Nicolas Jaar: I was a Teenage Villalobos

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This is the thread to discuss the wunderkind producer Nicolas Jaar.

Typical teenage boy, loves Satie and Mulatu Astatke. At 14, he decides he loves techno too, even though the only thing he's heard at that point is Tiga's DJ Kicks. His father, the artist and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar, goes to a record store in Chile and says 'Give me the most forward-thinking electronic music album right now', comes home with Thé Au Harem D'Archimède. Dad gives him the Villalobos album ("the sexiest thing I'd ever heard") and Luomo's Vocalcity for Christmas that year. Nico starts making tracks, gets hooked up with Wolf + Lamb a couple of years later, and there you go.

Additional charming details in the Philip Sherburne interview.

Jaw-droppingly good Resident Advisor podcast available on soundcloud (tracklist).

His original tracks, many done before he turned 18, are also up on soundcloud.

My tracklist for the Essential Nico:
*Time For Us
*Mi Mujer
*No Regular Play - Owe Me (Nicolas Jaar remix)
*WOUH
*Love You Gotta Lose Again
*Hage Chahine (ft Will Epstein)
*John the Revelator
*Marquises
*El Bandido
*Kasper Bjorke - Heaven (Nicolas Jaar remix)
*DJ T - Gorilla Hug (Nicolas Jaar remix)
*Mini Calcutta
*Russian Dolls
*Your Waltz
*Nico's Feeling Good

Easily my favorite and most listened to music of the year.

The Amy Misto Family Knife (Plasmon), Saturday, 27 November 2010 17:22 (nine years ago) link

The few tracks I've heard (think one of them was El Bandido) were very very good.

What are you doing here? (dog latin), Saturday, 27 November 2010 17:32 (nine years ago) link

only heard him on thu for the first time - i was doing a radio show with braiden, who's been raving about him for a while - and was totally blown away. love the bluesy vocals, love the way every track ends up somewhere completely different to its start. would add "marks", "angles" and his remix of ellen allien's "flashy flashy" to the must-hear list.

he has a comp coming out in a week or two, right? called inès. can't wait m8

lex lex lex lex lex on the track BOW (lex pretend), Saturday, 27 November 2010 17:36 (nine years ago) link

Side one of Inès on soundcloud.

The Amy Misto Family Knife (Plasmon), Saturday, 27 November 2010 17:46 (nine years ago) link

did anyone get tix to the show in london in a couple of weeks?

just sayin, Saturday, 27 November 2010 17:59 (nine years ago) link

nooooo i'm gonna try to get in somehow though

lex lex lex lex lex on the track BOW (lex pretend), Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:01 (nine years ago) link

yeah im really hoping i can get a ticket on the door :-/

just sayin, Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:02 (nine years ago) link

i hadn't even heard of this dude four days ago! i haven't fallen so fast and hard for an artist in some time

lex lex lex lex lex on the track BOW (lex pretend), Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:02 (nine years ago) link

yeah im really late too! i blame ilx

just sayin, Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:13 (nine years ago) link

Had heard some of this guys stuff and wasn't really blown away but i'm listening to El Bandido now thanks to this thread, and...damn.

Number None, Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:16 (nine years ago) link

Ever since the RA podcast I've been waiting for one of the usual suspects to start the Nicolas Jaar Can Do No Wrong: Defend or Refute thread he no doubt deserves.

Finally decided to take matters into my own hands. Never started a thread before, been reading ILM since the very beginning.

The Amy Misto Family Knife (Plasmon), Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:26 (nine years ago) link

just heard that kasper bjørke remix - it's wonderful.

his remix of azari & iii's "into the night" is something else too

lex lex lex lex lex on the track BOW (lex pretend), Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:48 (nine years ago) link

so how old is he now

J0rdan S., Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:50 (nine years ago) link

20 i think?

lex lex lex lex lex on the track BOW (lex pretend), Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:55 (nine years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSp_2c96JtA

What are you doing here? (dog latin), Saturday, 27 November 2010 18:58 (nine years ago) link

^^ you can dl that edits ep free from the resident advisor website btw

just sayin, Saturday, 27 November 2010 19:13 (nine years ago) link

Love Nicolas Jaar. He's had an incredible few years. He wrote to me in 2007, sending a song called "Little Stone" (much more, um, folktronica? than his techno now, but still really excellent). He was 17 and calling himself "Nico" - and it was plausible to me he didn't realise there already a famous Nico. A couple years later, he's doing tracks like "John the Revelator" - and now he's a Mutek fixture, a Resident Advisor wunderkind, just making beautiful subtle new things. So happy for him.

