Nicolas Jaar once said “it’s bass that makes everything sad” when asked what the saddest sound on earth was. He went on to explain that he utilizes basslines in his remix work to bring a certain amount of heartache to poppy vocals and to be honest with you, I thought he was full of shit. how could the backbone of funk be inherently sad? It seemed unfathomable to me. That was until I listened to Jaar’s remix of Chet Faker’s “Terms And Conditions. And then listened to it again. And then again a dozen or so more times. Jaar has also often referred to himself as an architect filling space with sound, and his debut album Space Is Only Noise is a thorough exploration of that concept. His remix work is where he designs the club from the ground up though.
While he’s known for playing extremely slow sets, remixes of Architecture In Helsinki and Azari and III see Jaar working within a loose House template. “Terms And Conditions” almost reaches 140 BPM, representing some of his fastest work to date, but retains the sedentary nature that permeates much of Space Is Only Noise. The first two minutes of the remix revolve around warbling ambient noises, gradually percolating percussion and chants of “it’s not the money” enter the framework. The emotional weight of the track isn’t fully realized until the kick comes in though. At that point, there’s no more dillydallying and a real sense of despair takes over. Unlike many songs that attempt to grasp inert sadness, “Terms And Conditions” doesn’t suck the energy out of the room as much as it propels it in a more desolate direction. If you don’t believe, then listen for yourself.