The room is hot, packed, and dark, so dark that you can hardly make out a face, except for the brief moments when the strobe light flashes on that guy from the supermarket, or your classmate from last semester. Forget conversation, as the loud music makes it too loud for that, but it doesn’t matter. It’s enthralling–the beat vibrating on your skin, the melody surging through your bones.
Welcome to the club, at least through the eyes of Montreal-based DJ and house music producer, Jacques Greene. After seven years cultivating the French-Canadian club scene and spinning UK-style house and R&B fusion singles, he’s harnessed his ample talent and experience and channeled them into his firth full-length album, Feel Infinite.
Titular track, “Feel Infinite,” soaks in dark hues painted by synth chords that almost sound sad, if not for the sharp melodies and bright drum beats. “To Say” harkens back to traditional house music with samples that sound straight from the ‘80s. “You Can’t Deny” gives us a tasteful sampling of the up-tempo euphoria that popularized house music, while “True,” featuring smooth verses sung by How to Dress Well (aka Tom Krell), showcases Greene’s signature R&B fusion style. Each is not a club anthem, but an anthem to the club.
I don’t mean the bottle full of bubbly, Apple Bottom jeans, and Lamborghini kind of club, as portrayed by hip-hop artists and Las Vegas regulars, where the goal is to superficially see and be seen. This club is the place to see and be seen for who you are, in the most genuine sense. Rather than being exclusive, it is a place of inclusion, acceptance, diversity, belonging, and connection.
True club culture was born out of oppression and worked hard to create spaces for its marginalized members...
“I really try to make music that connects people and speaks to the things that bring us together–true club culture was born out of oppression and worked hard to create spaces for its marginalized members,” he wrote in a press release about the album.
Even a quick look at the album’s song titles, from “I Won’t Judge” and “You Can’t Deny” to “You See All My Light,” gives away these concepts. But you can feel them pulsing through the music, too. When the album closes with “You See All My Light”, an ephemeral dance aria that makes you feel like you’re floating and spinning up into the sky, you can see that marginalized teen who finally found a place to be who they are, to show their light.
“I think Feel Infinite aspires to show a positive, utopian view of club culture,” Greene tells the Montreal Gazette, “I’ve gotten so much out of it. I’ve built so many friendships. Many see the club as escapism, and I understand that, but for me it’s about walking into a party and recognizing faces. The waiter from the café on your street will be there. Every party is made up of faces in your community. That needs to be cherished.”
In Greene’s club, the mask and uniform you wear during the day, be it a suit and tie or workwear overalls, should fall away from you. When you strip yourself of the temporary details that make up your everyday life, your job, your belongings, your promotion, habits and personal preferences, you’re left not with nothing, but with the part of you that’s connected to everyone else–the part of you that is infinite.