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Album of the week: Nicolas Jaar: 'Sirens'

Another Jaar speciality to be released this Friday

Artist: Nicolas Jaar
Album: Sirens
Label: Other People
Release Date: 30/09/2015


It's been a colourful journey following New York-based, electronic pioneer Nicolas Jaar through his musical career. First there was 2011's Space Is Only Noise, then came 2015's Nymphs, then, a heavier side to Jarr's vast experimental spectrum - Pomegranates - Jaar's re-soundtracking to 1969 avant-garde film, The Colour of Pomegranates, was released later in 2015 and this week, we excitedly anticipate the artist's latest release, Sirens.

The Chilean's artistic tendencies may have something to do with his politically pointed father, Alfredo Jaar, who pours his life into photography and conceptual art and is the mastermind behind the Sirens album artwork.

The album is currently being streamed on one of Jaar's most in-depth and exciting projects to date, using an online radio network based on his record label, Other People. While scouring through different channels, expect to find sounds of rainforest rustlings or readings from old films, until reaching channel 333, where Sirens is streamed. Magical, eh?

With no clear start or end to each track, this whole album takes minature snippets from different genres, which are then twisted and moulded into something completley new. The start of this album, 'Killing Time', draws us in with an array of everyday and unusual sounds, like crashes of glass being mixed with the beauty of hair-raising piano harmonies. Further into this map of Jaar's mind, more electronic bass sounds are introduced, hip-hop inspired rhythms are joined with his angelic vocals, and altogether, it makes something quite unforgettable.

Each track is textured and layered with intense thought, murmurs of Jaar's vocals blend in and out - sometimes calm, sometimes with a faint intensity. Jaar explained in a recent interview with Rolling Stone about his intentions before this production: ''I set out to not talk about myself for the first time. It usually comes from a very personal place and ends up further removed. Here I tried to go further out and at some point just ended up deeper in, talking about things that are more ingrained in me than anything I've done in the past.''

Lyrically, the album explores a more unique way to express emotions through words. 'History Lesson' is written in chapters, while 'Three Sides Of Nazareth' explores different languages as well as being written as a transcript.

Sirens is a musical journal with accidental insights into Jaar's life. It's a beautifully crafted map of his mind - surf through the different channels and experience this journey for yourself.


1. Killing Time
2. The Governor
3. Leaves
4. No
5. Three Sides of Nazareth
6. History Lessons

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