You probably already know two things about Nicolas “Nico” Jaar ’12: 1. He’s a Brunonian and 2. He released an album somewhat recently that made Pitchfork all happy in their tight corduroy pants. Now he’s performing on Spring Weekend, but what’s Nico’s music really like? Well, for one, don’t call it dance music. According to a Pitchfork interview, it’s not. Regarding his album, Nico claims, “[It] has the ghost of my old dance music influences, but it’s not dance music per se.” He also doesn’t DJ, but rather uses live controllers, keyboards and vocals in his live performance (in the vein of Simian Mobile Disco). This means that you shouldn’t expect the featured electronic artist at Spring Weekend to ‘drop a banger’ like Avicii unleashing “Bromance” at Ultra during your come up. When the music sounds more like Boards of Canada or a less frantic Aphex Twin than SHM, don’t say we didn’t warn you. This isn’t to say that Jaar’s music is boring in the slightest; it’s just not the straightforward electro house music or bass-laden dubstep that dominates today’s rave scene. Some more background on the artist and a few standout tracks after the jump.
Before coming to Brown, Nico attended the Lycee Francais in Manhattan and began making oxymoronic “organic electronic music” at the age of 14. By age 17, he had released “The Student EP” on electronic music label Wolf + Lamb. Since this release, his career has been on a steady rise as he’s performed in both North America and Europe (where he’s significantly more popular). He’s also begun self-releasing his work and others’ on his own label, Clown and Sunset. Somehow, he still manages to remain a full time student at our beloved institution–but maybe that’s because it’s part of his creative process. In the aforementioned Pitchfork interview, Nico mentions that the books he reads for his Comparative Literature concentration give him ideas for songs…if you listen closely can definitely hear the Márquez in “Variations.” Below are a few Jaar tracks to introduce the new listener to his work.
Jaar to Dance to (2 Edits, a Single and a Remix):
MP3: Azari & III: “Into the Night (Nicolas Jaar Remix)” (via Pitchfork)
Some Tracks from the New Album: