Nicolas Jaar

“Space Is Only Noise”

CCS055 scanZoom inLabelCircus Company
Cat. No.CCS055
FormatEXCL1LP
Orders fromTue, 04 Jan 2011
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Review

Nicolas Jaar has graduated– at least from the trappings of any young electronic music producer (his graduation from Brown University is 18 months away). 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 New Yorker by way of Chile returns to Circus Company with Space is Only Noise, an uncompromising manifesto on traces of the past, love lost, and specters of the future. Having previously contributed to the catalog twice with his ‘Marks and Angels’ EP as well as the sublime ‘Your Waltz’ on the Snuggle and Slap compilation, we are delighted to present his first foray into the realm of the long player. 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 cohones 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 m

CCS055 in the media

RA - Resident Advisor: “Even those peripherally interested in dance music have probably noted the meteoric rise of Nicolas Jaar. The Chilean-born New Yorker debuted at just 17 with the expansive, cellar dweller house of his debut, the Student EP, in 2008 on New York's esteemed Wolf & Lamb. Following his Marks and Angles EP on Circus Company and a contribution to the label's celebratory Snuggle & Slap compilation, Jaar returned early last year to his original home with the slow astral grooves of A Time for Us along with a series of singles on his own slightly-skewed label, Clown & Sunset. As his music continued to both fuse and restructure traditional house, downtempo, jazz touchstones, his increasingly popular live sets mirrored the warmth and patience of his own productions, often sticking with warm-up BPMs for long portions of his sets (or damn near the entire runtime). All of which leads up to Space Is Only Noise, his heartily anticipated debut album on the lovably weird sonic melting pot, Circus Company. And, frankly, the label's the perfect home for a record of Jaar's recombined dance tempos and textures. Much like James Blake—which Space is likely to be coupled with in the coming weeks for their different approaches to vocally oriented electronic music—there's a fascination with space and near-silence. Jaar uses his own voice, for the most part, more as texture than as center. Much of Space's charm lies in how suffused they are with moments of hush. In fact, so calm and comforting is Jaar's debut that the album at times almost resembles a bizarre downtempo DJ set of his own material (to which precisely nobody would be dancing). Melding Parisian jazz, Warp-style IDM, slo-mo house, classical, musique concrete and hip-hop, Jaar somehow never feels like he's trying on too many hats; the seams of his restitching just don't show. For an album so clearly concerned with cohesion and a sustained narrative, it seems almost foolish to try to tease apart highlights. Space is, first and foremost, a full-length statement, and one of the best you're likely to hear all year. Remove any of its tracks, resequence any portion, and it would feel like a film poorly recut by the studio. Bookended by the mournful sample-and-piano crawl of "Etre"s, there's the bluesy vocal glide and soft Rhodes of "Colomb," or the waltzing guitar and slow grinding bass of "Too Many Kids Finding Rain in the Dust." With its basso vocal repetitions and stumbling rhythm, "Keep Me There" sounds a lot like labelmates Nôze, while Jaar anchors the drunken house of "I Got A" around a famed Ray Charles vocal, reveling in the use of such a "big" piece of history. The title track, on the other hand, is echo-chamber soul music, Jaar's voice making its way carefully over its gentle, clicking rhythms and electronic glare. "Almost Fell" finds Jaar in brokedown effected-falsetto against sparse Rhodes coloring—the record's most refined moment arguably, and its saddest—only to lead into one of its more celebratory outings, the buoyant sample-cut funk of "Balance Her in Between Your Eyes." It's a pairing that resembles the slow emotional slide of life itself, this barely noted rise from deep blues to dancing days. It's also a good example of just how reflective and journey-based Jaar's debut feels. Space Is Only Noise is as appropriate for ten on a Sunday morning as it for the bleary ends of 3 AM, an on-the-nod effort that still feels redemptive and invigorating. You can play it whenever, which is good because you're going to want to play it a lot. ”

Raveline: “Das Debütalbum des jungen New Yorkers schlägt schon weit vor seiner Veröffentlichung große Wellen. Alle stimmen in den Chor ein, dass es wohl ein „Jaar-Jahr“ wird. Und „Space Is Only Noise“ rechtfertigt das Lob und lässt den Druck alt aussehen, der sich ein wenig angesammelt hat in den letzten drei Jahren seit seiner ersten Single-Veröffentlichung als 17-jähriger. Er spielt so fabelhaft mit ausufernden Sounds, Stimmungen und Beats, dass es eine wahre Freude ist, sich vollkommen dem Album zu widmen. Hinsetzen. Lauschen. Entspannung. Track für Track baut sich das Album immer weiter auf und erfüllt den Raum mit einer fast unheimlichen Atmosphäre und Tiefe. Unglaublich lässig und überzeugend. ”

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