sean gramophone, Saturday, 27 November 2010 19:20 (nine years ago) link

the edits ep is nice but i wouldn't really recommend it as your entry point to him, don't think it showcases what makes him special as much as other stuff

lex lex lex lex lex on the track BOW (lex pretend), Saturday, 27 November 2010 19:24 (nine years ago) link

which i guess is why it was given away free

lex lex lex lex lex on the track BOW (lex pretend), Saturday, 27 November 2010 19:24 (nine years ago) link

Sean: repost?

My favorite of his remixes is still "Owe Me", which reminds me of early Matthew Herbert (the remixes on Secondhand Sounds). The staticky clicks and pops and the echoey handclap and the wobbly keyboard and the filtered vocals -- it's all just so choice. Then the surf comes in.

The Amy Misto Family Knife (Plasmon), Saturday, 27 November 2010 19:36 (nine years ago) link

edits ep is all ive heard, it was nice but a bit. i mean i kinda like everything i've heard on w+l bc thats an aesthetic that appeals to me, but its a bit on the subtle end

plax (ico), Saturday, 27 November 2010 20:05 (nine years ago) link

His solo debut on Circus Company is breathtakingly good, in the same way that early dOP stuff was. my only complaint is that he samples "I Got A Woman" on one track, which i find a bit much. otherwise, i'd say it's a perfect record.

Honey, I squirted jizz all over the baby (the table is the table), Saturday, 27 November 2010 20:29 (nine years ago) link

lol at that grateful dead edit

the tune is space, Saturday, 27 November 2010 20:29 (nine years ago) link

i'm glad that it seems he's branching out from Wolf + Lamb, because tbh, i pretty much dislike 90% of the output from those producers and that label. it's all very boring, imho.

Honey, I squirted jizz all over the baby (the table is the table), Saturday, 27 November 2010 20:35 (nine years ago) link

Pretty sure he's on BeatsinSpace next week but can't find anything to back that up so perhaps I dreamt it.

groovypanda, Saturday, 27 November 2010 20:48 (nine years ago) link

that sounds plausible, bis is way into w+l

plax (ico), Saturday, 27 November 2010 20:49 (nine years ago) link

His father, the artist and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar,

Get the fuck out! This family is like a entity of genius.

EDB, Saturday, 27 November 2010 21:31 (nine years ago) link

I already regret the phrase "entity of genius." Nevertheless, the point still stands.

i'm glad that it seems he's branching out from Wolf + Lamb, because tbh, i pretty much dislike 90% of the output from those producers and that label. it's all very boring, imho.

― Honey, I squirted jizz all over the baby (the table is the table), Saturday, November 27, 2010 3:35 PM (55 minutes ago) Bookmark

I know most are going to disagree, but this is absolutely 100% OTM.

I saw him play live at Mutek last June. Very enjoyable, despite having an indoor set at 3PM playing to a mostly empty room. Expect it to be slow, too.

EDB, Saturday, 27 November 2010 21:35 (nine years ago) link

Here are "Little Stone" and "The Student" (mp3s).

sean gramophone, Saturday, 27 November 2010 21:42 (nine years ago) link

Oh um er let's try that again:

"Little Stone" (4.6mb)
"The Student" (4mb)

sean gramophone, Saturday, 27 November 2010 21:43 (nine years ago) link

I put "Angles" on a recent mixtape and got a good response...is there an album coming out soon?

skip, Saturday, 27 November 2010 23:31 (nine years ago) link

early next year - http://www.datatransmission.co.uk/viewnews/6069/

just sayin, Sunday, 28 November 2010 09:46 (nine years ago) link

+ like lex said there's also a label comp out in a week or two that he has a few songs on

just sayin, Sunday, 28 November 2010 09:48 (nine years ago) link

Tim Sweeney's just confirmed he is on the show tomorrow night so I obviously wasn't dreaming.

groovypanda, Monday, 29 November 2010 17:11 (nine years ago) link

Woah - WOUH is incredible, some kind of Studio/techno hybrid I didn't know I needed to hear.

seandalai, Monday, 29 November 2010 19:52 (nine years ago) link

find a lot of his stuff a little meh but el bandido and time for us are both pretty great.

rappa ternt sagna (jim in glasgow), Monday, 29 November 2010 20:56 (nine years ago) link

I dunno, it feels a bit soon for everyone to get carried away but it seems like a bandwagon has started rolling around this dude very quickly indeed. Then again, he's working withing a style where people are predisposed to throw around words like 'genius' very easily.

