12 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Jacques Greene’s 2017 debut album, Feel Infinite, the Toronto DJ/producer used sensual, sample-heavy R&B-house to evoke the unique sense of human connection that can be found inside a dance club–an environment that has helped shape his career and identity since he began throwing parties as a teenager. Here, on his wistful follow-up, he expresses the same fondness for club culture—its way of blurring the lines between euphoria and exhaustion, night and morning, adolescence and adulthood—but from a distance. “I feel like one era of my life is ending and another is beginning,” he tells Apple Music a few days after his 30th birthday. “This album is a love letter to that era of staying up all night with your friends.”

The French-Canadian artist, whose real name is Philippe Aubin-Dionne, stresses that the record is “not a funeral”: He isn’t retiring from electronic music, he’s just going to bed earlier. “It’s really a tribute, a ‘thanks for the good times,’” he says. “So I wanted to make music that was about the club, not necessarily for it.” In an effort to think about dance music in new ways, Aubin-Dionne expanded his toolkit and reference points, often reaching outside the genre for technical inspiration. He tracked down the rack effects units used by groups like My Bloody Valentine, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Slowdive to try his own spin on shoegaze melancholia. He replaced the tingling synth lines in “Sibling” with grainy electric guitar to make the song feel more alive. And to honor ’90s heavy-hitters like Orbital and The Chemical Brothers—two acts largely defined by unbridled energy and largesse—he challenged himself to use immense, cinematic breaks on songs like “Do It Without You” and “Serenity.” “I attempted a level of confidence that made me so nervous I actually got excited,” he says.

Many of the songs are heady and emotional, like strobe-lit trips down memory lane. “Night Service,” which straddles ambient and club atmospheres, reminisces about a time when girls “dressed like Chloë Sevigny” and DJs played The Rapture and Aubin-Dionne stayed up too late. “Distance,” his favorite cut from the album, is designed to sound like an Orbital concert heard from far away, “as if you left the festival as the headliner was going on and the music is in the distance,” he says. “Stars,” a spellbinding spoken-word track and the project’s final number, is delivered in the spirit of someone half-remembering a dream: They’re holding hands, running through a field, wishing the sun would go back down. “It’s a story about someone finding themselves,” he says. “Connecting with others and not wanting to grow up.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Jacques Greene’s 2017 debut album, Feel Infinite, the Toronto DJ/producer used sensual, sample-heavy R&B-house to evoke the unique sense of human connection that can be found inside a dance club–an environment that has helped shape his career and identity since he began throwing parties as a teenager. Here, on his wistful follow-up, he expresses the same fondness for club culture—its way of blurring the lines between euphoria and exhaustion, night and morning, adolescence and adulthood—but from a distance. “I feel like one era of my life is ending and another is beginning,” he tells Apple Music a few days after his 30th birthday. “This album is a love letter to that era of staying up all night with your friends.”

The French-Canadian artist, whose real name is Philippe Aubin-Dionne, stresses that the record is “not a funeral”: He isn’t retiring from electronic music, he’s just going to bed earlier. “It’s really a tribute, a ‘thanks for the good times,’” he says. “So I wanted to make music that was about the club, not necessarily for it.” In an effort to think about dance music in new ways, Aubin-Dionne expanded his toolkit and reference points, often reaching outside the genre for technical inspiration. He tracked down the rack effects units used by groups like My Bloody Valentine, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Slowdive to try his own spin on shoegaze melancholia. He replaced the tingling synth lines in “Sibling” with grainy electric guitar to make the song feel more alive. And to honor ’90s heavy-hitters like Orbital and The Chemical Brothers—two acts largely defined by unbridled energy and largesse—he challenged himself to use immense, cinematic breaks on songs like “Do It Without You” and “Serenity.” “I attempted a level of confidence that made me so nervous I actually got excited,” he says.

Many of the songs are heady and emotional, like strobe-lit trips down memory lane. “Night Service,” which straddles ambient and club atmospheres, reminisces about a time when girls “dressed like Chloë Sevigny” and DJs played The Rapture and Aubin-Dionne stayed up too late. “Distance,” his favorite cut from the album, is designed to sound like an Orbital concert heard from far away, “as if you left the festival as the headliner was going on and the music is in the distance,” he says. “Stars,” a spellbinding spoken-word track and the project’s final number, is delivered in the spirit of someone half-remembering a dream: They’re holding hands, running through a field, wishing the sun would go back down. “It’s a story about someone finding themselves,” he says. “Connecting with others and not wanting to grow up.”

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