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Photos by Nic Pouliot.
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JACQUES GREENE and NAUTILUSS at the Great Hall Black Box Theatre, Saturday, February 2. Rating: NNN
Montreal DJ/producer Jacques Greene has built up an impressive amount of buzz behind him in both indie and dance music circles over the past year for his hazy R&B-influenced tech house grooves. When he hits his mark, his sound perfectly captures the moody, restrained feel of the edgier end of contemporary soul, but with dance floor-friendly uptempo rhythms borrowed from deep house and 2 step. However, it's also easy for that approach to come across as just generic grown-up club music if too many of the rough edges are filed down.
It's a fine line between subtle and sleepy, and Greene came a little to close to the latter this time around. Everything was very tasteful and smooth, but there was a shortage of memorable moments and drama. Even with Greene's singer friend (Ian Placentino) backing him up, and Azari & III vocalist Starving Yet Full making a brief surprise appearance on stage, the energy levels were inexplicably low.
Nautiluss's opening set felt more focused and upbeat, which have just been due to more pronounced techno influences. Overall, it was a good party: an interesting location, a great sound system, creative light show, and talented DJs. Had the mood been a little less mellow and refined, it could easily have been a great one.