In which Nicolas Jaar conjures the revenant of Teddy Roosevelt to school y’all on the finer points of the universe. “The Ego” is actually one of Jaar’s more open-aired tracks, but when matched with the odd vocals, some taken from a recent Obama interview with Rolling Stone, it’s downright unsettling. I can’t imagine what Nico Jaar’s ideal Thanksgiving would look like, but I’m sure it would sound something like this. Stream and download below.
Nico Jaar is often described in the terms of his prestigious education and globe-trotting experience. Depending on your orientation towards Ivy League comparative literature majors, you might come to the conclusion that Jaar is a pretentious prick. If you adopt that attitude towards the Chilean-American genius (and I don’t use that word lightly), then you should probably fuck off. Anyways, Jaar’s new song, “Play The Drums For Me”, is really pretentious (not to go back on myself or anything). Three minutes of monotone, metaphysical spoken word is layered over restive deep house resulting in one of the most hypnotizing songs you will hear all year. The spoken word is actually a 13th century sufi mystic prayer and is, in a sense, the embodiment of Jaar’s approach to space, independent of time and physicality. You can find “Play The Drums For Me” on Acid Pauli‘s contribution to Crosstown Rebels’ mix cd series or just stream below.
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.
What to say about this one… it’s a mashup of an edit of an edit; in other words, Ryan Hemsworth has done it again. This time, he took Nicolas Jaar‘s remix of Shlohmo‘s staple track “Rained The Whole Time,” and threw in a little (just kidding, it’s a lot) of R. Kelly’s “Number One.” Not all that surprisingly, coming from musical masterminds like these, the combination is quite effective.
Stream and download the track below.
Photo by Bryce Pinkos
The Shlohmo remixes just keep coming. Earlier, Pitchfork debuted Chilean-American minimal artist Nicolas Jaar’s remix of “Rained The Whole Time” off of the Vacation EP. Removing Shlohmo’s sense of organized clutter from the track, Jaar manages to maintain the underwater feel of the track. The latin sounding guitar is still there, while the addition of stuttering drums transforms the track into a more dance-floor oriented house affair. Jaar, who is also a Comparative Lit student at Brown University, released one of last year’s most widely acclaimed minimal projects in his Space Is Only Noise album, and is poised for another big year in 2012. Unfortunately, “Rained The Whole Time” is only up for stream at the moment, but you can buy the entire Vacation 12″ at FriendsOfFriends, which also includes remixes from Groundislava, Salva and Teebs.