Nicolas Jaar

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Nicolás Jaar
Nicolas Jaar live at Rex Club in Paris
Nicolas Jaar live at Rex Club in Paris
Background information
Also known asA.A.L., Against All Logic, Nico
Born (1990-01-10) January 10, 1990 (age 31)
New York City, New York, US
Associated acts

Nicolás Jaar (English: /ɑːr/;[1] Spanish: [ˈɟʝaɾ]; born January 10, 1990)[2] is a Chilean-American composer and recording artist based in New York. Among his notable works are the albums Space Is Only Noise (2011), Pomegranates (2015) and Sirens (2016). Since 2011, he has embarked on multiple explorative directions, performing a five-hour improvisational concert at MoMA PS1[3] and releasing a large volume of experimental recordings through his label, Other People, including works by Lydia Lunch, Pierre Bastien, John Wall and Lucretia Dalt. He scored Jacques Audiard's Dheepan (winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2015)[4] and Pablo Larrain's 2019 film, Ema. Jaar is half of the band Darkside (Psychic, 2013, Spiral, 2021) and has released two albums under the alias Against All Logic.[5]


Jaar was born in New York to Chilean artist and architect Alfredo Jaar and mother Evelyne Meynard. On his father's side, Jaar has Palestinian ancestry: the surname Jaar originates in Bethlehem.[6] "Jaar ascribes the melancholy in his music to the time when he moved at the age of 2 with his mother from New York to Chile."[7] In 2007, he met Gadi Mizrahi and Zev Eisenberg who ran the legendary Marcy parties in Brooklyn, New York. After hearing his early works, Mizrahi suggested 17 year-old Jaar put a 4/4 kick drum underneath his largely experimental compositions. This was Jaar's first foray into dance music, documented in his first release on Mizrahi's label Wolf & Lamb, entitled The Student. "Back then, Mizrahi says, everything D.J.'s were playing was 128 beats per minute. The stuff he was doing was almost half that speed."[8]

Jaar spent four years in the NY underground dance scene, crafting rough, hip hop influenced house music (like early singles Love You Gotta Lose Again and Don't Believe the Hype). During this time, Jaar made two songs where he sang in his native Spanish ("Mi Mujer" and "El Bandido"). Jaar did not intend for them to come out as they were made as jokes to make his mother laugh and dance. He changed his mind in 2010, as he felt the songs were his way of answering what he deemed as exploitative sampling of Latin American culture by non-Latin DJs.

He released his debut album, Space Is Only Noise, in January 2011 to critical acclaim[9] and four stars from The Guardian.[10] It was ranked #1 album of the year by Resident Advisor, Mixmag, and Crack Mag. Jaar toured the album for three years with guitarist Dave Harrington (later of Darkside) and keyboardist Will Epstein. Jaar was voted #1 Live Act on Resident Advisor for the three years he toured the record.[11]

In 2012, he debuted a live concept called From Scratch, where, in front of a live audience, he sampled records he had bought that day. The first iteration happened in Queens, New York at MOMA PS1; it was a five-hour concert with collaboration from Will Epstein, videographer Ryan Staake, dancer Lizzie Feidelson and singer Sasha Spielberg. Jaar has also performed From Scratch in Boulder, Colorado, and Montréal, Quebec.

On May 18, 2012 Nicolas Jaar made his BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix debut,[12] which was voted Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year of 2012.[13]

On October 4, 2013, the debut album from Darkside, Jaar's project with longtime collaborator Dave Harrington, was released to critical acclaim and a 9.0 score on Pitchfork.[14] The band toured the record for the entirety of 2014.[15]

In February 2015, Jaar released an ambient and noise record entitled Pomegranates, which was described as sounding "like broken Middle Eastern instruments half-playing a modal melody amid bursts of hiss"[16][17] Later that year, Jaar scored the soundtrack to Dheepan, a thriller by French filmmaker Jacques Audiard about a family of Sri Lankan refugees living in the suburbs of Paris. It was the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2015.[4]

His second studio album, Sirens, was released in September 2016. Rolling Stone named it the #1 Electronic Album of the year.[18] A deluxe version was released in December 2017, containing three new tracks interspersed throughout the album.

At some stage in 2018 Jaar added an acute accent over the letter a in his first name, in order to emphasise the last syllable. Nicolas became Nicolás.

Jaar co-produced most of FKA Twigs's second studio album, Magdalene, released in October 2019.

In 2020, Jaar released three albums; 2017-2019 in February (under his Against All Logic alias), Cenizas in March, and Telas in July.

