Words: Chester Cornford
DJ, producer and label owner, Jacques Renault is a name which resonates with Glasgow’s dancefloors. Back for his fourth appearance in the city this Saturday - this time for We Should Hang Out More at La Cheetah Club – his sets deliver the type of ecstatic groove-driven house and disco which leave you locked on the floor from start to finish.
This is perhaps no surprise given his two co-owned labels, Let’s Play House and On The Prowl have been a constant source of quality jams and jackers over the past seven years, racking up releases by everyone from HNNY to Toby Tobias and The Revenge. The LPH Soundcloud proudly boasts that it’s ‘New York City's finest house, disco, and techno label’, and we’d be inclined to agree.
From his base in Brooklyn, Jacques has harnessed that distinct New York groove, delivering ecstatic sets everywhere from Rex Club to Razzmatazz, Plastic People to Panorama Bar, with inimitable, effortless style. When Jacques’ in town, it’s time to get down.
Listen to one of his recent mixes below and check out our Q&A ahead of his gig this Saturday at La Cheetah Club:
SynthGlasgow: Hey Jacques. We’re now halfway through the year. What have been your highlights of 2016 so far, and what have you got coming up for the rest of the year?
Jacques Renault: A few months ago I went to South Africa for the first time; it was too short of a trip but jam-packed, and it's always a pleasure to see where the music takes you. Nik Mercer and I have a lot we're working on with the label til the end of 2016, including my 2nd remix EP from the Zentrum album which will be out next month with Octo Octa, Vito & Druzzi, Cooper Saver & Turbotito and Lemonade all on there!
SG: 2016 has been great musically, but politically, things are a little more sour. We’ve just come out of a nasty EU Referendum and Donald Trump has sparked a heated debate in America. You posted a picture giving the middle finger to the Trump Building in New York. What’s your take on what’s happening political back home?
JR: I couldn't agree more, and honestly I try to stay positive and not voice too much anger on social media about our world these days. I unintentionally walked past the Trump Building and took advantage of the situation. I'd seen others do that a few times before so I thought, why not? It felt good.
SG: Staying with the U.S, you are based in Brooklyn. New York City is one of my favourite places both as a city and musically, and one that often gets left out of the Chicago/Detroit house story. What are your favourite clubs, record shops and labels from the area?
JR: New York has always felt very disco for me and I'm too young to have experienced it the way we read about it. I moved from Chicago to Brooklyn when there were no more raves but the beginning of a rise in clubland, that's for sure. Places like Bossa Nova Civic Club, Good Room, Black Flamingo, Output all alive and well - the list goes on. Record shops too: CO-OP 87, Halcyon, Superior Elevation, Rough Trade, A-1, Turntable Lab and Academy to name a few that are still going strong. I've lived here for 15 years and I love to travel, but it's always the best when you come back home.
SG: 2016 has also been a big year for Let’s Play House, both as a record label and as a party. What’s the ethos behind the label?
JR: Thank you! Let's Play House is our mini community of friends and artists we know and meet along the way. It's a pleasure to release music we like and a little of your own - I like to think the variety has kept it entertaining along the way. Hits and misses are part of the game; sometimes you never know, which can be fun too.
SG: Playing and producing across the spectrum of house, disco and techno, you must discover so lot of different music from many different artists. What have been some of your favourite releases of the year so far?
JR: Yeah, way too many to mention or leave out so I'll pick the one that comes to mind first: Project Pablo's 'Closer' single on SOBO [Sounds Of Beaubien Ouest]. Perfect summer soundtrack for me.
SG: That Project Pablo release is one of my favourites too - I'm actually warming up for him this month at The Berkeley Suite where you've played before. Are you looking forward to returning to Glasgow this Saturday for We Should Hang Out More? Are there any artists from the city who you rate and respect?
JR: I've had great times in Glasgow over the years and especially last time with my friend OOFT! at The Berkeley Suite. Optimo have been a big influence and I was lucky to play at the Sub Club on a Sunday with them way back when. I've also been lucky to know The Revenge and Billy Woods as well over the years. Glasgow has been good to me, happy to be back for sure!
Jacques Renault plays We Should Hang Out More at La Cheetah Club this Saturday (9th). Advance tickets are available from Resident Advisor priced at £10 (excluding fees). Jacques' debut album, 'Zentrum', is out now on Let's Play House.