Canadian producer Jacques Greene always seems to be perennially riding the crest of tomorrow’s wave of genre du jour. This is not meant to be a criticism; merely that such is Greene’s on-point taste and foresight, that he has the ability to sense the progression and movement of the electronic landscape and alter his sound accordingly. Again, this may come across as trying to push him into a corner as either a trend-setter or follower, but either way, he is garnering success aplenty, what with release on LuckyMe and Night Slugs as well as starting his own label, Vase (which has recently given a home to Koreless’ Lost in Tokyo).
With this, his new EP, we find Greene nimbly switching from his conventional slo jam-esque signature sound, with the now hackneyed chopped up and pitch shifted R n’B vocal samples, to a more 140 bmp techno-driven pulse, albeit one that preserves a few of Greene’s noticeable quirks along the way. Retaining the airy nature of his Concealer EP, with the title track, Ready begins very much like standout track from Concealer, Clark, before finding its crisp techno feet. What follows is a prime example in lush, home-ready techno that is just as accessible as any of Greene’s previous, more introspective works, featuring deep synths that are offset by the propulsive throb of the kick drum. These soon give way to moments of calm, before re-entering the amalgamation of vocal lines, undulating synths and incessant drums.
Perhaps the most ostensibly Greene-esque track his is the centrepiece track, Prism. With a plodding bassline that sounds like it would be more adept in a house track, Greene slowly builds up then deconstructs the upper melodies that envelop it. These sequences are always softened with distant pads and dense synth lines as well as the ever-present R n’B vocal snippet that form the kind of effortlessly catchy tracks we have come to expect as a given from Greene.
On final track Dakou, we see Greene moving back to what he does best, namely building a track around a burning female vocal line. Whilst this is nothing new, it’s hard to argue that when it’s broke it ain’t worth fixing, and that certainly applies here. Peeking through the drum cracks are warm, seductive synth lines that anchor the pulsating beats with an emotional pathos. So in skilfully pursuing new waters whilst leaving one foot on dry land, Greene has confidently created a substantial EP that is both expertly executed and a thoroughly absorbing listen. The march goes on.
Words: Lev Harris