13 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though dance music producer Nicolas Jaar has spent most of his life in New York City, his Chilean roots surface intermittently throughout his 2011 debut album, Space Is Only Noise. (The most notable influence is Ricardo Villalobos’ minimal approach to electronic music.) What’s most prominent here, though, is Jaar’s love for jazz piano. “Être” sets the tone with haunting movie samples, running water, and sparsely beautiful piano notes. “Colomb” follows, with spare, muted beats and looped handclaps accompanying the warm warble of an old Fender Rhodes keyboard. Jaar incorporates more sultry grooves in “Too Many Kids Finding Rain in the Dust” before stripping down the song to clockwork rhythms accompanying a string ensemble. The title track, near six minutes long, filters vocal chants through reverb and layers them over wonky bass notes and skittering, dubby beats pumped through an echo effect. The abstract “Balance Her In Between Your Eyes” features sprawling sections of electronic ambience, which contrast lo-fi samples of stringed instruments looped under heavily reverberated female vocals. The final track, “^tre,” closes like a twin to “Être."

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though dance music producer Nicolas Jaar has spent most of his life in New York City, his Chilean roots surface intermittently throughout his 2011 debut album, Space Is Only Noise. (The most notable influence is Ricardo Villalobos’ minimal approach to electronic music.) What’s most prominent here, though, is Jaar’s love for jazz piano. “Être” sets the tone with haunting movie samples, running water, and sparsely beautiful piano notes. “Colomb” follows, with spare, muted beats and looped handclaps accompanying the warm warble of an old Fender Rhodes keyboard. Jaar incorporates more sultry grooves in “Too Many Kids Finding Rain in the Dust” before stripping down the song to clockwork rhythms accompanying a string ensemble. The title track, near six minutes long, filters vocal chants through reverb and layers them over wonky bass notes and skittering, dubby beats pumped through an echo effect. The abstract “Balance Her In Between Your Eyes” features sprawling sections of electronic ambience, which contrast lo-fi samples of stringed instruments looped under heavily reverberated female vocals. The final track, “^tre,” closes like a twin to “Être."

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
61 Ratings

61 Ratings

Krowd_Kontrol ,

Trees

Seriously No reviews? I don't normally care but this cd is really good. Down tempo music that would appeal to all sorts, but interestingly enough he seems to be drawing the most attention from dance music crowds. It isn't that surprising though; his use of old film loops (mostly in french) and warm, crackly textures are done in unique and inventive ways, and the beats are dancy. His songs usually fall somewhere in between head nod music and actual dance music in terms of their energy, but whatever it is, its good.

Emerson W ,

valuable and rare

this album really hit the spot. it's tracks transcend songs to become chapters of a story; punch lines, punctuations, and climaxes - restful and eager. in summation, an album to be listened to beginning to end, with good speakers, at good volume, with good concentration. if you're not convinced ~ 'colomb', 'keep me there', and 'specters of the future' will get you caught in their melodic immediate enjoyability, then soon after i pressingly prescribe a thorough inspection of the album as a whole. simplicity stitched together with unpredictability, beauty, and invigorating contrast, this is one masterful album.

Purdyee ,

Calmly brilliant.

This album took me by surprise. I really didn't expect to like this, but I'm obsessed now. With each listen, I feel like I learn something new about the album. It starts off somewhat slow for me, but it really picks up later in the album. Nicolas Jaar has set a new standard for electronic and minimalist music for 2011 and beyond.

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