In true space-age, dance music-weirdness style, Green Velvet was birthed as the alter ego of an alter ego: that of Cajmere, a.k.a. Curtis Alan Jones, a reigning house music artist of the late Eighties/early Nineties. Cajmere was always a little more out there than the other disco dons of his hometown, Chicago. As a college student, he produced his first musical experiments using cheap drum machines and keyboards, and this irreverent, cobbled-together aesthetic remained on his more "serious" efforts. Cajmere's first big hit, 1992's "Coffeepot (It's Time for the Percolator)," was tinny and hiccupping, almost ridiculous at first, but as jittery and addictive as the beverage produced by its namesake.
But a year later, the single "Brighter Days" eclipsed even that track's success. It was a classic Chicago house moment, all diva-driven pump-it-up vocals and relentless kick snare. For his real left-field stuff, then, Jones turned to the Relief offshoot of his own label, Cajual. And sometime around 1993, Green Velvet landed, as unexpected and otherworldly as E.T. The neon-Mohawked renegade drew on a more electro-based, almost industrial-influenced sound that came out both sort of clinical and downright funky.
More recently Green Velvet's fan base has experienced yet another growth spurt, thanks to kick-starts from electroclash a few years ago, and the ongoing boom of techno and electro-house sounds. Dance floor denizens will instantly recognize the almost annoying, infectious vocal tag lines of robot rockers "La La Land" and "Shake and Pop." No excuses, then, for sitting down Saturday night, when he headlines the Poplife crew's eighth (!) anniversary party.
Green Velvet performs at the Poplife Eight-Year Anniversary Party Saturday, August 4, at the Pawn Shop Lounge, 1222 NE 2nd Ave, Miami. Doors open at 10:00 p.m., and admission is $15; those 21 and older are welcome with ID. Visit www.epoplife.com.
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