Published Mar 31, 2020Since Nicolas Jaar released his last LP under his own name, 2016's already immortal Sirens, the NYC producer exorcized his maximal side through his house project, Against All Logic, while producing music for pop-leaning musicians like Buzzy Lee and FKA twigs.
Returning to the more experimental side of his craft, Jaar seems as focused and daring as he's ever sounded on his fifth LP, Cenizas. Recorded between 2017 and 2019 (the same period during which he put together his last A.A.L. LP), Jaar comes off adventurous and wide-eyed, not only in the approach to his music, but in every other possible manner: instrumentation, structure, mood, mode.
Across 13 tracks, Jaar dives into droned-out synth on "Vanish," musique concrete on "Menysid," Mark Hollis-inspired avant-jazz on "Mud," cut-and-paste pastorals on "Hello, Chain" and a simple piano sonata on "Garden." But what makes Jaar's latest so fully formed is how he melds synthetic and textural sounds together so effortlessly, all filtered through a pleasing field of echo, courtesy of co-producer and experimental composer Patrick Higgins.
On Cenizas, Nicolas Jaar unveils a static but emotional masterpiece, an album that doesn't challenge the listener as much as it invites them into his alien, meditative, astonishing world. (Other People)