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 asNico
Born (1990-01-10) 10 January 1990 (age 29)
New York City, New York, US
GenresElectronic, experimental, ambient
Associated actsDarkside, A.A.L. (Against All Logic)

Nicolas Jaar (born January 10, 1990)[1] 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). 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 five-hour improvisational concert at PS1[2] and 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 he scored Jacques Audiard's Dheepan (winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2015).[3]

Jaar is also half of the band Darkside (Psychic, 2013). In 2018, he released an album under the alias A.A.L. (Against All Logic) called 2012–2017, described by Pitchfork as one of the best new albums of the year.[4][5]


Jaar was born in New York to Chilean-Palestinian artist and architect 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."[6] In 2007, he met Gadi Mizrahi and Zev Eisenberg who ran the legendary Marcy hotel 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, Jaar says, everything D.J.'s [sic] were playing was 128 beats per minute. The stuff he was doing was almost half that speed, with improvised piano haunting the tracks."[7]

Jaar then spent four years in underground dance circles, crafting rough, hip hop influenced house music (examples include Love You Gotta Lose Again and Marks & 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 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; it received a score of 8.4 and the title of Best New Music from Pitchfork [8] and four stars from The Guardian.[9] 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.[10]

In 2012, he debuted a live concept through Clown & Sunset Aesthetics[11] 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 produced by Jaar and Clown & Sunset Aesthetics co-founder Noah Kraft 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 a largely ambient record entitled Pomegranates, which he intended as an alternative soundtrack to The Color of Pomegranates.[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.[3]

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

Jaar released an album under the alias "A.A.L. (Against All Logic)" called 2012–2017 in February 2018.[4] The album has been described as one of the best new albums by Pitchfork.[5]

Other People[edit]

Jaar is the owner and founder of the New York-based imprint Other People, a "serial label" that delivers music digitally to subscribers. It functions much like a magazine subscription, delivering new content each week. Every Sunday, members receive a new issue.[18] In 2013 and 2014, the label released two compilations works: Trust featuring music from Jaar, Dave Harrington, Nikita Quasim, Will Epstein and eight other artists, and Work featuring Jaar, Darkside, Soul Keita, and other artists on the label. Other notable releases include works by Lydia Lunch, DJ Slugo, William Basinski, Valentin Stip, VTGNIKE, Lucretia Dalt and 12z.

In 2017, the subscription-label began focusing on a collection of smaller, online radio releases. The label's former site has since been transformed into a radio network with numbered channels ranging from 0 to 333.[19] The only channels that produce sounds are in multiples of three.


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
2018 2012–2017 (as Against All Logic)
  • Released: February 17, 2018
  • Label: Other People
  • Formats: 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 "There is 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"[21]


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


  1. ^ "Nicolas Jaar". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  2. ^ "MoMA PS1, Pitchfork Present Nicolas Jaar in NYC". Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  3. ^ a b "At Cannes Film Festival, 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d'Or". Retrieved 2015-05-24.
  4. ^ a b "Nicolas Jaar Surprise-Released a New Album as "Against All Logic" Last Week". Spin. 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  5. ^ a b "A.A.L (Against All Logic) : 2012 - 2017 Album Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  6. ^ Rubin, Mike (9 March 2012), Between Semesters, Digital Innovation, The New York Times, retrieved 21 April 2015
  7. ^ Ferguson, WM (11 October 2013), Nicolas Jaar Tests the Limits of Dance Music, The New York Times, retrieved 21 April 2015
  8. ^ "Album Reviews: Nicolas Jaar: Space Is Only Noise". Pitchfork. 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2011-05-09.
  9. ^ Tony Naylor (12 March 2011). "Nicolas Jaar is the renaissance man of electronic music | Music". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2011-05-09.
  10. ^ "RA Poll: Top 20 live acts of 2013". Resident Advisor. 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2013-11-12.
  11. ^ "Photos: Pitchfork, MoMA PS1, and Clown & Sunset Aesthetics Present Nicolas Jaar's "From Scratch" | Pitchfork". Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  12. ^ Ravens, Chal; Gregorsky, Mikael (photographer) (May 21, 2012). "Nicolas Jaar's BBC Essential Mix". Dummy Mag. Retrieved May 23, 2012.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "BBC iPlayer - BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix: Radio 1's Essential Mix Of The Year 2012. Nicolas Jaar". Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  14. ^ "Album Reviews: DARKSIDE - Psychic". Pitchfork. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  15. ^ "Daniel Pinchbeck talks to Darkside's Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington". Electronic Beats. 13 January 2014.
  16. ^ Mark Richardson, Pomegranates review Pitchfork Media, 8 July 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  17. ^ Evan Minsker, "Nicolas Jaar Releases Free Album Pomegranates" Pitchfork Media, 24 June 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Nicolas Jaar mints "serial label" Other People with new compilation Trust". FACT: Music News, New Music. 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  19. ^ "Music:Nicolas Jaar Announces Mysterious Online Radio Network". The Fader. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  20. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes - SNEP (Week 40, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  21. ^ FILM, LACMA (11 November 2014). "Picturing Barbara Kruger directed by Pippa Bianco". Retrieved 2 December 2018.

External links[edit]

External links[edit]