How anonymous should a producer be? The social media age shouts out: NOT! but that’s obvious. With sliding into DMS, Instagraming every snippet of music possible and Twitter beefs acting as promotional material, how could someone be quiet? And even the DJ sound ID has worked its way into an art form, with sounds like the joyous yells announcing the presence of DJ Khalid becoming more and more common. But there are still some more dedicated to the craft then the promotion and allow the sound to envelope it all. Jacques Greene (AKA Philippe Aubin-Dionne) is certainly one of these types. He’s been the right hand man to the ever diva-ish How to Dress Well and has been the stable, calming influence on those soul-pop tracks in the past. And on his solo works he finds a plushy spot of house, pop and silky smooth rhythms, allowing listeners to fade into the music itself, or let the music fade away. At Aubin-Dionne’s best it’s the former, his worst the latter and Feel Infinite exhibits both qualities, showing that Aubin-Dionne can be too shy, becoming anonymous on his own album.

Aubin-Dionne produced a minor hit a few years ago in the hypnotizing “Quicksand,” which still stands as his best song. His post-“Quicksand” work has been much more polished and studio ready, but that can occasionally be to his detriment. A bit of bedroom production vibes can make Aubin-Dionne’s music sound more comfortable, Feel Infinite can be, at times, sterile. Take opening duo “Fall” and “Feel Infinite.” “Fall” acts as a quick primer on what’s in store, lightly ominous bass chords, swirling keyboards and moaning vocals. It’s supposed to be a short intro, but it doesn’t act as a proper way to lift the curtain on Feel Infinite, retreating before any sense of gravity can be achieved. “Feel Infinite” only has a touch of bite thanks to swelling low notes that show up in the song’s chorus, with much of the sound feeling aimless.

This is the key problem of Feel Infinite. There are plenty of interesting ideas but the connective tissue between them is severely lacking. “True” has off-kilter and woozy keyboard samples, and positions Aubin-Dionne as a possible beat man for Justin Timberlake, but the percussion is business as usual and a stark electronic background are pedestrian. “To Say” has a gorgeous bridge which breaks out into an energetic finale, but the build up to the pay-off is snore worthy, coming off as second rate John Talabot.

And there are, unfortunately, completely irredeemable tracks. “Real Time” is barely there at all, relying on looping bass, clicking drums and a ferociously annoying beeping sound. The anemic nature of the sounds makes that alarm clock like whine even worse. “You Can Deny” is nearly as frustrating, with a grating high-pitched vocal lines and more damn beeping adding nothing except headaches to the dancefloor. Also, on a short album with only 11 tracks, Aubin-Dionne can’t afford “Cycle” which meanders pointlessly for its minute-plus run time.

As previously pointed out, Aubin-Dionne can be great when in the pocket. He manages to stretch out his talents fully on two songs, closer “You See All My Light” and “I Won’t Judge;” polar opposites of each other. “I Won’t Judge” is the record’s darkest song, stretching and warping pitched up vocal samples over spiky keyboards. It builds excellently, with Aubin-Dionne never overplaying his hand, adding layers with restraint until the swirling hi-hats and thumping kick drums finally roar in. It’s as hypnotizing as it is unsettling, and sounds like a poppier version of Scuba’s nightmare dance records. “You See All My Light” is the closer and is as gorgeous and lovely as the title implies. The sounds here are less likely to get you on the dancefloor and more likely to simply envelope the listener. The plush piano chords, angelic vocals and rising organ are here to comfort, not make the blood rush.

Just with these two songs, Aubin-Dionne proves his versatility and his voice. He’s not just here to make dance music, he’s here to poke at our emotional nerves through his rhythms. It’s a noble goal, but so much of Feel Infinite never reaches those lofty ambitions. Aubin-Dionne seems like a student of the craft with a lot to say, but he’ll have to speak up and trust himself more and not become a shade in his own music.

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