Nymphs III by Nicolas Jaar

Nicolas Jaar has long been a pioneer of deeper sounding beat-centred music alongside producers such as Mount Kimbie and Floating Points. The Chilean-American musician adds this latest release, a short two-track EP, to his eclectic collection of minimalist recordings. Nymphs III is released on Jaar’s own Other People imprint, a label with an impressive roster that includes fellow New Yorker Solpara and Jaar’s other musical project DARKSIDE.

The first track ‘Swim’ features a sparse soundscape. A lone piano sample moulds into a beat-driven techno floor-filler as Jaar digresses from his usual, slower-than-average 100 BPM production tempo, increasing to the more conventional 120 BPM. The added pace provides an intense energy and gives the rhythmic sections a pounding edge rarely heard before on Jaar’s productions. ‘Swim’ is the better side of this release as it displays clear competency in minimal dance music production, and this should excite fans of Jaar’s previous work in this style.

The B-side ‘Mistress’ is a cool-down from ‘Swim’, and the track does little to enliven the listener. The piano melody, in the style of French surrealist composer Erik Satie, is warped through heavy reverb and pitch modulation, reminiscent of the solo piano pieces heard on Aphex Twin’s Drukqs. ‘Mistress’ clearly shows off Jaar’s wide range of production abilities but somehow lacks the quality to be a remarkable piano based composition in its own right.

Although Nymphs III will be popular within the world of spacey techno and house, this release is not overly memorable and should not reach the same level of acclaim as much of Jaar’s previous output.


Adam Moher

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