of Calgary’s finest establishments) was swarming with a sea of ice hockey jerseys and flat peaks. The crowd’s elation was further amplified with the help of Jacques Greene who is more than qualified in providing party vibes considering his vast background of releases on a variety of electronic labels (LuckyMe, UNO NYC, Vase, 3024). However, prior to main man himself, Hifi spooned us a tasty sample of Calgary’s local talent. First on the decks was Dominic Pierce who, amongst a plethora of funky tracks, dropped a luscious remix of Frank Ocean’s contemporary classic ‘Thinkin Bout You’. This was followed by Sonny Chiba who continued to paint the dancefloor with glossy beats as he notably dropped Disclosure’s ‘White Noise ft. AlunaGeorge’, one of the finest electronic tracks to emerge out of 2013.
By this point, the crowd were feeling suitably loose and the hotly anticipated Jacques Greene took to the stage to work his magic. It is clear from the moment that the man steps up to the challenge of getting the spectators moving that he is in his element behind the decks. This confidence is completely justified considering that even Thom Yorke himself employed the Montrealer to convert Lotus Flower in to a midnight delight. It is also more than apparent that Jacques Greene is not frightened to look back in order to move forward and this is demonstrated by the heavy old school influence that is drizzled all over his set. At one point, Jacques blows the dust off of the 2004 chart classic ‘1, 2 Step’ and catapults it in to 2013 by layering Ciara’s melodic vocals over signature upbeat grooves. This nostalgia continues to be a common theme throughout the night with the occasional interjection of cliché but classic DJ scratches to highlight a change in track.
By the middle of set, the audience are putty in Jacques’ hands and this marks the moment in which he unleashes his latest release ‘Quicksand’. This is recognised and acknowledged with a notable cheer by the soundcloud generation surrounding me who had obviously heard the track emerge from his recent Fader mix. Whilst this track may not top Jaques’ heavyweight anthem ‘Another Girl’, the ethereal yet wordless vocals wash over the venue and drench the crowd in pure syncopated bliss. This strong impact that the music has highlights that 2013 could be a huge year for the Canadian. He is at the forefront of a compelling genre that is becoming increasingly prominent on the modern music scene and if I may quote the LuckyMe site, it seems like ‘Jacques Greene is here for the long run’.
Words: George Hemmati