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NICOLAS JAAR

Written between 2011 and 2015 and released as a string of 12"s on Other People, R&S and Clown and Sunset, the “Nymphs" series is now compiled onto one vinyl release for the first time!

The set opens in typically cryptic fasion via the melodic and moody "Don't Break My Love", an abstract Aphex influenced voyage into measured electronica and the skittish, glitching synth soul of "Why Didn't You Save Me". Next up, "The Three Sides Of Audrey" drifts through static soaked ambience and delicate vocal loops, teasing us for eternity before a suitably sensual rhythm takes control. B2's "No One Is Looking At You " sees Nico playing with the same sound palette and production style, though set to a deep and immersive 4/4 - textured and sophisticated, this is emotional house at its finest. The kick drum sticks around on the similarly deep and dreamy "Swim", a thirteen minute voyage into the beating heart of the dancefloor. Irresistible and unpredictable melodies hook into your Limbic brain, forcing their way through the film of granular noise and taking you higher and higher! The avant garde piano undulations of "Mistress" offer a moment's repose on the "D1" before previous R&S single "Fight" finds an off kilter synth pop rhythm then gradually disintegrates over seven minutes. As we near the finish line, there's still time to enjoy the minimal wiggles and fx abuse of "Revolver", previously a hidden track on the "Nymphs III" 12" and the evocative downbeat of "Took Me Out", a quintessential Jaar composition.


"Pomegranates" is the new album by Nicolas Jaar The sleeve is designed by David Rudnick, with labels by Stéphane Jourdan and a new insert created by Jaar collaborator and friend Maziyar Pahlevan.

Longer and slower-releasing than his other albums, "Pomegranates" often parallels the cinematic epic on which it’s based ('Նռան գույնը'), with ideas pursued over long timelines and across dark landscapes, assembling elements and moods from the aesthetic and folkloric landscapes of Armenia. Jaar’s identity is perceived within this, folding in his heritage as Palestinian and Chilean as he attempts to build a musical architecture outwards that frames as much of the mess and sprawl of life as possible; using a language that investigates the movement and fluctuation of his own artistic career and character similarly to the film’s tracing of the coming of age of the young poet, Sayat-Nova.

At times, "Pomegranates" feels profoundly intimate, as though looking through the archive of a friend’s music and discovering the accent and common currency that lives within each of these tracks. Much of Jaar’s most elegant and touching melodic work is nestled here, its power residing in its simplicity and willingness to speak to the heart and not the mind of the listener.

In the text document included in the first freely distributed version of the album in 2015, Jaar writes that the album was conceived during a moment of change, and that the pomegranate became an icon that heralded that passage of time. The physical publication of P"omegranates" closes one door whilst opening another, keeping promises and marking a significant point in the career of an artist who restlessly reinvents himself, with a document that illustrates a common language of lyricism, freedom, and emotional resonance that links his many paths and projects.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: The musical sensibilities this man displays is bar to none. Every cut is beautiful and full of substance. Absolute classic and on vinyl for your full enjoyment. You need this!

Astonishingly talented, relentlessly inventive, frustratingly young(er than me) and full of artistic integrity, Nicolas Jaar has spent a decade flying in the face of convention, expressing himself in whatever manner he chooses. This multidisciplinary approach, especially in the digital age, unfortunately leaves us vinyl fans lacking, and Nico's A.A.L. (Against All Logic) album ‘2012-2017’ was originally a digital only disc. As word of mouth, setlist and mixtape has turned this lowkey release into the jewel in the Other People crown, Nico has finally done the decent thing and given the people what they want. Much like Kerrier District did to disco, A.A.L. (Against All Logic) borrows heavily from the samples and sounds engrained deep within Jaar’s listening habits and a record collection evidently packed to the brim with classic soul, house and most importantly, funk hooks. Keenly twisting these sounds and filtering them through a studio set up that leans heavily on the beefed-up kick drums and reverb units, Jaar creates a well-executed homage to these sounds, pieced together with the inherent idea of making the listener unable to resist the urge to move, wherever they may be. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Harking back to those stunning soul edits he cut his teeth with, Nicolas Jaar delivers a danceable (in a brilliantly unconventional fashion) set of mangled and manipulated club gems. Everywhere you look he expresses the unexpected, be it the blasts of needle bruising distortion on opener "This Old House Is All I Have", the radio friendly pop chorus of "I Never Dream" or dusty textures of "Hopeless". If you dig on Romare's sampledelic club collages, or Herbert's disruptive dance, then you're gonna love this club oriented set from undoubted genius Nicolas Jaar.

