Showing posts with label nicolas jaar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nicolas jaar. Show all posts

Saturday, April 7, 2018

video review: '2012-2017' by a.a.l. (against all logic)

About damn time I got to this, whew.

Next up... man, it's a behemoth here, so stay tuned!

album review: '2012-2017' by a.a.l (against all logic)

So when I covered Nicolas Jaar's album Sirens a few years back, I found a lot more to like than I had initially expected. I was going in off the excellent record Space is Only Noise which hit an odd cross-section of electronic music that was too uniquely compelling to ignore, but Sirens was a different sort of animal entirely, a politically themed and intensely potent warning sign against coming political calamity, which felt all the more starkly relevant in 2016. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of getting to it late and covering it in the aftermath post-November, and thus I couldn't help but feel like the warning had come too late, which I think colored how much the record resonated with me in comparison to Space Is Only Noise.

And I think it might some of those residual feelings that have kept me from really diving headfirst into 2012-2017, even despite the avalanche of critical acclaim this collection of tunes has gotten. Granted, part of my reticence has been that I'm not normally one to talk about loose compilations of songs - and Jaar is the sort of artist to deliver potent themes in his electronic music, so while seeing him release this under a different name made sense, it wasn't something I felt in a hurry to cover. But folks have consistently voted it up the schedule and it has received a ton of acclaim from critics I respect and I'm not going to deny I was curious, so what the hell - how is 2012-2017?

Friday, December 2, 2016

video review: 'sirens' by nicolas jaar

Well, this took way too long to get to... but I'm happy I did. Who knows if it would have clicked better before the election, but honestly, I doubt it - the sound has to hold up.

Beyond that, though... well, the schedule can shift any time, but I've got another long-overdue project next, so I'll be covering that. Stay tuned!

album review: 'sirens' by nicolas jaar

I say every year that I hope to cover more electronic music... and yet somehow, in the last few months of the year, I find myself catching up with the acts that I really should have covered months ago - hence why it has taken so long to get to this review.

And it's not like this album hasn't been on my schedule for some time. I may not have been talking much about music when Nicolas Jaar's critically adored debut album Space Is Only Noise dropped in 2011, but when I did start getting requests to cover him as early as 2015, where he reentered the spotlight courtesy of a few EPs and soundtrack albums. And when I went back to Space Is Only Noise, I actually really liked it. The slightly askew melodies, the vocal snippets against scant flutters of glitch, the intense intimacy of every bit of percussion, the haunted vocals, the odd sense of groove it had, it was a weird as hell record, but it had the sort of ridiculous poise and confidence that made Jaar seem like a veteran effortlessly crossing and blending styles. Again, like most electronica I cover, I will not say it's for everyone - too slow and diffuse to really dance to, not nearly as abrasive as more experimental producers tend to fly, not as melodic to build to consistent vibes, but not so spacious where it slips towards ambient music. This is music at the intersection of a lot of ideas, a fair few of them weird, and while they didn't all quite work for me on Space Is Only Noise - some of those melodic shifts and vocal samples were something else - I was definitely curious to check out Sirens, especially given how much critical acclaim was dumped on it. And thanks to consistent Patreon votes, it's now finally got its chance to shine - is it worth it?