Nicolas Jaar has shared his Nymphs II EP, the American-Chilean musician's first solo release in four years. The two tracks, which have a combined running time of just over 15 minutes, were recorded in New York City between 2011 - 2015 and are thankfully worth the wait.
Jaar, has mainly focused on DARKSIDE over the past few years until it was announced in late 2014 that he and fellow collaborator Dave Harrington were taking a break from the project. This ostensibly means that he's now found the time to go back, rediscover, refine, and complete these tracks that have existed for quite some time, and this all hopefully bodes well for further future releases.
The results are a beautifully ethereal quarter of an hour which can be heard in full above. First up is 'The Three Sides Of Audrey And Why She's All Alone Now', which swirls and squeaks to life, inch by inch, before starting to intercut a shuffling drum beat with gasps and hushed vocals. As the tempo and volume increase, Jaar masterfully orchestrates the motions like a seasoned conductor, building us up but never letting us get too far ahead of ourselves.
As one track fades, the introduction of 'No One Is Looking At U' creeps along until we're greeted by the vocals of Lorraine (most likely Lorraine Nicholson, daughter of Jack) who repeats the title of the track track in such a softly spoken, low-key way that it ranges from reassurance to almost invoking a sense of paranoia. Never uncomfortable however, we're not being pushed away, merely kept at arm's length. When the track eventually chooses to embrace the listener, it slowly builds and offers up fleeting movement inducing moments before winding back down, and ending the EP.
The whole EP is a remarkable act of pacing, dividing up the pleasure with a real sense of self control. Part of me feels that Jaar could make obnoxious dance hits in his sleep, but where's the satisfaction in that? No, Nicolas is from another school of thought all together, and cites Chilean Techno, Jazz, Classical pianist Keith Jarrett and a wide range of African music as his influences. How this all comes together to create his brand of super slow techno I'm not entirely certain, but I'm thankful that it works.
These tracks would feel just as at home sound tracking late night inner city exploits as they do orchestrating an early morning rise from slumber as the sun gently streams through the window. Nymphs II can easily be missed, underestimated or disregarded, but given a true listen, there's a lot to love here.
Nymphs II is out now on Other People, Jaar's own label.