Five years on from 2001's "Space Is Only Noise", prolific, precocious and boundary pushing producer Nicolas Jaar returns with his second full-length LP, the expansive, experimental and uncompromising "Sirens". If you've followed his career thus far, you'll be well aware that Mr Jaar is an eclectic kind of chap. Equally adept at stripped back club bangers, minimalist electronics, intimate torch songs and droning avant garde compositions, Jaar has been carving out his own niche from day one. Over the course of past eight years, Jaar has gradually honed his sound, borrowing samples, phrases and rhythms from jazz, blues, soul, folk and latin traditions, before manipulating them beyond all recognition as he applies his unique production aesthetic. Dreamy, deep and experimental, Jaar's records sound like nothing else. "Sirens" finds the producer pushing all the way through to the other side, fusing precise electronics, full spectrum frequencies and a full gamut of styles into a thematically assured, sonically adventurous game changer. Smashing glass punctuates buzzing feedback, prepared piano rings out while cumbia rhythms elicit a subtle sway. "The Governor" and "Three Sides Of Nazareth" pogo away with a no wave snarl while "History Lesson" is a hallucinogenic detour into doo wop. Despite its stylistic indeterminacy, "Sirens" maintains a thematic and sonic narrative which leads us from start to finish. Near on indescribable, but entirely excellent, this breathtaking example of adventurous composition and scientific sound design stands alone in the world of modern electronica.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Challenging, unique and sonically breathtaking, Nicolas Jaar's return to the long format is every bit as good as I hoped. Indescribable and mindblowing.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: 180G vinyl with spined sleeve with white scratch-off paint to reveal the artwork, packaged in a printed PVC bag which contains a 'quarter' coin which will scratch off the artwork in transit, making each product unique.

Four years after his debut on the Brooklyn label Wolf + Lamb, and the much lauded follow up "Time for Us", whose glacial slow-jam take on house sent journalists scrambling for adjectives, the 20 year old Chilean New Yorker returns to Circus Company with "Space Is Only Noise", an uncompromising manifesto on traces of the past, love lost, and specters of the future.

Jaar has made it quite apparent over the course of his nascent catalog and increasingly sought after live sets that challenge is an intrinsic part of his creative discourse. Few are the producers of any age with the nerve to ride a sub-100-bpm tempo at peak time in the techno Mecca of Berlin, and fewer still are those who receive an ecstatic hands-in-the-air response for their precocious efforts. It is precisely this sense of risk which elevates "Space Is Only Noise" beyond the realm of valiant first effort or crossover dance music oddity. Those looking to wade through the sea of Jaar’s potential influences will quickly find themselves in the deep waters of golden age Factory records, home spun digitalism of Mille Plateaux, "Endtroducing" era DJ Shadow and Eric Satie.

Jaar gently coaxes his listener into the experience from the opening sounds of rolling waves on "être", but quickly transitions into the sophisticated percussion and meandering melodies that characterise his sound. Jaar seeks, and often finds, beauty in melancholy on the first few tracks of the album. As the album begins to accelerate with 'Too many kids finding rain in the dust', Jaar confronts us with the often forgotten reality that our sadness is not mutually exclusive from the dancefloor. Suddenly, on "Keep Me There", Jaar’s voice appears over the delicious, rumbling melody. Though your hips stir to the relentless bassline and the sexiness of the voices, your heart is jolted out of its luxurious malaise when horns erupt seconds later. Complete landscapes such as these are only realised in contrast - the indulgent against the reserved, the sky against the earth; lightness and darkness.

"Space Is Only Noise" is a tour de force with few modern equals, and a great sign of things to come from one of electronic music’s most exciting producers.


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