Nicolas Jaar

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Nicolas Jaar
Jaar in 2012
Jaar in 2012
Background information
Also known asAgainst All Logic, A.A.L., Nico
Born (1990-01-10) January 10, 1990 (age 33)
New York City, U.S.

Nicolas Jaar[1] (English: /ɑːr/;[2] Spanish: [ˈɟʝaɾ]; Spanish: Nicolás; born January 10, 1990)[3][failed verification] is a Chilean-American composer and recording artist based in New York. Among his notable works are the albums Space Is Only Noise (2011), Sirens (2016), and Cenizas (2020). He has also released two albums as one half of his band Darkside (Psychic, 2013, Spiral, 2021) and two further albums under the alias Against All Logic.[4]

After folding his record label Clown & Sunset in 2013, Jaar founded Other People and has since released many experimental recordings through the imprint, including works by Lydia Lunch, Pierre Bastien, John Wall and Lucrecia Dalt. He scored Jacques Audiard's Dheepan (2015 Palme d'Or winner) and Pablo Larrain's 2019 film Ema.[5]

Early life[edit]

Jaar was born in New York to Chilean parents Evelyne Meynard, a dancer, and Alfredo Jaar, an artist and architect.[6] His mother is ethnically French, while his father has Dutch and Palestinian ancestry;[7][8][9] the surname Jaar is said to originate in Bethlehem.[10] After his parents' separation, Jaar moved with his mother to Santiago at the age of three, where he lived until moving back to New York at the age of nine when his parents reconciled.[11][12][13] Jaar attended the Lycée Français de New York.[14]

Jaar matriculated at Brown University in 2008; he graduated from Brown in 2012 with a degree in comparative literature.[15]


2007–2011: Beginnings and debut album[edit]

In 2007, Jaar 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. Mizrahi said of Jaar:

"Back then everything D.J.'s were playing was 128 beats per minute. The stuff he was doing was almost half that speed."[14]

Jaar spent the next 4 years in the NY underground dance scene creating rough, hip hop influenced house music, releasing such singles as "Love You Gotta Lose Again" and "Don't Believe the Hype". During this time, Jaar made two songs featuring his vocals in Spanish, "Mi Mujer" and "El Bandido", which he did not originally intend to release as they were made as jokes to make his mother laugh and dance. However, he later chose to release them in 2010 in response to noticing a trend of non-Latin DJs sampling Latin American music without compensation.

He released his debut album, Space Is Only Noise, in January 2011 to critical acclaim[16] and four stars from The Guardian.[17] It was ranked #1 album of the year by Resident Advisor, Mixmag, and Crack Mag. Jaar toured the album with his future bandmate Dave Harrington (later of Darkside) and Will Epstein, and was later voted #1 Live Act on Resident Advisor for the three years he toured the record.[18]

2012–2017: Darkside and Sirens[edit]

In 2012, Jaar 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.[19] He has also performed From Scratch in Boulder, Colorado, and Montréal, Quebec.[20]

On May 18, 2012, Jaar made his BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix debut,[21] which was voted Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year of 2012.[22]

On October 4, 2013, Psychic, 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.[23] The band toured the record for the entirety of 2014.[24]

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".[25][26] 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.[5]

His second studio album, Sirens, was released in September 2016. Rolling Stone named it the #1 Electronic Album of the year.[27] A deluxe version was released in December 2017, containing three new tracks interspersed throughout the album.[28]

2018–present: Against All Logic, return of Darkside[edit]

On February 17, 2018, Jaar released his first album under his new alias Against All Logic, titled 2012-2017. The album, released with little warning and no direct references to Jaar's name,[29] received critical acclaim upon its release, including a score of 8.8 and "Best New Music" designation from Pitchfork.[30][31]

Jaar co-produced most of FKA Twigs's second studio album, Magdalene, released in October 2019.[32]

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

Nearly eight years after the release of their debut album, Darkside released their second studio album, Spiral, on July 23, 2021 via Matador Records. It received generally favorable reviews.[33]

Other People[edit]

Jaar founded New York-based imprint Other People. It has published music from artists such as Lydia Lunch, John Wall, Pierre Bastien, Tomaga, DJ Slugo, William Basinski, VTGNIKE, Nikita Quasim, 12z, Sary Moussa and the Terepa collective, which consists of such artists as Kouhei Matsunaga, Laurel Halo, Lucrecia Dalt, Charlotte Collin, and Julia Holter.[34][35][36] Other People has also featured the visual & audio work of artists Africanus Okokon and Maziyar Pahlevan.[37]

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.[38] In 2017, THE NETWORK became a book, published by PRINTED MATTER in NY.[39]


