Nicolas Jaar, Space is Only Noise

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 12.21.11 in Reviews
2011′s most rapturously acclaimed American electronic-dance debut

Nicolas Jaar is a full-time student at Brown, head of the up-and-coming Clown & Sunset label, and, oh yeah, creator of 2011′s most rapturously acclaimed American electronic-dance debut. Space Is Only Noise is all over the place stylistically, which is probably one reason it’s gone so far beyond dance audiences. (That, and electronic music is reaching out more widely than it has before.) It’s moody more than anything else, partly because of Jaar’s brooding (and oft-treated) vocals, which recall the young Matthew Dear, another guy who splits the difference between singer-songwriter and beat maestro. Recently I asked Jaar if he bores easily. “Um, yeah, kinda. Good job on that one. Totally!” he said. You can hear it in these restless, engaging, shape-shifting tracks.