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In January, around the release of his latest EP, Fantasy, we invited Montreal-based electronic artist Jacques Greene to put together this short mix of companion pieces to his new work, inspired by the concept of home listening. Read what he wrote about the mix below.
Hey VMP readers,
I make music as Jacques Greene and recently released a record called Fantasy. Though I wrote it throughout the winter and spring of 2021, I originally came from a place of nightclubs. Smoked-out dance floors, addresses passed through Instagram DMs and whatever method we used before Instagram took over. The last two years or so have been a pretty abrupt change to my day-to-day, to say the least.
I like to say that I usually make music about clubs, rather than for them. Most of the songs I end up putting out I picture soundtracking someone’s cab ride home from a nightclub, more than I picture them being featured in a DJ’s crate. Writing during a time of introspection and lockdown made me push that idea a bit further than I had in the past. All the music I made started as ambient sketches, places I could go away to and float around in a bit. It felt more important than ever to still nod, ever so lovingly, at the night time spaces I missed so much, so there were still signifiers from various corners of dance music. Breaks. Drum Machines. Even the occasional build-up.
Since this record has such an emphasis on home listening (even home “existing,” I should say), I wanted to put together this short mix of influences and companion pieces. In it, you’ll find music that inspired me at the time of writing Fantasy, as well as some cuts from that record worked in alongside current releases that I feel keep a similar ethos.
It’s music to not necessarily try and block out the outer world, but maybe try to make peace with it, in a way.
Home listening and ambient music can get a bad rap as being “wallpaper” music. The punchline to an aging techno veteran that can’t handle kick drums and strobes anymore. But there’s a vast world of work that either inhabits these genres, or straddles them, that can really bring so much. A compilation called Mono No Aware on PAN records from 2017 comes to mind. Early appearances by Yves Tumor, Malibu and SKY H1 are featured alongside still avant-garde names like AYYA and TCF. It’s challenging, beautiful, sometimes serene, sometimes not. An artist I put toward the start of this mix, Traumprinz, has also blurred the edges of these worlds. Their record as DJ Healer, called Nothing 2 Loose from 2018, still lets my mind wander and float in ways I, at times, thought music couldn’t anymore.
And just recently, Satomimagae released an EP on RVNG Intl. called Colloid that has soundtracked a lot of me looking at the Montreal January snowfall through my window. Her previous record from early 2021 — called Hanazono and also on RVNG Intl. — became such a fixture in my life, with the utility of a life jacket in choppy waters that I felt compelled to reach out and say how much of a fan I was. We ended up collaborating on “Sky River,” a track on my EP that pops up toward the end of this mix.
My listening habits changed, morphed, went back to teenage favorites, circled around to obsessive discovery, dance records, jazz, rock and all the way back again in the past two years. Maybe one of the very few silver linings of this moment was not only being able to hold onto, but strengthen this connection and love of being able to put a record on — feeling that, for one or two sides of a record, I could be somewhere else, while still feeling connected to other people and what I love most in this world.
Satomimagae: “Dango (Colloid version)”
DJ Healer: “2 the Dark”
Fort Romeau: “Untitled IV”
WhoMadeWho: “Keep Me In My Plane (Dj Koze Hudson River Dub)”
Skee Mask: “Shred 08”
Jacques Greene: “Leave Here”
Taylor Deupree: “Minism”
The Ambientist: “B1”
Charles Webster: “The Spell (Burial Mix)”
Jacques Greene ft. Satomimagae: “Sky River”
Ross from Friends: “The Daisy”
Jacques Greene: “Taurus”
DJ Lostboi: “Esprit Se”