As a 14 year old, Nicolas Jaar was testing BPM limits which, in 2004 were almost exclusively resting at 128. Fast forward to 2007 and Nicolas hears an interview from Wolf + Lamb who had recently started their own self-named record label, Jaar instantly felt as though he understood exactly what they were searching for in new producers and he sent them some work. They released it. His life from this point was never the same.
His fresh ideas allowed for listeners to connect with a different, spacey style of music that still possessed dance elements at a whole new speed, spiking interest from ears all over. His career continued to develop and at the young age of 19 he had so much unreleased original material that he decided to launch his own label which is now known as ‘Other People‘. He spent the next four years touring in Europe while earning a degree in comparative literature from Brown University. He is truly a talented artist, his tour included fan-packed festivals and ambient minimalist sets at prestigious museums, further demonstrating his incredible and diverse skill set.
Jaar released his debut album in 2011 and it was received with high acclaim, ‘Space in Noise’ not only describes some of the elements found on the album but helps paint a picture of the mental process that Nicolas visualizes when searching for the right sound. His essential mix (from 2012) begins with a beautiful exploration with live instruments, especially an acoustic guitar. When others started to slow down their BPMs and utilize some of the same techniques, Nicolas didn’t speed his music up, rather he began implementing live instruments, creating sets that would only be heard once, when they were played live.
This transition toward live instruments marked an important part of Jaar’s life and one of his friends, Dave Harrington a guitarist from Brown. They realized that they had formed a band and “Darkside“ was born. The two have a performance lined up at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris and are rigorously preparing daily for the live tour, hoping for the same acceptance their previous tours have received. Check out the first 11 minutes of ‘Psychic’ Darkside’s debut album, below.
Is this the future of dance music? Discussion in three, two, one…