Already in its 23rd year, Barcelona’s Sónar has become a fixture in electronic and advanced music, uniting the very best of creativity, technology and business. The 2017 edition edition looks to be the festival’s most promising offering yet, featuring an even greater array of delectable house and techno acts as well as some formidable headliners such as Damian Lazarus, DJ Shadow, Jon Hopkins and Nina Kraviz. To dig a bit deeper into the lineup, we’ve tapped some of our favorite acts on the bill for a mini interview series ahead of the festival.
Jacques Greene resides below the surface of dance music, but to those in the know, he’s an undeniable powerhouse in the production realm. His youthful brilliance and stunning brand of music have already attracted the likes of countless veterans across the music industry at large, leading to numerous gigs across the globe and notable collaborations, such as his official remix to Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower.” The French-Canadian producer continues to barrel forward in his career, launching his very own Vase imprint and his debut LP Feel Infinite, whose personal nature accrued wide acclaim. Those with a palate for the avant-garde side of house and tech will be able to catch the blooming legend at this year’s edition of Sónar for what’s sure to be an enchanting journey of a set.
Read our interview with Jacques Greene below, and catch him at Sónar June 15-17. Tickets are still available here.
1) You just released your debut album Feel Infinite, which is about finding a deeper meaning and truth in your identity. In a few words, what is your truth?
That’s something I look for constantly I guess. I seek community, friendship, trust, happiness and a sense of fulfillment, whether it’s from getting things done or feeling like I’m being a decent human being.
2) What was your first label release, and would you still play it in a show?
The first Jacques Greene record was a 4-track EP on LuckyMe called The Look and though I don’t play any tracks off of it really I definitely would. I’m not one for nostalgia so I like to focus on more recent things I’ve done, but only because I prefer to look forward. I actually hadn’t listened to that record in a long time and just did after reading this question and though some of it can sound definitely ~from 7 years ago~, I still love the closer, “Tell Me” and am still quite happy with that record overall.
3) What was your very first gig like, and how would you compare it to the shows you play today?
I was a very active DJ and live performer in the local scene in Montreal for years, so it’s hard to remember when the very first gig exactly was like. I used to play only vinyl and no matter how terrible I was I tried and tried and tried. I think as a DJ I grew to play with the crowd and room, as opposed to AT the crowd. When you’re young you can tend to be brash and confrontational with the music that excites you instead of inviting people into your world. As for the live shows I always used a lot of hardware on stage so I’ve only gotten more comfortable with my stuff and more comfortable with being up there. Otherwise I’d hope my music got better, or at least I have more of it so that makes the live shows more fun.
4) Do you have any rituals ahead of each performance, or do you prefer to dive right in?
For DJ sets outside of quick browsing thru my recent acquisitions and folders and try to think ahead of the night and what would suit that environment the best. You need to let yourself go with the moment and the room and the mood so too much preparation is very counter-productive. But always know the material you are working with.
5) What are you looking forward to most about Sónar?
For years Sónar has been my favorite festival in the world. I usually meet up with friends and go for the week, whether or not I’m playing. I pretty much fell in love with my girlfriend there. To play Sónar By Night for the first time is a huge honor and I really can’t wait. Also, the bumper cars. Obviously.
6) If you were in the crowd and could choose three artists to see at Sonar, who would they be?
I cannot wait to see Tiga and Seth Troxler go back to back the night after my set. Otherwise I gotta say I’m really excited to see the Soulwax full band live show, and Arca and Jesse Kanda’s live collaboration, which is always thrilling. But honestly the whole lineup is so stacked. Should be a crazzzzzyyy one.
7) If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2017, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave out?
That’s tough because I wouldn’t want to give any wild rarities away like that but would most likely have to include one of the more emotional pieces by Traumprinz, like maybe the track off the Planet Giegling EP, “Where Is Home?”