It seems like everywhere you go these days, you can't help but stumble across mention of 22-year-old Montreal producer Jacques Greene. It was just last year that he garnered considerable press with two EPs out on Lucky Me –
The Look and
Lucky Girl – and again this year with the January release of Concealer, which Greene launched as the first release on Vase, his newly minted label.
When an opportunity to chat with Greene came up recently, we wanted to try something a little different, so we asked him to share the inspiration behind Vase, an imprint with which he aims to shake up the stodgy business model of the traditional record label; he gave us five.
Factory Records didn’t break boundaries so much as have no regards for them whatsoever. Under the Factory umbrella are some of my favourite records, along with a club
, poster designs, a lawsuit, videos and a myriad of other projects. Peter Saville
and everyone else involved at Factory created some of the most inspiring culture to me, through Joy Division, the Durutti Column, their design work and the approach to running a label. They made records that were so obviously of their time, yet Power, Corruption & Lies
sounds just as fresh and exciting today.
is an independently run German magazine published in English about four times a year. Its editorial voice is unique and well defined. They’ve been able to carve out their niche and work admirably within it, using a decidedly old-school approach to magazine writing and publishing, all the while dealing mainly with the avant-garde. I love that they are not scared to explore within their own set guidelines and limits.
Not so much with the recent DONDA
projects that are more worrisome than anything, Kanye is an incredibly fascinating, ever-changing pop culture figure not unlike Madonna. But the difference is that whereas Madonna seems to be piling on the generic and formulaic as she goes along, Kanye seems to simply [be] getting more and more honest and adventurous in his music and everything else he does, at which point it’s hard to do anything but respect the audacity. Even when he does something I’m not particularly into, I always respect the intent and take the time to listen or watch what it is he has been working on. And sort of like a modern Andy Warhol, Kanye West is a great "project manager" and has always been great at surrounding himself with talented individuals and creating things that are greater than the sum of their parts.
Possibly one of the weirder people
in the world of fashion, not for out and out eccentricity, but for his talent to subvert norms and usher in crazy things in really subtle ways. His approach to his years as head of Jil Sander have always been quite inspiring to me as he worked within a pretty stuck up world for a fairly conservative brand whose core audience is more or less business people. Yet he successfully injected his version of youth culture, strange fabrics, compelling cuts and revitalized the brand without alienating the house’s past audience. Working within electronic music can have its frustrating set of rules to sort of feel like one needs to abide by, but by careful subversion it’s possible to have fun with it and push things in different directions and do your own thing. He has also carefully crafted a career that has allowed him to now be in a position of control when it comes to his own lines and the distribution of his work.
Growing up and seeing people like Godspeed You! Black Emperor
and the Mutek
crew open up record stores, venues, recording studios and labels was always a huge inspiration and something important to look up to as I discovered records in Tiga’s DNA Records store and attended shows at the GY!BE
-affiliated Sala Rossa. It’s not so much a Dame Dash mogul for the sake of diversifying the brand type thing, more like artists coming up with more ways to share ideas and culture in interesting ways and simply setting up channels through which they can support and broadcast art and culture they believe in and support.
Catch Jacques Greene this Friday, May 25 at Toronto's Loft161 when he performs at the release party for Nautiluss's
Alpha EP; after that, Greene's off to tour Europe. Dates for those lucky ducks here.
on May 24, 2012