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Space Is Only Noise

Nicolas Jaar Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Feb 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Circus Company
  • ASIN: B004EN9WCQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,080 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Etre
2. Colomb
3. Sunflower
4. Too Many Kids Finding Rain in the Dust
5. Keep Me There
6. Problems With the Sun
7. Space Is Only Noise If You Can See
8. Almost Fell
9. Balance Her in Between Your Eyes
10. Specters of the Future
11. Trace
12. Variations
13. Etre

Product Description

BBC Review

Another decade, another Chilean expat genius ready to redefine electronic music – so the hype goes, anyway. In the 00s, Ricardo Villalobos forged the path of minimal techno; and, thanks to a series of stellar singles, 20-year-old NYC resident Nicolas Jaar has been seen by some as a successor of sorts. There's no doubt that Jaar possesses talent in abundance – and manifests it in a genuinely singular vision. He draws on the blues, traditional global folk, found sound, modern classical music and minimal techno, among others – but listening to his slo-mo house, built from intricate details, an inventive and seemingly endlessly unexpected sonic palette, and some deceptively heavy bass, feels like entering an entirely self-contained world.

Jaar's much-anticipated debut album is a further exploration of that world that seems, initially, like a departure. For a producer operating under the dance rubric, Jaar often seemed to approach the actual dancefloor from tangential, almost accidental directions – and Space Is Only Noise tilts the balance further towards music for the head rather than feet. It's unafraid to take its time, to wend slowly and sparsely towards its pay-offs via tantalisingly lightly sketched musical ideas. For long stretches of time, Jaar reduces the beat to insectile clicks and whirrs, almost casually throwing in piano motifs or filament-thin guitars, but it's an extraordinarily submersive experience – an effect magnified by the rippling wave samples that recur across this fluid, often elusive album. Tracks have a habit of ending up in totally different places to their starting point – the squalls of sax that break into Keep Me There, for instance, or the way Too Many Kids Finding Rain in the Dust starts out as a Lynchian take on the blues and ends up in twanging spaghetti western guitars via keening cellos. Throughout, Jaar ringing the changes with almost imperceptible subtlety.

While his music can often seem like a cocoon, such is its own self-sufficiency, it's one that's humanised by samples of background chatter, children laughing and snatches of spoken word like fragments of half-heard film scenes. Jaar's own surprisingly deep voice, too, adds both emotion and gravitas - a bluesy croon that's both seductive and sad.

Space Is Only Noise is a less immediate starting point than Jaar's singles: little here has the focus of El Bandido, Wouh or A Time For Us – or the full-sounding lushness he has brought to his remixes of Kasper Bjørke's Heaven, The Bees' Winter Rose and Ellen Allien's Flashy Flashy. Instead, it is unnervingly delicate, endlessly distracting and ultimately addictively tactile as it sneaks under your skin.

--Alex Macpherson

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Strong New Voice 16 Mar 2011
Format:Audio CD
Minimalist techno? Possibly/maybe. I wouldn't call it that
myself. Nicolas Jaar's debut album 'Space Is The Only Noise'
doesn't fit tidily into any particular box truth-be-told and
that is why it sustained both my interest and admiration.
Each of the 14 pieces in the collection sort-of reach out
and tap you on the shoulder to announce their fragile presence.
Two of the tracks ('Sunflower' and 'Trace') are less than a
minute long but nothing ever really overstays its welcome.

Mr Jaar stiches sound together into something resembling a
sonic patchwork quilt. There is logic and order at work in
the compositional structures but there is also a little chaos
mixed in for good measure just to keep us on our toes.

Some of the pieces have a coherent rhythmic narrative.
'Variations' is a delightful invention which had my toes
tapping despite themselves. A pinch of tribal; a dash of
folk; a soupcon of fractured falsetto soul. Wonderfully
weird yet also curiously emotionally affecting.

The clicks and clatters; the ghost-rider reverb guitar and
the half-heard whispered words of 'Too Many Kids In The Dust'
is another piece of beguiling musical voodoo, not unlike some
of the tortured and ambiguous sound-dramas of Tom Waits.

The subdued latin beats and bubbling underwater chords of
'Keep Me There' conjure up a spooky cheek-to-cheek Danse
Macabre. Like one of those wonderful Mexican Dia De Los
Muertos arrangements of tiny skeletal figures going about
their daily business oblivious to the fact that they no
longer have flesh on their bones!
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sound of 2011 23 Sep 2011
Format:Audio CD
The best album I've heard since Panda Bear's Person Pitch. The music comes from a different background but it has the same sort of feel as Noah Lennox's classic. A beguiling mix of inventiveness and strangeness that manages to stay warm and inviting at the same time.

I don't listen to hype. I didn't even know that Jaar was being "hyped". Some people seem to think that critical acclaim is the same as "hype". Have they thought that some people might actually like the album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite albums if not the favourite. 11 Mar 2014
When I heard this Album I was astounished. It is amazing. Recently I bought new Headphones (better too), I was surprised again. This Album is simply amazing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars He's on fire! 25 Nov 2013
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
and we let it burn.
Inspired sounds and great experimental lounge music.
I think he's gonna be a front man in this genre
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh new electronica! 7 Oct 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Brilliant new sounding electronica with different beeps and bops that compliment each other throughout!
Recommend if you like the genre/
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