I like WUOH and Time For Us and what he does to Flashy Flashy, but I listened to the Marks & Angles EP and it just sounded dreary rather than hypnotic. I kinda feel like post-Villalobos there's almost no element or style that feels too weird to throw into this kind of framework, and it has a kind of dulling effect. Materials is pretty good though. We'll see.

Matt DC, Monday, 29 November 2010 23:19 (nine years ago) link

really like a lot of what i've heard, particularly el bandido, but the vocals on Marks & Angles EP are so flaccid and lazy sounding bleh

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Monday, 29 November 2010 23:22 (nine years ago) link

the new album sounds a lot like dOP, but less house-y and more jazzy.

hot weiners is the best and i want a hot weiner (the table is the table), Tuesday, 30 November 2010 01:58 (nine years ago) link

mostly agree with matt xp. time for us is the best thing he's done by a mile i think. i would really really like to hear him work with a good vocalist. think i read an interview where he said as much also. maybe he does on some of the forthcoming stuff? not that the slo-mo treated thing can't work too... like marks/angles isn't amazing overall, but it seems like he's starting to get the vocals to mesh with the production in interesting ways.

and will he further explore marksist politics in dance music?

straight old fashioned, virgin (another al3x), Tuesday, 30 November 2010 03:45 (nine years ago) link

I think he sounds like Matias Aguayo, even thought it was him at first. He has some better ideas than him from time to time but I'll agree with karl: he should abstain from vocal duties.

Moka, Tuesday, 30 November 2010 04:19 (nine years ago) link

Just listened to his Live At The Bunker podcast (WLP087) in the gym - more propulsive than the RA one; doing lots of the same layering and building tricks but not quite as show-offily (or maybe just in a less developed way, since it's so much older)

i'm assuming that it's tity boi, host of the mixtape (sic), Tuesday, 30 November 2010 06:01 (nine years ago) link

Album dropping in February:

http://www.residentadvisor.net/news.aspx?id=12795

groovypanda, Tuesday, 30 November 2010 10:26 (nine years ago) link

I am listening to it now (NB I have basically learned everything about him from this thread!), so far it's great and completely unconcerned by ~the dancefloor~ - there are a lot of moody pianos and a track that was like idk Barry Adamson crossed with microhouse or somesuch - I'm not really one for overstating the weather-appropriateness of music but 8am in a REALLY cold December is kind of where this is at I think

smoking on his cigarette / listening to a Carcass set (DJ Mencap), Friday, 3 December 2010 08:03 (nine years ago) link

his beats in space is now up

just sayin, Friday, 3 December 2010 08:54 (nine years ago) link

completely unconcerned by ~the dancefloor~

I dunno, some people might consider this not necessarily a plus in house music.

Matt DC, Friday, 3 December 2010 09:55 (nine years ago) link

oh clearly! NB a good chunk of it I would probly not describe as 'house music', also this is based on one listen on computer speakers lol

smoking on his cigarette / listening to a Carcass set (DJ Mencap), Friday, 3 December 2010 11:21 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

might have the chance to interview this fella soon. anyone got any questions for him?

Bernard V. O'Hare (dog latin), Tuesday, 21 December 2010 17:09 (nine years ago) link

gonna give the mix a listen but i felt like he reealllllly fell off last year, was completely underwhelmed (and in fact bored) by all the nymphs releases. his debut album was already a bit of step down from the singles and remixes that preceded it (feel like floating points' album has a similar relationship to his previous singles) and he just seems to be heading further and further in that direction.

OTM with his solo stuff, but I still really love his Darkside work the most. But yeah, it feels like he's already lost the energy and vitality that his early teenage tracks had and has self indulged bit too heavily these days. His RA 500 mix was okay.

octobeard, Thursday, 18 February 2016 06:57 (four years ago) link

Fights was the best thing I've heard from him, but the supposed genius of those early singles has never been readily apparent to me.