Seven years after the debut album of his duo formation Darkside the second studio album Spiral was released in July 2021 via Matador Records. It got generally favourable reviews.[19]

Other People[edit]

Jaar founded New York-based imprint Other People. It has published music from Lydia Lunch, John Wall, Pierre Bastien, Tomaga, DJ Slugo, William Basinski, VTGNIKE, Lucretia Dalt, Nikita Quasim, 12z, Sary Moussa and Terepa collective which consisted of Kouhei Matsunaga, Laurel Halo, Lucrecia Dalt, Rashad Becker, Charlotte Collin, Grégoire Simon and Julia Holter. Other People has also featured the visual & audio work of visual artists Africanus Okokon and Maziyar Pahlevan.

In 2016, Other People launched THE NETWORK, a web of 111 fictional radio stations done in collaboration with visual artists Jena Myung and Maziyar Pahlevan.[20] In 2017, THE NETWORK became a book, published by PRINTED MATTER in NY.

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Award Year Nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
International Dance Music Awards 2016 "Don't Break My Love" Best Chillout/Lounge Track Nominated [21]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2011 Space Is Only Noise
2015 Pomegranates
2016 Nymphs
  • Released: September 23, 2016
  • Label: Other People
  • Formats: digital download, LP
2016 Sirens
  • Released: September 30, 2016
  • Label: Other People
  • Formats: CD, digital download, LP
2020 Cenizas
  • Released: March 27, 2020[23][24]
  • Label: Other People
  • Formats: digital download, LP
  • Released: July 17, 2020
  • Label: Other People
  • Formats: digital download, LP


Title Details
Edits LP
  • Released: September 17, 2010
  • Label: Wolf + Lamb Music
  • Formats: Digital download

Extended plays[edit]

Year Details
2008 The Student
  • Released: April 5, 2008
  • Label: Wolf + Lamb Music
2009 Democracy EP: New Friends Vol. 2 (Soul Keita featuring Nicolas Jaar)
  • Released: December 21, 2009
  • Label: Greta Cottage Workshop
2010 Marks & Angles
  • Released: May 17, 2010
  • Label: Circus Company
A Time for Us / Mi Mujer
  • Released: January 25, 2010
  • Label: Wolf + Lamb Music
Love You Gotta Lose Again
  • Released: October 5, 2010
  • Label: Double Standard Records
Remixes Vol. 1
  • Released: July 1, 2010
  • Label: Circus Company
2011 Nico's Bluewave Edits (as Nico)
  • Released: July 10, 2011
  • Label: W+L Black
Don't Break My Love
  • Released: November 1, 2011
  • Label: Clown & Sunset
  • Re-released as Nymphs I in 2015 on Other People
2015 Nymphs II
  • Released: May 11, 2015
  • Label: Other People
Nymphs III
  • Released: June 29, 2015
  • Label: Other People


Year Details
2010 Russian Dolls
  • Released: March 5, 2010
  • Label: Clown and Sunset
  • Released: January 3, 2010
  • Label: Clown and Sunset
2015 Fight (Nymphs IV)
  • Released: October 7, 2015
  • Label: R&S


Year Details
2015 Dheepan
2019 Ema
2020 Beginning


Year Artist Track Title
2009 No Regular Play "Owe Me" Nicolas Jaar Mix
2010 Azari & III "Into the Night" Nicolas Jaar Remix
DJ T. "Gorilla Hug" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Ellen Allien "Flashy Flashy" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts "Walking The Pattern" (unreleased)
Kasper Bjørke "Heaven" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Maceo Plex "Gravy Train" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Matthew Dear "You Put a Smell On Me" Nicolas Jaar Remix
The Bees "Winter Rose" Nicolas Jaar Remix
2011 Architecture in Helsinki "W.O.W" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Ceo "Illuminata" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Sneaky Sound System "Big" Nicolas Jaar's Always By Your Side Version
When Saints Go Machine "Fail Forever" Nicolas Jaar Remix
2012 Cat Power "Cherokee" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Chet Faker "Terms and Conditions" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Shlohmo "Rained the Whole Time" Nicolas Jaar Remix
2013 Brian Eno "Lux" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Grizzly Bear "Sleeping Ute" Nicolas Jaar Remix
2014 Kanye West "Blood on the Leaves"[25] (unreleased)
2015 Florence and the Machine "What Kind of Man" Nicolas Jaar Remix
Lydia Lunch "American Invasion" Weasel Walter and Nicolas Jaar Remix


