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Jacques Renault - Making You Sweat

Author: Cyclone
Monday, May 11, 2009

New York based DJ Jacques Renault of the DFA collective is heading down under for Discoasis.

DFA Records has long been a refuge for disaffected – and discofied – punks. Jacques Renault (unlike the Brit Jacques Lu Cont, AKA Stuart Price, it’s his real name) is the camp’s latest DJ envoy to Australia.

Though known for his production with New York disco fabulists Runaway, Renault originates from Bethesda, Maryland. Here, he was drawn into Washington DC’s punk underworld.

Renault was a musically precocious kid, studying the violin, then the viola, as well as the trumpet. But in high school he embraced hardcore – and gravitated towards bands. Renault then bounced along to a party called Cold Rice, hearing everything from soul to dancehall to drum n bass. He’d discovered DJ culture. Renault moved to the Midwest to study music at college. Nevertheless, finally deciding that he didn’t want to be a classical musician, Renault dropped out, enrolling instead in art school. Still, his musical education wasn’t over. Renault threw himself into the tail end of the Windy City’s rave movement. At his first big event, he witnessed Daft Punk. He even worked at Gramaphone Records. Renault studied disco by seeking the samples in the house records he heard.

It’s all very ironic given that traditionally punks loathe disco. “What I really noticed was how many punk rock kids were actually disco kids as they get older,” Renault laughs in retrospect. “It’s kind of comical!”

The American overcame his old ‘disco sux’ mentality on uncovering auteurs such as Arthur Russell. “He tapped into some of that crazy disco thing. It’s cool. It makes you realise disco wasn’t all the cheesy shit that everyone was exposed to, but there were other things going on that were cool and punk and fun.”

In 2009 the sometime set designer resides in Brooklyn, where he’s established as a nu-disco DJ. Building his global reputation with edits, Renault is furthering a production career. He’s already remixed a host of credible acts, among them Sydney’s Lost Valentinos. Renault is also involved with Brooklyn’s The Hundred In The Hands (previously The Boggs). “It’s very exciting to work with a band again.”

Last year Renault relished a hit with Runaway’s Brooklyn Club Jam, picked up by both DFA and Radioslave’s Rekids. Now he’s considering an ‘artist’ album. “It’s something that’s been coming up recently,” Renault admits. “What I’ll do in the next year – and what I’ve been thinking over the past couple of months – is just focus on developing an album and we’ll see how that goes. I’ve been writing and putting together a couple of things, so hopefully this year it’ll work itself out. But it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to finishing – and I hope to share very soon.”

WHO: Jacques Renault
WHAT: Plays Discoasis at Civic Underground
WHEN: Saturday 16 May