The Green Velvet Collab that Closed Out Jay Lumen’s Tech House Era
Nov 25, 2022
2 min read
Jay Lumen produced and played tech house for several years, but once the scene became oversaturated he moved on to techno. Right before he did, however, Green Velvet tapped him for a collab, and he couldn’t say no to a personal hero.
Lumen is something of a stylistic magpie. His early releases came from labels like the progressive powerhouse Global Underground, the trance imprint Anjunjabeats, and Baroque Records, which released both. But he has shown an eagerness to continually evolve.
“I'm always happy to change and switch my sound a little bit,” Lumen told Gray Area during his Spotlight interview. “If a sound is not inspiring me anymore, I don't want to do that again. So after a few years, I was thinking, ‘Progressive house music and progressive trance music are not really my sound.’" "So I switched to tech house around 2007," Lumen continued. "I was very happy and really into it. After a point, when everybody just started to jump into the scene, around 2011, I said, ‘I gotta do something different.’ I switched my sound around 2011 to techno, fully. I'm so happy with the choice.”
But in 2014, Lumen made one last envoi to the tech-house sound, when he teamed up with Green Velvet on “It's All About Me.”
“Of course, if you get a request from Green Velvet, you always say yes. Especially if the guy is your hero,” Lumen told Gray Area. “I was always a big fan of Green Velvet; he's a really good guy, as a person and as an artist as well. I really loved his old school stuff: ‘Destination Unknown’ and ‘Flash.’ Everybody knows his tracks. I was really happy when we [got] this chance to collaborate with him. I was really happy with it and played [it] everywhere.”
With its stomping groove, heavy on the toms, and Velvet’s languid voiceover, “It’s All About Me” marked a bridge between old-school Chicago house and the tech house that marked a later era. It also acted as a bridge as Lumen moved from one musical area to another. “I made a techno remix for that collaboration track, as well, because I was already in the techno scene,” he said.