Nicolas Jaar – Marks & Angles review

The New York-based Chilean Nicolas Jaar releases his first EP for Circus Company after a string of releases on Brooklyn label Wolf + Lamb. Of course this is another sombre affair from the young producer but as indicated even from the abstract artwork, it’s not all as straightforward as that. It seems pointless to attempt to categorise it as any one genre, which is characteristic of Jaar’s complete disregard for boundaries combining anything from disjointed electronic sounds to sampling hip-hop beats or French opera.

Perhaps less dark than some of his past tracks, the lyrical vocals in “Marks” are a little more upbeat, paired with light pianos and jaunty percussion, whilst “Angles” is focused around layered vocals in subtly melancholic tones, cleverly arranged with plucked strings in minor keys. “Materials” however features inevitably off-kilter pianos and brass, juxtaposed with electronic beeps and percussive claps entering the din. The pace often changes unexpectedly, allowing time to reflect on the varying tones and ends up generating a haunting atmosphere.

Review: Flora Wong