Against All Logic[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
BBC Radio 1 2012 Nicolas Jaar (2012-05-19) Essential Mix of the Year Won [40]
International Dance Music Awards 2016 "Don't Break My Love" Best Chillout/Lounge Track Nominated [41]


  1. ^ Official website Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Naylor, Tony (September 1, 2010). "Does Nicolas Jaar's music defy description?". The Guardian. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  3. ^ "Nicolas Jaar". Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  4. ^ "Against All Logic: 2017–2019". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "At Cannes Film Festival, 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d'Or". Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  6. ^ Hansen-Bundy, Benjy. "The Darkside of electronic-music producer Nicolas Jaar". Mother Jones. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  7. ^ Dansby, Andrew (October 14, 2016). "Electronic musician Nicolas Jaar feels quiet, restless pull of 'Sirens' song". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  8. ^ Gasquet, Axel; Majstorovic, Gorica (February 3, 2021). Cultural and Literary Dialogues Between Asia and Latin America. Springer Nature. p. 39. ISBN 978-3-030-52571-2.
  9. ^ Winn, Peter; Winn, Associate Professor of History Peter (January 25, 2006). Americas: The Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean. University of California Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-520-24501-3.
  10. ^ Faber, Tom. "Create your own reality: The Palestinian scene". Resident Advisor. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  11. ^ "Why Nicolas Jaar Made A Grownup Album About The Impact Of History". The FADER. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  12. ^ Rubin, Mike (March 9, 2012), "Between Semesters, Digital Innovation", The New York Times, retrieved April 21, 2015
  13. ^ "34 minutes with … Nicolas Jaar". The Guardian. February 1, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
  14. ^ a b Ferguson, WM (October 11, 2013), "Nicolas Jaar Tests the Limits of Dance Music", The New York Times, retrieved April 21, 2015
  15. ^ "The Indy". Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  16. ^ "Album Reviews: Nicolas Jaar: Space Is Only Noise". Pitchfork. February 17, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  17. ^ Tony Naylor (March 12, 2011). "Nicolas Jaar is the renaissance man of electronic music | Music". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  18. ^ "RA Poll: Top 20 live acts of 2013". Resident Advisor. December 11, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  19. ^ "MoMA PS1, Pitchfork Present Nicolas Jaar in NYC". Pitchfork. January 31, 2012. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  20. ^ "Nicolas Jaar presents From Scratch MAC Salle 2, Montreal QC, June 1 | Exclaim!". Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  21. ^ Ravens, Chal; Gregorsky, Mikael (photographer) (May 21, 2012). "Nicolas Jaar's BBC Essential Mix". Dummy Mag. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  22. ^ "BBC iPlayer – BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix: Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year 2012. Nicolas Jaar". Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  23. ^ "Album Reviews: DARKSIDE – Psychic". Pitchfork. October 7, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
  24. ^ "Daniel Pinchbeck talks to Darkside's Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington". Electronic Beats. January 13, 2014.
  25. ^ Mark Richardson, Pomegranates review Pitchfork Media, July 8, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  26. ^ Evan Minsker, "Nicolas Jaar Releases Free Album Pomegranates" Pitchfork Media, June 24, 2015. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  27. ^ 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". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  28. ^ "Nicolas Jaar - Sirens (deluxe edition)". Boomkat. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  29. ^ People, Other, Against All Logic - 2012 - 2017. Other People., retrieved January 24, 2022
  30. ^ 2012-2017 by A.A.L. (Against All Logic), retrieved January 24, 2022
  31. ^ "A.A.L (Against All Logic) - 2012 - 2017". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  32. ^ "FKA twigs' New Album Magdalene Features Nicolas Jaar, Future, More". Pitchfork. September 2, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  33. ^ "Spiral by Darkside Matador Release Date: Jul 23, 2021". July 24, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  34. ^ Leinhart, Kat (May 27, 2015). "Laurel Halo, Rashad Becker, Julia Holter, and More Debut as Terepa on Other People". XLR8R. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  35. ^ "Other People introduce Terepa". Juno Daily. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  36. ^ "Other People". Other People. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  37. ^ "The Kitchen: Other People Presents Two Shows". Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  38. ^ "Music:Nicolas Jaar Announces Mysterious Online Radio Network". The Fader. August 30, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  39. ^ "Nicolas Jaar Is Releasing A Book, Network". The FADER. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  40. ^ "BBC Radio 1 - Radio 1's Essential Mix, Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year 2012. Nicolas Jaar". BBC.
  41. ^ "WMC - 34th Annual International Dance Music Awards". Archived from the original on September 15, 2018.

External links[edit]