Space Is Only NoiseAlbum | Nicolas Jaar By Paul Parreira
An impressive debut for a college student.
This is a very special record. You don't even need to read this review, because the album title pretty much says it all. Sonically, Space Is Only Noise is electronic, but not at all beat-driven. (Check out the 2011 releases by Zomby and Gold Panda for all your electro-dance needs.) Noise is a purely ambient record built on sound collages that mix fragmentary beats, piano pieces, and muted vocals, all with lots of space at the album's core. Yes, it's dark and uneven at times, but that's part of its charm. Nicolas Jaar is from Santiago, Chile, though he was born in New York City and produced this debut album while studying literature at Rhode Island's Brown University. Space Is Only Noise is a strictly one-man affair, on which Jaar does all the writing, producing and singing. His vocals sound a bit like a quieter version of James Blake, without all of the pitch-shifting and vocoder effects. He's delicate and hushed, slowly pushing his lyrics up a hill constructed from scraps of melodies and rhythms. By the time Jaar gets to the top, the song is finished and you're left with space. Which is exactly as he had planned.
|Nicolas Jaar: Critical Connections|