AOTY 2023

Space Is Only Noise

Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2011 Ratings: #31 / 1024
Year End Rank: #49
User Score
Based on 694 ratings
2011 Ratings: #47
Liked by 71 people
January 31, 2011 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sign In to rate and review



Space Is Only Noise might be one of the most ear-opening techno records in recent memory.

Resident Advisor

Space Is Only Noise is as appropriate for ten on a Sunday morning as it for the bleary ends of 3 AM, an on-the-nod effort that still feels redemptive and invigorating. You can play it whenever, which is good because you're going to want to play it a lot.


Space never feels like a showcase for Nicolas Jaar; it's just a modest and well-decorated gathering place for some things he loves, a place for them to interact.

The Irish Times
Rich, deep, complex and atmospheric, this is organic, full-bodied soul music for daydreaming space cowboys, an album that time and time again demonstrates Jaar’s gumption, desire and ability when it comes to textures and sounds.
The Needle Drop
Nicolas Jaar's debut LP is a dark exercise in bleak dance beats, sound collages, and ambient interludes.
Rather than ramping up the BPMs, Jaar is a master of subtlety, relying on good ideas and fantastic production to maximise his sound.
No Ripcord

Space Is Only Noise might occasionally overstay its welcome, but it’s mostly an intriguing, excellent listen from a very promising young producer.

This music is spiritual, psychedelic at times, and always rooted in a strong core concept that goes beyond "intelligent dance music" toward the idea that electronics are merely a tool, and do not themselves demand loyalty to any particular aesthetic.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Jaar builds an enveloping, cigar-smelling atmosphere through practically imperceptible transitions and uses ambient noise not as a stylistic gimmick but as a vital tool for maintaining a consistent tone while shifting styles so frequently.




"Space Is Only Noise" is a crisp and beautifully-textured electronic record that mixes bleak atmospheres and amazing instrumentation with simple "dance" beats. The amount of depth and detail Nicolas Jaar brings to these tracks is absolutely astounding!

Fav Tracks: Space Is Only Noise If You Can See, Keep Me There, I got a, Specters of the Future, Variations, Columb, Too Many Kids Finding Rain In the Dust, Balance Her In Between Your Eyes

Least Fav Track: ... read more


Space Is Only Noise is an album that tries to be three different things at once, resulting in an experience that doesn't feel as cohesive or complete as I feel like it should. The sonic markers that Nicolas creates are spellbinding, from the jazzy sampledelic sound collages to the microbeats in the ambient interludes to the subtle IDM house beats that make up a majority of the album, and are clearly the most robust aspect of this project. However, none of these elements feel like they go quite ... read more


Psss... This might just be my favorite album.

(I'm still figuring how to write stuff that is good to the eyes)

I feel like you too have a favorite special ''thing'' in music, it can be the atmosphere or... whatever, I don't need do describe it, and if you don't know what is this ''thing'', I really encourage you to try and think about that, it can be really beneficial for the way you listen to music and your analysis of the ... read more


Like a fever dream of sorts. Some beautiful moments, some weird moments - but the album flows well as a whole.

It’s infinitely better with “I Got A Woman” - a song removed because of sampling issues. That was by far the most commercial & memorable song on here. Without it, it feels like a keystone has been removed. With it, my review would be an 88



Purchasing Space Is Only Noise from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?