My musical obsession with Nicolas Jaar, the electronic artist, started in 2012 when a former lover introduced me to Jaar’s Essential Mix. This two hour musical odyssey covers a dizzying array of music influences and varieties including The Brothers Four, Beyonce, Ricardo Villalobos and even features ten minutes of piano classical music. All of a sudden, I found myself listening and admiring the way Jaar mixed genres with an amazing ease and fluidity. It blew my mind! It was the first time my ears were taking in sounds that were minimal, experimental, and ambient with a touch of melancholy all nicely packaged into the same compilation. It’s no wonder that the electronic music community started calling him a ‘prodigy’ almost since he appeared on the scene.
I tell you about this musician because I recently had the pleasure to catch his show for the third time. It was the best experience thus far. I am not exaggerating when I say that Jaar’s set felt like a journey across space and time. The three hour show featured musical subtlety, abstraction and plenty of experimentation. It felt like the concert goers were aboard Jaar’s space ship and the direction was dictated by the sounds he produced. I loved that he constantly slowed things down and made concert goers wait to drop the beat. It’s as if those moments of downtempo repose were a sexual thrilling and teasing lead up to the main event – the euphoric moment when the beat was dropped and everyone could dance their hearts out!
You might be wondering who Nicolas Jaar is… Well, he lives in New York, has a Chilean background and his 25 years old. His first album, Space Is Only Noise, was released in 2011. The record enjoyed critical acclaim including Resident Advisor naming it best album of the year. In 2012, more recognition followed as his BBC mix won Best Mix of the Year. During 2013, a subscription based music label called Other People was launched. In the same year, he released an album under the project Darkside. In recent years, he’s continued to release music including the alternative soundtrack for The Color of Pomegranates and the music for the movie Dheepan. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of listening to Nico’s music, follow my suggestions for a solid starting point.
BBC Essential Mix
It was through this orgasmic musical compilation that my obsession started. This mix was perfect for me as it featured reflective, slow and melancholic elements – it made me feel. I understand two hours is a serious commitment nowadays but I assure you it’s worth it. Get ready for a unique musical journey!
Space Is Only Noise
This sounds pretentious but the truth is that Jaar’s music is art. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know what your think though. Do you like this kind of music? Why or why not?