The summer festival season is in full swing, which means artists are on the road, finally sharing some of the studio bombs that have been trickling out in the first half of the year. For those of us in Boston, Friday nights at Bijou provide an intimate experience, matching some of the best after parties found while artists are on the road. So when we heard Green Velvet would be making a stop before heading on to Spring Awakening in his home town of Chicago, we had to be there.
Known professionally as Green Velvet, Curtis Jones has been producing electronic music for over 20 years, and is one of the most well respected in the business. His unique style of music reminds us what tech house is all about, and his Chicago and Detroit roots clearly permeate throughout his sets. Under his Cajmere moniker, Curtis has also explored the depths of pure house music. From reading his interviews, it’s clear to us that the Green Velvet experience is all about transporting the crowd to a land of euphoria, solely with the help of his curated music. Alongside championing releases across his labels Cajual and Relief, Green Velvet most recently saw success with his 2013 full length album ‘Unshakable,’ which saw his single ‘Bigger Than Prince’ become one of the hottest tracks of the year.
Taking the decks in the warmup slot, Bijou’s usual Friday night resident, Tamer Malki welcomed the crowd in preparation for Green Velvet. Tamer is himself a talented producer, releasing tracks on Supernature as part of the duo Bedouin, and featuring prominently on this year’s edition of Soul Clap’s ‘Dancing On The Charles Volume 2’ with ‘Down The Blue.’ We were particularly impressed with Bedouin’s opening set for Lee Burridge a few weeks ago, and are always thankful to Bijou for selecting such an impressive resident. Before we knew it, Green Velvet appeared behind the decks, with his signature green mohawk and black sunglasses.
Shortly into his set, we heard the faint synths of the Maceo Plex edit of Gusgus ‘Crossfade’ and were beyond excited. We have been waiting to hear this one played out since it was released back in April. Its vocals, melody, and atmospherics all combine to make an excellent track early on in a set.
Throughout the night, Green Velvet spun many of his most well-known tracks, interlacing them between lesser known artists and label favorites. ‘Lazer Beams,’ ‘Percolator,’ and of course the Hot Since 82 remix of ‘Bigger Than Prince’ were all well received.
But really the crowd went truly wild when Green Velvet performed live vocals over ‘Flash.’ This one sounded so good live.
Ending the night with the vocal heavy classic ‘La La Land’ finished the set on a high note.
Above all else, it’s clear to our market research manager and I that Curtis Jones is one of the most thoughtful and engaging DJs out there. He took us on a journey that even now seems surreal, laced with both comedy as he danced along with the crowd and immense seriousness as he took us through highs and lows of an eye opening acid-like trip. No one else can do all this all while sipping on champagne from a flute with a smile constantly on his face. We’ll be saying #TechYes for many weeks to come!
As always, many thanks to our friends at Bijou for a wonderful night.