Matt DC, Thursday, 18 February 2016 07:47 (four years ago) link

The debut album was gorgeous on a phenomenological level - I could listen to it just for the richness of the sound - but it was more than a little lacking in tunes. I've heard most of the early singles now and they're OK; prefer the Floating Points stuff.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 18 February 2016 10:34 (four years ago) link

The title track of the debut album had enough tunes - and a drop - to fill the whole record for me. I loved the album and still listen to that title track all the time.

kraudive, Thursday, 18 February 2016 18:07 (four years ago) link

seven months pass...

http://other-people.network/#/channels/333?_k=zn9crg

groovypanda, Monday, 26 September 2016 21:23 (three years ago) link

now that's a confusing player if I ever did see one

sounds good though!

niels, Tuesday, 27 September 2016 07:57 (three years ago) link

couldn't tell if it wasn't working for me or if i was just dumb.

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Tuesday, 27 September 2016 14:51 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I'm finding the new one pretty boring and I feel pretty stupid about it

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 13 October 2016 10:30 (three years ago) link

i hate this album

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 October 2016 12:04 (three years ago) link

this guy sounds way better on paper than in real life

KitevsPill, Thursday, 13 October 2016 20:37 (three years ago) link

here I'll ruin Nicolas jaar for you:

Moby_Play.jpg

coffee table, "serious" noodling (brimstead), Friday, 14 October 2016 00:10 (three years ago) link

Nah, I'm hearing much more Suicide than Moby

doug watson, Friday, 14 October 2016 02:12 (three years ago) link

classic sequence of inspired dance(-ey) singles -> tepid non-dancey albums -> undue critical adulation for artsy album twaddle -> reinforcing cycle

flopson, Friday, 14 October 2016 02:20 (three years ago) link

Haven't heard the new album, Jaar did a bunch of dance stuff with sampled old blues vocals, hence bad joke

coffee table, "serious" noodling (brimstead), Friday, 14 October 2016 05:09 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

His records just sound fabulous; it's very easy to soak into them on a sensual level. There are a handful of extended grooves on the new one where he's doing very lush things - The Governor, Three Sides of Nazareth - but there's also a bunch of stuff that makes me wonder wtf he's playing at.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 14 November 2016 14:43 (three years ago) link

nine months pass...

otm. "sirens" on three sides of nazareth rules

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 September 2017 14:53 (two years ago) link

five months pass...

just dropped a surprise album as Against All Logic

it's on Spotify

Number None, Saturday, 24 February 2018 08:52 (two years ago) link

There are some really fun tracks here, I dig the low-stakes dancefloor approach (kinda like Four Tet's Percussions alias, which I like more than any recent Four Tet record).

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 1 March 2018 20:00 (two years ago) link

Reminds me of Daphni too

Really enjoyable record

Number None, Thursday, 1 March 2018 20:06 (two years ago) link

this is great

na (NA), Thursday, 1 March 2018 20:10 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

so little discussion about this, is it good or like wallpaper good

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Wednesday, 28 March 2018 23:09 (two years ago) link

or maybe the discussion is elsewhere??

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Wednesday, 28 March 2018 23:09 (two years ago) link

personally couldn't get into it, a bit too dissonant and meandering to my taste iirc

it's getting really good reviews tho

niels, Thursday, 29 March 2018 10:18 (two years ago) link

Here's a bad review if that's what you're looking for:
https://www.residentadvisor.net/reviews/22216

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 29 March 2018 12:24 (two years ago) link

haha. just a lil more traction on why ppl like it. it kinda floated by me, but sounded pleasant.

really im curious what Lamp is listening to these days

Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40), Thursday, 29 March 2018 17:39 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

so little discussion about this, is it good or like wallpaper good

― Listen to my homeboy Fantano (D-40)

I'm enjoying it a lot, there are too many odd little rhythmic and textural flourishes for it to fit too snugly into the realm of the coffee table. Yet it is often very pleasant, and I'm fine with that.

chap, Monday, 13 August 2018 16:12 (two years ago) link

i really like it. not as much as the Darkside record which is my favorite Jaar project by an order of magnitude but this is probably my 2nd favorite

ciderpress, Tuesday, 14 August 2018 04:59 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

mans on a tear

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hPfc02Q1qA

'Fantasy' is from Against all Logic's new album '2017 - 2019' out now on Other People: https://against-all-logic.bandcamp.com/album/2017-2019