Year Artist Track Title Release notes
2010 Bailey & Bridges "Come and Get It" Come N Get It Edits LP
Dave Brubeck Quartet "Calcutta Blues" Mini Calcutta Edits LP
Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" Nico's Rework Free download via Wolf+Lamb
New Order "Blue Monday" The Beach Edits LP
Nina Simone "Feeling Good" Nico's Feelin Good Edits LP
Grateful Dead "Shakedown Street" Shakedown Edits LP
The Searchers "Love Potion No. 9" Stay in Love Edits LP
2011 Mike & The Censations "There's Nothing I Can Do About It" What My Last Girl Put Me Through Nico’s Bluewave Edits
Missy Elliott "Work It" Work It (Nico's Bluewave Edit) Nico’s Bluewave Edits
The Blow "Hey Boy" Hey Boy (Nico's Bluewave Edit) Nico’s Bluewave Edits
2014 The Hellen Hollins Singers "Consolation" Consolation (Nicolas Jaar Edit) Free download via Other People

Unreleased edits[edit]

Year Artist Track Title Appearance
2009 Geraldine Hunt "Can't Fake the Feeling" Nico's Edit Get the Curse podcast
Mulatu Astatke "Yèkèrmo Sèw" Nico's Edit Get the Curse podcast
Stretch "Why Did Ya Do It" Nico's Edit Get the Curse podcast
2010 Tinariwen Amassakoul 'N' Ténéré Nicolas Jaar Edit BSR Radio mix
2011 Nicolas Jaar "Materials" Nico's Bluewave Edit XLR8R Podcast 184
The Enticers "Thief" Nicolas Jaar Live Set Edit XLR8R Podcast 184
Wendy Rene "After Laughter Comes Tears" Nicolas Jaar Edit XLR8R Podcast 184
2012 LaShun Pace "It's Me Oh Lord (Acapella Praise)" Nicolas Jaar Edit BBC's The Essential Mix
Luca C & Brigante "Lucio" Nicolas Jaar & Dave Harrington Edit
NSYNC "It Makes Me Ill" Nicolas Jaar Edit BBC's The Essential Mix
The Electric Prunes "Holy Are You" There Is No God Edit BBC's The Essential Mix
The Grass Roots "Let's Live For Today" Learn to Live Edit BBC's The Essential Mix
Vera November "Last Night Together" You're Coming Back Edit BBC's The Essential Mix
2017 Obbatuké "Elegua" Nicolas Jaar Edit Departamento DJ set
Piero "Mi Viejo" Nicolas Jaar Edit Performed live on South America tour

Other tracks[edit]

Year Track Date Release details
2008 New York December 23, 2009 Unreleased, Modyfier's Process 083
2009 Deleuze's Will February 13, 2009 "Extraction" on AirDrop Records
Disco Loco December 23, 2009 Unreleased, Get The Curse podcast
El Bandido March 8, 2009 "Significant Others" on Wolf + Lamb Records
La Bohème May 5, 2009 Unreleased, MWT Soul Clap Podcast
Little Seth December 23, 2009 Unreleased, Get The Curse podcast
Love Teacher October 30, 2009 "Snuggle & Slap" on Circus Company
Your Waltz October 30, 2009 "Snuggle & Slap" on Circus Company
2010 Dubliners November 4, 2010 "Inès" on Clown and Sunset
Goin' Bad (with Soul Keita) November 4, 2010 "Inès" on Clown and Sunset
John the Revelator July 29, 2010 Self-released
Now Listen November 30, 2010 Unreleased, Beats in Space mix
Marcy February 16, 2010 Unreleased, BSR Radio mix
Mwashah February 16, 2010 Unreleased, BSR Radio mix
Show Me The Way To The Fire (Tired of the Smoke) October 7, 2010 Unreleased, Breezeblock mix
Tribute to My Mother November 4, 2010 "Inès" on Clown and Sunset
You Are The Cure For My November 30, 2010 Unreleased, Beats in Space mix
2011 Avalanche (Tribute to Leonard Cohen) February 8, 2011 XLR8R Podcast 184
Can't See What Is Burning There March 1, 2011 "DJ-Kicks: Wolf + Lamb vs. Soul Clap" on !K7 Records
2012 And I Say (featuring Scout LaRue & Will Epstein) January, 2012 Self-released
Encore March 31, 2012 Free download on Clown and Sunset site
Ishmael (with Will Epstein) November 19, 2012 "Don't Break My Love" on Clown and Sunset
Never Have I Ever (with Dave Harrington & Will Epstein) November 19, 2012 "Don't Break My Love" on Clown and Sunset
Play the Drums for Me November 12, 2012 "Get Lost V Mixed by Acid Pauli" on Crosstown Rebels
The Ego (with Theatre Roosevelt) November 23, 2012 Self-released
What's the Name June 15, 2012 Unreleased, Sonar Lab in Barcelona
2013 Break My Love September 2, 2013 "Trust" on Other People
Marquises July 1, 2013 "Sunset of a Clown, Vol. 2" on Clown and Sunset
Take Me Out Of The Dark Rain July 1, 2013 Unreleased, DJ Set at Clown & Sunset Takeover, Boiler Room
2014 The Boy Who Asked Too Much September 9, 2014 "Work" on Other People
The President's Answering Machine September 9, 2014 "Work" on Other People
2020 Playing with Fire September 4, 2020 "Nisf Madeena" on Ma3azef


