Nicolas Jaar is one of the premier electronic and house music producers since Daft Punk left the scene in the early to mid-2000s.
Sorry, not the greatest reference, but I just needed to put Daft Punk into this review because they are a small influence on this new record from Jaar.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. “2012-2017” is the fourth full-length record from Jaar, but the debut record for his new alias, Against All Logic (A.A.L).
Well, actually it’s an alias he used in college while he was DJ-ing, but he never came out with any real music or recordings tied to the name.
The real question is, why does this New York City native have to change his alias with his already staggering fame from his first three projects?
In my eyes, it seems that Jaar wants to step out a bit from his comfort zone and go for a full- blown deep house record.
In the past, Jaar has been known for combining all sorts of samples and sounds into these very unique and stunning house albums, but he always dabbled in other genres like acid house, techno-punk and even ambient.
It also makes sense when you look at the title of the opening track, “This Old House Is All I Have,” which might be a nod to when he was DJing in college. He wants to hit those sounds and spots again that he did when he was DJing.
He wanted to produce a full- blown, in-your-face deep house record, and I dare say he not only nailed it, but he indefinitely abolishes it.
Since his last record “Sirens” in 2016, he probably sat down and listened to ‘80s house, ‘90s deep house and ‘90s Eurodance, which is where groups like Daft Punk come in.
He took these formulas and not only studied them, but generalized them and eventually added to them.
The formula is all here from the groovy and hypnotic bass lines, to the repetitive synth and keyboard grooves, to the progressive and winding origination of the music.
He also gives a huge nod to what really kicked house music into existence, funk and soul music of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. He has layers upon layers of funk, R&B and soul samples from a much simpler time in music.
Each track is so beautiful, transcendental, shimmering and electrifying that you just can’t sit through this record without tapping your foot.
This record also surpasses so many of the modern deep house records because it doesn’t get caught up in itself.
Many modern deep house albums start out strong and then just keep riding that wave for minutes if not hours.
There is no flair, style or intricacies. The album just builds and builds until you get to a pretty disappointing climax.
Jaar’s record keeps you interested with again the very diverse and almost sensual samples, as well as the experimental and spacy sounds that he incorporates flawlessly into every single track.
Also, the production is flawless on this record.
Every single sound comes off so crisp and smooth that everything just dances with your ear drum. You will really feel like you’re in a ‘90s club.
Overall, just please for all that is great and good listen to this album.
Happy listening, Gannon University!
• Rating: mid-high 9/10
• Genre: Deep House, IDM
• Favorite Song: “it’s house music, it doesn’t work like that.”
• Least Favorite Song: “again, it’s house music, it doesn’t work like that.”