Village Underground – 1st November
If you couldn’t tell from his recordings, Jacques Greene specialises in euphoria. And his live show, newly assembled to support debut album Feel Infinite, is constructed in a similar vein, reducing Village Underground to a shady sweatbox on a wild Wednesday night.
Baltra signals the intent from early on, the supporting DJ paying no attention to the fact it’s only half past eight and midweek, unleashing Funkerman & Cooperated Souls’ ferocious ‘Work Your Body’ with little more than a shrug. As expected, he shepherds most of the stragglers towards the centre of the dance floor and, mostly due to an assured and uncompromising slot from the American, feverishly awaiting the arrival of Greene.
It’s only when the headliner does take his place behind the decks that an unexpected sense of scale is revealed. As a fluorescent construction descends above our heads and a vivid, ever-changing strip of strobe light frames Greene’s silhouette, we are under no illusion that this isn’t just another faceless DJ sleepwalking through a predictable set of the same old floor fillers. While appearing restless and immersed in body, his selections and time spent on them remain solely in our hands, Greene dependent on our reaction as a crowd to map which course he sets next.
Masterfully biding his time over almost two hours, Greene teases familiar beats in conjunction with the show’s lighter moments, unshackling a thunderous rendition of ‘You Can’t Deny’ and contorting ‘Afterglow’ into an extended monster of a track. Never appearing rushed, there’s even space in the set for a handful of remixes and edits, the night’s most joyous moment perhaps found in his sprawling rework of Frank Ocean’s ‘White Ferrari’. Arms aloft and retinas scorched by strobe light, the words ‘FEEL INFINITE’ flicker and screech and surround Greene’s bustling outline. Few album titles have felt so fitting.