Get To Know: Green Velvet

 

“his music has always been about capturing energy”

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It is rare to come across two evenly seminal artists who have emerged from the same, sole individual. Many artists adopt new and numerous monikers during their career. More often than not, one alias surpasses the others and will end up collecting the lion share of praise. As Cajmere and Green Velvet, Curtis A. Jones has captured this rarity and fashioned the perfect producer personalities for his all of his musical moods. 

Born in Chicago in the late 1960’s his early forays into music espoused his exposure to the city’s house music scene during the 1980’s. Already a qualified chemical engineer, Jones opted instead to pursue his passion for sampled based production and DJing. The choice proved to be a wise one and within the year he had released a clutch of records with the then prominent label, Clubhouse Records. This was the dawning of Cajmere’s career and in due course he would create Cajual records, a label of his own volition that, along with Cajmere himself, undoubtedly helped to shape house music as we know it today. 

 
 
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“in the guise of green velvet his music ventured further than the house scene with which cajmere had become synonymous”

As Jones began to make headway in his early career, an urge in him to find another vehicle for the non-vocal tracks he was producing led him to create Relief Records. Now in the guise of Green Velvet his music ventured further than the house music scene with which Cajmere and Cajual had become synonymous. Complete with his trade-mark green hair, Jones as Green Velvet, assumed the position of techno-house luminary during the 1990’s and 2000’s. Tracks like ‘Destination Unknown’, ‘La La Land’ and the evergreen ‘Percolator’ have permeated the club scene since the day they first arrived in record stores and have given rise to Green Velvet’s popularity across the world.

The parallel paths of artistic method that Jones has been surefootedly striding along for the past quarter of a century owe their ancestry to the DIY aesthetic that inspired his music from the very beginning. His music has always been about capturing energy and culminating the flow of that energy into records that resound well with a crowd. These are house music’s earliest and most potent aesthetics and the root of its early popularity among young partygoers in Jones’ hometown of Chicago. Relief and Cajual records have become two of the most influential labels in dance floor oriented music and as a result Jones and the artists he has stabled have become some of the biggest and most widely respected DJs and producers around. Carl Craig, Eats Everything, Jay Lumen, Mark Knight, Mihalis Safras, Riva Starr are a short and a select list of some of the heavy hitters to whom Jones has helped give rise.

With great energy and enthusiasm Jones continues to work as Green Velvet. Staying current with the scene and his fans is paramount. 2013 was a big year for Green Velvet: ‘Bigger than Prince’ was voted the #1 Underground Dance Track of the year by International Dance Music Awards and he also received the Life Time Achievement Award from Beatport. A testament to the impact his music has had on all aspects of electronic music culture. Always in demand Green Velvet continues to play clubs and festivals in every corner of the globe, perpetuating his influence and endorsing the roots of Chicago’s musical story. Who knows what the next quarter of a century might hold for him!?!

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Jon Averill