Papa Triste (Thee Macallan 18 Year), Friday, 7 February 2020 22:10 (six months ago) link

I actively hated Sirens, and the first AAL didn't grab me, but this is cutting through the ADHD. He turns unpredictability into hooks somehow.

he sort of withdrew from the spotlight trained on "Nicolas Jaar", huh?

lukas, Saturday, 8 February 2020 00:05 (six months ago) link

I’m a total dilettante when it comes to this guy, liked Darkside a lot, but was playing a bunch of AAL today. It’s pretty fucking good.

circa1916, Saturday, 8 February 2020 04:01 (six months ago) link

Like the Lydia Lunch cut-up on the new album. “If you can’t do it good, do it hard” is a good mantra tbh.

circa1916, Saturday, 8 February 2020 04:03 (six months ago) link

I love the new one but I pretty much adore all of his records, no matter the moniker and style. Space, Sirens, Darkside, AAL, the Pomegranates re-scoring... He's just brilliant.

ˈʌglɪɪst preɪ, Saturday, 8 February 2020 14:51 (six months ago) link

Love 2017-2019. There's also a 12" with more sampled Lydia Lunch.

Jeff W, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:17 (six months ago) link

three weeks pass...

yeah this one is in line with the previous one i.e. very good

ciderpress, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 15:02 (five months ago) link

This single/album really are just incredible.

toby, Thursday, 12 March 2020 14:06 (five months ago) link

And there's a new Jaar LP out next week.

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Thursday, 12 March 2020 14:17 (five months ago) link

!

toby, Thursday, 12 March 2020 14:22 (five months ago) link

https://nicolasjaar.bandcamp.com/album/cenizas

willem, Thursday, 12 March 2020 14:26 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

New album “Cenizas” is out.

At this point, I don’t think he is capable of releasing a bad album.

“Mud” is my favorite on first listen but the whole thing is great as usual.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 27 March 2020 06:43 (four months ago) link

I'm like three minutes into this album and ready to declare it great.

lukas, Saturday, 28 March 2020 02:27 (four months ago) link

A lot of contrasts here. Can't say I like all of it but some parts I love. The closing track is a nice pop reward for listening patiently to the rest.

Jeff W, Saturday, 28 March 2020 18:18 (four months ago) link

Just getting to this album. It's great and is a perfect fit for my current self-isolation. Sort of a drunk ambient record, stumbling from track to track, never settling into a single zone yet still adding up to a coherent mood. If that makes sense.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 3 April 2020 18:08 (four months ago) link

makes perfect sense, pgwp

cheers to NJ

Papa Triste (Thee Macallan 18 Year), Friday, 3 April 2020 20:00 (four months ago) link

three months pass...

His third album of the year, Telas, was released on Friday. “Cenizas was the ashes of a destruction. Telas is the fabrics of a construction.” Haven't had the chance to listen yet but apparently it's 4 ambient-ish tracks, each around 15 minutes.

ˈʌglɪɪst preɪ, Monday, 20 July 2020 17:04 (three weeks ago) link

It's good though i like Cenizas more.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Monday, 20 July 2020 18:49 (three weeks ago) link

I hadn't heard about the site

"the website { https://www.telas.parts } is where telas lives in its liquid form. it was created by abeera kamran and somnath bhatt with sounds by nicolás. somnath and nicolás started working on illustrations for telas in january 2018 and the website was developed alongside abeera in the last three months."

lukas, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 19:57 (two weeks ago) link

Thought the AAL album was outstanding on first listen earlier this year. Need to go back to it.

Indexed, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 21:25 (two weeks ago) link

Can’t stand AAL, but both releases under the Jaar ‘moniker’ this year are stellar.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 21:37 (two weeks ago) link

All 3 are amazing, I think - the AAL album/single might be the pick for me but they're all extremely different so it's a little hard to compare.

toby, Wednesday, 29 July 2020 08:40 (two weeks ago) link

Listening to 2017-2019 again this AM. He has a particular talent for crafting coherent albums. Whole thing is very intentional and perfectly sequenced, with intros and outros that are as carefully constructed as the songs themselves.

Indexed, Wednesday, 29 July 2020 15:01 (two weeks ago) link


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