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Album Review: Nicolas Jaar - Telas

Nicolas Jaar has released his third album of the year with 'Telas.'
Nicolas Jaar press photo

Nicolas Jaar press photo

Electronic music composer Nicolas Jaar has released his third album of the year, Telas. The Chilean is having himself a year like Paul Woolford had in 2019 with already three LPs to his name – two as Jaar and one as Against All Logic. He also released an EP as A.A.L.

The 58-minute record is broken up into four different parts, each about 15 minutes each (math!). He shared the first part “Telahora” back in May when the LP was announced and now we have the full thing. It was previewed in “liquid form” earlier this week on a special website that you could navigate to hear various parts of the record and now today it is in “solid form,” meaning the more traditional way we hear an album from start to finish.

Telas plays like a continuous mix without clear interruptions or breaks between songs. Any changes seem to happen during songs as there are occasionally moments of grating white noise or the opening to “Telahora” with the jarring horns that may even make you want to turn off the LP. Power through that and the album becomes shimmering and bright with skittering percussion that carries into experimental sounds like you are in a full functional workshop with someone whispering in your ear. “Telecima” is more flowing and beautiful with elegant keys cascading over each other like a small waterfall.

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The full project is subtle, noisy and electronic, but it has moments where the strings and percussion come together where it does feel organic. Additional musical contributions come courtesy of cellist Milena Punzi, vocalist Susanna Gonzo, and instrument makers Anna Ippolito and Marzio Zorio.

There are some delineations from Cenizas released earlier this year. Jaar said that he wanted all three albums to be released at the same time, so there would be a connection between the two Jaar LPs, but Telas feels more steam of conscious than Cenizas, which works through frenetic electronics, hypnotic piano productions and cavernous ambiance. 

Listen to the full album today, tomorrow, Sunday and beyond. It has legs and deserves to be heard front to back. It isn’t something to be dissected for streaming playlist, so enjoy this in its full splendor. 

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