I caught Nicolas Jaar on the East Coast leg of his ongoing tour at the Theatre of Living Arts last night. It was a Sunday, but the place was packed, all ages – from students dancing in the front row to adults holding beers in the back as Jaar sampled The Temptations to a kaleidoscope of color.
Jaar’s tech setup was massive, and the lights variable – in tune with the unpredictability of the entire show, as it was hard to be sure when he’d pick up the saxophone or sing or even, seemingly, disappear behind the equipment – just fade quietly away into the semidarkness as tracks from Sirens lulled.
I will say this: if you’ve ever had trouble getting into Jaar’s discography, or if it feels too abstract for comfort, turn it up and enjoy the nuance. This music is made of a quality hard to find elsewhere, and Jaar is a character worth listening to; he’s spoken about the politicising of dance music, and directly addresses the impact of Pinochet on his experiences as a Chilean-American. He released his debut LP (Space Is Only Noise) while still a student at Brown, working on a degree in comparative literature.
His track record is, to say the least, very impressive – first with film scores, both those imagined (Pomegranates) and those achieving veritable accolade (Dheepan). He’s also one half of the momentous “side project” Darkside (the result: an LP that is most palatable to those with a penchant for the guitar.) Note that this list doesn’t even include his 12″s and other solo work – Mi Mujer might sound familiar here.
If you haven’t listened to Nicolas Jaar yet, you should – and catch him live if given the opportunity.