Space Is Only Noise
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."