Nicolas Jaar

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Nicolas Jaar
Nicolas Jaar live at Rex Club Paris.jpg
Nicolas Jaar live at Rex Club in Paris
Background information
Also known as Nico
Born (1990-01-10) 10 January 1990 (age 27)
New York City, New York, US
Genres Electronic, experimental, house, deep house
Associated acts Darkside

Nicolas Jaar (born January 10, 1990) is an 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). He is known in the club world for his various dance 12" EPs he put out from 2008 to 2011. Since his first album, he has embarked on more explorative directions, performing a 5-hour improvisational concert at PS1,[1] releasing a large volume of experimental recordings through his label 'Other People' (Including works by like minded artists Lydia Lunch, William Basinski, and Lucretia Dalt). In 2015, Jaar scored Dheepan by director Jacques Audiard (winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2015).[2] Jaar is also half of the band Darkside (Psychic, 2013).


Jaar was born in New York to Palestinian-Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar and French-Chilean mother Evelyne Meynard. "Jaar ascribes the melancholy in his music to the six years his parents were separated, when he moved at the age of 3 with his mother from New York to Chile, until the family was reunited in New York."[3] In 2007, he met Gadi Mizrahi and Zev Eisenberg who ran the legendary Marcy hotel parties in Brooklyn, NY. After hearing his early works, Mizrahi suggested 17 year-old Jaar to put a 4x4 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, Jaar says, everything D.J.’s were playing was 128 beats per minute. The stuff he was doing was almost half that speed, with improvised piano haunting the tracks."[4]

Jaar then spent four years in underground dance circles, crafting rough, hip hop influenced house music (examples include "Love you gotta lose again", "Angles"). Initially made as jokes to make his mother laugh and dance, 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. He changed his mind in 2010, as he felt the songs were his way of answering to what he deemed as exploitative sampling of Latin American culture by white European DJs.

He released his debut album, Space Is Only Noise, in January 2011 to critical acclaim, receiving a score of 8.4 and the title of Best New Music from Pitchfork [5] and four stars from the Guardian.[6] 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 3 years he toured the record.[7]

In 2012, he debuted a live concept called From Scratch, where, in front of a live audience, he samples records he bought that day. The first iteration happened in Queens, NY at MOMA PS1; it was a 5-hour concert with collaborator Will Epstein, videographer Ryan Staake, dancer Lizzie Feidelson and singer Sasha Spielberg. He has also performed From Scratch at the Museum of Modern Art in Denver, Colorado and Montreal.

On May 18, 2012 Nicolas Jaar made his BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix' debut,[8] which was voted Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year of 2012.[9]

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.[10] The band toured the record for the entirety of 2014.[11]

In February 2015, Jaar released a largely ambient record entitled Pomegranates, which he intended as an alternative soundtrack to The Color of Pomegranates.[12][13]

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.[2]

His second studio album, Sirens, was released in September 2016.

Jaar is the owner and founder of the New York-based imprint Other People. Notable releases include works by Lydia Lunch, DJ Slugo, William Basinski, Valentin Stip, VTGNIKE, Lucretia Dalt and 12z.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions



2011 Space Is Only Noise
2016 Sirens
  • Released: September 30, 2016
  • Label: Other People
  • Formats: CD, digital download, LP

Extended plays[edit]

Year Details
2008 The Student
2010 Russian Dolls
  • Released: March 5, 2010
  • Label: Clown and Sunset
Marks & Angles
  • Released: May 17, 2010
  • Label: Circus Company
Time For Us / Mi Mujer
Edits LP
Love You Gotta Lose Again
2011 Nico's Bluewave Edits
Don't Break My Love
  • Released: November 1, 2011
  • Label: Clown & Sunset
2015 Nymphs II
  • Released: May 11, 2015
  • Label: Other People
Nymphs III
  • Released: June 29, 2015
  • Label: Other People
Fight (Nymphs IV)
  • Released: October 7, 2015
  • Label: R&S


Year Details
2015 Pomegranates
2015 Dheepan


Year Artist Track Title
2009 No Regular Play "Owe Me"
2010 Azari & III "Into the Night"
DJ T. "Gorilla Hug"
Ellen Allien "Flashy Flashy"
Kasper Bjørke "Heaven"
Maceo Plex "Gravy Train"
Matthew Dear "You Put a Smell On Me"
Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" Nico's Rework
The Bees "Winter Rose"
2011 Architecture in Helsinki "W.O.W"
Mike & The Censations "Theres Nothing I Can Do About It" Nico's Bluewave Edit
Missy Elliott "Work It" Nico's Bluewave Edit
Sneaky Sound System "Big" Always By Your Side (Nicolas Jaar Remix)
The Blow "Hey Boy" Nico's Bluewave Edit
When Saints Go Machine "Fail Forever"
2012 Cat Power "Cherokee"
Chet Faker "Terms and Conditions"
Mike James Kirkland "What My Last Girl Put Me Through
(There's Nothing I Can Do About It)"
Shlohmo "Rained the Whole Time"
2013 Brian Eno "Lux"
Grizzly Bear "Sleeping Ute"
2014 The Hellen Hollins Singers "Consolation" Nicolas Jaar Edit
2015 Florence and the Machine "What Kind of Man"

Unreleased edits[edit]

These edits are performed live or played in mixes and have never been released.

Year Artist Track Title
2009 Stretch "Why Did Ya Do It" Nico's Edit
Mulatu Astatke "Yekermo Sew" Nico's Edit
2010 Luca C & Brigante "Lucio" Nicolas Jaar & Dave Harrington Edit
2011 The Enticers "Thief" Nicolas Jaar Live Set Edit
Wendy Rene "After Laughter Comes Tears" Nicolas Jaar Edit
2012 LaShun Pace "It’s Me Oh Lord (Acapella Praise) " Nicolas Jaar Edit
2014 Kanye West "Blood on the Leaves"[15]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "MoMA PS1, Pitchfork Present Nicolas Jaar in NYC". Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  2. ^ a b "At Cannes Film Festival, 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d'Or". Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  3. ^ Rubin, Mike (9 March 2012), Between Semesters, Digital Innovation, The New York Times, retrieved 21 April 2015 
  4. ^ Ferguson, WM (11 October 2013), Nicolas Jaar Tests the Limits of Dance Music, The New York Times, retrieved 21 April 2015 
  5. ^ "Album Reviews: Nicolas Jaar: Space Is Only Noise". Pitchfork. 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2011-05-09. 
  6. ^ Tony Naylor (12 March 2011). "Nicolas Jaar is the renaissance man of electronic music | Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-05-09. 
  7. ^ "RA Poll: Top 20 live acts of 2013". Resident Advisor. 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  8. ^ Ravens, Chal; Gregorsky, Mikael (photographer) (May 21, 2012). "Nicolas Jaar's BBC Essential Mix". Dummy Mag. Retrieved May 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ "BBC iPlayer - BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix: Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year 2012. Nicolas Jaar". Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  10. ^ "Album Reviews: DARKSIDE - Psychic". Pitchfork. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  11. ^ . Retrieved April 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Mark Richardson, Pomegranates review Pitchfork Media, 8 July 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  13. ^ Evan Minsker, "Nicolas Jaar Releases Free Album Pomegranates" Pitchfork Media, 24 June 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes - SNEP (Week 40, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  15. ^