Album Review Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise

‘Space Is Only Noise’ sits in a league of its own.

Older is better right? Generally yeah, I mean if we’re talking about cheese, or wine, or techno. Electronic music in general is the throne of the experienced. We marvel at the godfathers of the genre, marvel and respect. Any fan of house or techno will recognise the importance of the more mature beat makers, tracing their progress, their evolution. So whaddya do when the artist everyone’s most excited about is barely two decades old?

Nicolas Jaar is quite a specimen; only just 20 and he’s already releasing a record on his own label, Circus Company. ‘Space Is Only Noise’ sits in a league of its own; Jaar’s now trademark unorthodox approach to techno comes off sounding fresh, so pleasant. This is not a party record, this is something to stick on at the end… Drowned in exhaustion, unable to keep up, it’s an effort to move, but you wanna. Tracks ‘Too Many Kids Finding Rain In The Dust’ and ‘Problems With The Sun’ echo Massive Attack, all slowed down beats and wound down vocals.

‘Space Is Only Noise If You Can See’ is, like the most part of the record, a slow burner. It builds further than the songs before it, introducing the second half of the album, a half that’s a little more Cafe Del Mar than purple drank techno. The harmonies, mostly piano driven, exhibit Jaar’s impressive tastes, and his even more impressive background knowledge. A self-proclaimed fan of Mulatu Astatke and Erik Satie, his sensibilities lye outside the realm of the electronic, all the while keeping one foot on the inside. This is effectively, a successful balance.

Beware of the valium lull, and stick about, stay alert, for ‘Variations’, the penultimate oeuvre, rings minimal at last. But of course Jaar has not betrayed his nature and the track oozes a foreign charm. This is the new sound, but perhaps one that will forever remain a solo venture, a personal mission, one that we must feel privileged to have shared with us.


Tags: Nicolas Jaar, Album Reviews, Reviews

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