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Jacques Renault

Last Night a DJ Saved My LIfe

Jacques Renault got his start in the electronic world in 1997 in Chicago, where he moved to originally study viola. After holding residencies at famed venues all over the world, from NY to Tokyo, his current projects include releases by Runaway and more original disco-infused tracks. Catch him at SOM on July 23rd.

SF Station (SFS): Viola to dance music, how does that happen?

Jacques Renault (J): At an early age, I learned to play the violin and after a few years wanted to stop and play the trumpet. My mother said no, but that I could play both. That led to me picking up other instruments like the guitar, bass, drums, etc.

While in high school, I was in several bands, making recordings and also recording on my own. When I discovered DJing, I realized it was something I could perform on my own. I was interested in the music and it was a new experience I had not known about. Months later, I went to college and bought turntables. Soon after, I was taking sound classes and learning sound production.

SFS: When did you decide to stick with disco?

J: I went to art school in Chicago; at the time the filter house sound was disco. Once I figured out where samples were coming from I was interested in the originals and started too look more and more. When I moved to NYC I continued to buy older records, but also continued to cover things through the 80s and 90s. Disco can mean a lot of different things; it's something that never really went away. House, new beat, it's just a term you can use to describe party music of your decade.

SFS: How long have you been doing your weekly radio show?

J: I do my Viva Radio show my friend Nik Mercer. It's called "Let's Play House" and features live DJ mixes by me and our friends. We've been doing it for a few months now, and we are also doing a few "Let's Play House" events in NYC and beyond.

SFS: What has been an exciting collaboration for you this year?

J: I've been working with some great people and labels the past year. My project Runaway, with fellow producer Marcos Cabral, has gone up a notch with now 7 releases on our own label, On The Prowl Records. We've also done a handful of remixes for 2020 vision, Crue-L, and Throne of Blood, to name a few.

As for my solo stuff, I've done stuff with newly signed Warp artists The Hundred In The Hands and Permanent Vacation's Midnight Magic, which I'm pleased about. And with my friend Eug of Face/Public Release, we've done a picture disc with photography by Shadi and few disco edits. I'm super pleased with this release; I'm coming to SF to celebrate our release.

SFS: Which song this year do you think has been under the radar?

J: Underrated? I'm not sure. I think there's an abundance of quality music that gets overlooked by us all. It's difficult these days as we're forced to learn about music in a completely different way than a few years ago. It can be good and bad, but gone are the days of going to the record shop every week and listening to all the new stuff. I still have a few spots in NYC that I go to but for the most part I'm hearing about new music from friends before reading and looking online.

SFS: Do you have a summer anthem to dance to this summer?
J: I've been playing some 90s house jams lately that have been doing the trick for me. I'm still making edits for the club as well. As for new stuff I've been playing Tensnake's "Coma Cat", Bubble Club "Violet Morning" (Dr. Dunks Mix), Marcos Cabral & Shux "Lifetime Groove" edit, and my mix of Midnight Magic's "Beam Me Up."

SFS: Lastly, what are you looking forward to doing this time around in San Francisco?

J: I'm unfortunately only going to be there for a night so I'm going to fit a lot in. Taco tour on my mind.

Visit Jacques Renault online at