Year Details
2008 Live at the Marcy Hotel
2010 Resident Advisor 211
  • Released: June 14, 2010
2011 XLR8R Podcast 184
  • Released: February 8, 2011
2012 Live at Sonar, Barcelona
  • Released: June 15, 2012
2012 BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix
  • Released: May 18, 2012
  • Won BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year
2013 Boiler Room NYC, Clown & Sunset Takeover
  • Released: April 27, 2013
  • Released: December 8, 2013
2015 Resident Advisor 500
  • Released: December 28, 2015
2016 The Network on NTS Radio
  • Released: September 8, 2016
2017 TRANSITION, Boiler Room Aviv
  • Released: May 31, 2017

Against All Logic discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Details
2018 2012–2017
  • Released: February 17, 2018
  • Label: Other People
  • Formats: digital download, LP
2020 2017–2019
  • Released: February 7, 2020
  • Label: Other People
  • Formats: digital download, LP

Extended plays[edit]

Year Details
2014 Issue #9
  • Released: February 1, 2014
  • Label: Other People


Year Details
2014 Stand Up / So Far
  • Released: July 29, 2014
  • Label: Other People
You Are the One
  • Released: October 7, 2014
  • Label: Other People
2015 I Never Dream
  • Released: May 31, 2015
  • Label: Other People
Rave on You
  • Released: December 31, 2015
  • Label: Other People
2020 Illusions of Shameless Abundance
  • Released: January 31, 2020
  • Label: Other People


  1. ^ Naylor, Tony (September 1, 2010). "Does Nicolas Jaar's music defy description?". The Guardian. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  2. ^ "Nicolas Jaar". IMDb. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  3. ^ "MoMA PS1, Pitchfork Present Nicolas Jaar in NYC". January 31, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "At Cannes Film Festival, 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d'Or". Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  5. ^ "Against All Logic: 2017–2019". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  6. ^ Faber, Tom. "Create your own reality: The Palestinian scene". Resident Advisor. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  7. ^ Rubin, Mike (March 9, 2012), "Between Semesters, Digital Innovation", The New York Times, retrieved April 21, 2015
  8. ^ Ferguson, WM (October 11, 2013), "Nicolas Jaar Tests the Limits of Dance Music", The New York Times, retrieved April 21, 2015
  9. ^ "Album Reviews: Nicolas Jaar: Space Is Only Noise". Pitchfork. February 17, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  10. ^ Tony Naylor (March 12, 2011). "Nicolas Jaar is the renaissance man of electronic music | Music". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  11. ^ "RA Poll: Top 20 live acts of 2013". Resident Advisor. December 11, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  12. ^ Ravens, Chal; Gregorsky, Mikael (photographer) (May 21, 2012). "Nicolas Jaar's BBC Essential Mix". Dummy Mag. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  13. ^ "BBC iPlayer – BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix: Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year 2012. Nicolas Jaar". Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  14. ^ "Album Reviews: DARKSIDE – Psychic". Pitchfork. October 7, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  15. ^ "Daniel Pinchbeck talks to Darkside's Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington". Electronic Beats. January 13, 2014.
  16. ^ Mark Richardson, Pomegranates review Pitchfork Media, July 8, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  17. ^ Evan Minsker, "Nicolas Jaar Releases Free Album Pomegranates" Pitchfork Media, June 24, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  18. ^ Murray, Christopher R. Weingarten,David Turner,Andy Beta,Andy Battaglia,Arielle Castillo,Nick; Stone, Rolling (December 16, 2016). "20 Best EDM and Electronic Albums of 2016". Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  19. ^ "Spiral by Darkside Matador Release Date: Jul 23, 2021". July 24, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  20. ^ "Music:Nicolas Jaar Announces Mysterious Online Radio Network". The Fader. August 30, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  21. ^ "WMC - 34th Annual International Dance Music Awards". Archived from the original on September 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes – SNEP (Week 40, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. June 10, 2013. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  23. ^ Monroe, Jazz (March 11, 2020). "Nicolás Jaar Announces New Album Cenizas, Shares New Song "Sunder": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  24. ^ "Cenizas, by Nicolas Jaar". Nicolas Jaar. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  25. ^ FILM, LACMA (November 11, 2014). "Picturing Barbara Kruger directed by Pippa Bianco". Retrieved December 2, 2018.

External links[edit]